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Amujae Initiative

EJS Center / Programs / Amujae Initiative

The Amujae Initiative is the Center’s flagship program. Derived from a phrase in Kru, a Liberian local language, Amujae (ӓ mōō jāēē) means ‘we are going up’.

Launched on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020, the vision for the Amujae Initiative is to shift the landscape for women in public leadership in Africa, moving from a culture of tokenism to one that truly values women leaders.

Its mission is to inspire and prepare women to unapologetically take up roles and excel in the highest echelons of public leadership, and to bring other women along.

The Amujae Initiative’s goals are:

1

ENHANCE CAPACITY

To enhance the capacity of women in public leadership, helping them to increase their effectiveness within their current roles

2

EMBOLDEN WOMEN

To embolden women as they navigate career paths in public leadership, supporting them to aspire to the highest positions

3

STRENGTHEN TIES

To strengthen ties among a growing, experienced, and capable network of women public leaders in Africa

4

INFLUENCE PUBLIC PERCEPTION

To positively influence public perception of women’s leadership across Africa, building a wave of support for greater women’s representation

INTEGRATED ACTIVITIES

The Amujae Initiative achieves these goals through a set of integrated activities:

Leadership development: The Initiative hosts the Amujae Leadership Forums, a yearly cycle of forums facilitating ongoing coaching and mentoring of leaders. Participants in the Leadership Forums are African women of proven talent already on a public leadership journey, with a track record of excellence and of supporting their fellow women. The inaugural Forum was hosted in collaboration with Big Win Philanthropy.

Advocacy and movement building: The Center advocates for and helps to establish a sustainable environment for women in public leadership. This takes place through traditional and digital media campaigns, gender sensitivity training for journalists, and media training for Amujae Initiative participants.

Research and thought leadership: The Center is a leading voice in challenging the state of women’s participation in public life in Africa. To this end, the Center produces and promotes evidence-based research on women in leadership and the challenges they face.

Documenting and storytelling: To bring to life the challenges faced by women in leadership across Africa, the Center documents the stories of the Amujae Leaders and other women in public life. This content is hosted on the Center’s website and social media channels and used in the development of other visual, print, and digital media.

*Interested candidates will be invited to apply for participation in the Amujae Leadership Forums when applications are open.

AMUJAE LEADERS

The inaugural class of Amujae Leaders, class of 2020, is made up of dynamic leaders who come from various countries across the continent. With backgrounds in law, government, business, education and activism, their achievements are as varied as their origins, but they all have a common purpose; to serve their countries and advocate for fellow women.

The Inaugural Amujae Leadership Forum

The inaugural Amujae Leadership Forum held in March 2020 brought together the first cohort of Amujae Leaders, representing eight countries and four regions of the continent. Drawn from a diverse range of personal and professional backgrounds, the cohort have a shared track record of demonstrable achievements in public life and a common drive to uplift African women and girls. 

The forum was designed to equip the women with the tools and confidence required to unabashedly seek the highest levels of public leadership, and empower the next generation of leaders to rise with them.

The Amujae Leaders were supported by coaches including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President Joyce Banda (former president of the Republic of Malawi), President Catherine Samba-Panza (former president of Central African Republic), and Dr Thelma Awori (Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Liberia to Uganda). The forum took place just as African countries began to record their first cases of COVID-19. In response to the changing circumstances, the forum incorporated a focus on leadership in times of crisis. 

Overall, the forum gave the Amujae Leaders an opportunity to reflect on their values and aspirations, and build networks to enable the advancement of themselves and other women.

Here’s what some of the Amujae Leaders had to say about the inaugural Forum:

“This is the real deal! The selection process really yielded good fruit. EJS is genuinely committed to supporting women to achieve their highest ambitions.”


“Sharing the journey with the presidents was exceptional.”


“Sharing the obstacles that we are each facing and collectively giving advice to each other – seeing this was special.”


“All of the sessions were absolutely amazing, inspirational, and awakening.”

SUPPORT OUR WORK

The Center welcomes meaningful partnership proposals and volunteers in a number of areas. Donations to the Center go directly to running our programs to help increase the representation of women in leadership roles and public service across Africa.