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Amujae Initiative

EJS Center / Programs / Amujae Initiative

The Amujae Initiative is the flagship program of the EJS Center. Amujae is derived from the phrase ӓ mōō jāēē which means ‘we are going up’ in Kru, a Liberian language.

The initiative addresses the underrepresentation of women in public leadership in Africa by ensuring that women become equal partners in setting national priorities and direction of their respective countries. It identifies and challenges African women who have demonstrable potential, bolstering their ambitions and simultaneously providing them with practical support so that they can successfully pursue and take up the highest positions in public leadership. Together with other African women leaders who pried open the doors before them, it is expected that these women will tear down structural barriers to unleash a wave of women public leaders in Africa.

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 a culture that values women’s leadership. 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:



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



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



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



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


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 Leaders.

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.


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 EJS Center welcomes meaningful partnership proposals and collaborations in a number of areas.

Donations to the EJS Center go directly to running our programs to help increase the representation of women in leadership roles and public service across Africa.

All donations made through the website go to the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization registered in the United States.