LIBERIA: 'Women Are More Effective and Transparent in Leadership,' Says President Sirleaf

Monday, November 8, 2010
Western Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says her government is developing long-term strategies to build upon the foundation for growth which has been set in Liberia. The strategies would consolidate the progress made and achieve target growth rates to improve the lives of people.

President Johnson Sirleaf made the statement in Washington, D.C., in the United States, at a pre-event press conference with World Bank Managing Director Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Africare President Dr. Darius Mans in observance of Africare's 40th anniversary.

Reflecting on the state of affairs when she took office in 2006, the Liberian leader said a lot has been achieved in transforming the country from a failed State to a developing nation.

The President highlighted the success of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy and the “Lift Liberia” Strategy, naming the provision of basic social services, debt cancellation, infrastructure development and international recognition as huge successes. She however acknowledged that there are still a lot of challenges, including youth unemployment and efforts to make Liberia self- sufficient in food production.

The two women leaders used the occasion to encourage African women to strive for quality education and compete with their male counterparts at all levels. The Liberian President maintained that women are the future of Africa, a belief which Dr. Okonjo-Iweala shared, adding, “Trends around the world show women are more effective and transparent in leadership.” They encouraged African leaders to invest more in women's development, stressing that any country which develops its women is bound to succeed.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala received Africare's 2010 Humanitarian Award for her work at the World Bank in helping to improve the lives of people in Africa.

Also honored were former South African President Nelson Mandela – Lifetime Award (received by his daughter and grandson); and Rex Tillerson – Corporate Service Award.

Over two thousand persons attended Africare's 40th anniversary dinner.

President Johnson Sirleaf, the 2007 recipient of the Humanitarian Award, presented it to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala on behalf of Africare.

Africare has worked across Africa in the areas of HIV/AIDS, food security and agriculture, and water and sanitation.