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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: Keynote speaker at 10GA

Published: 03.11.2015

The President of Liberia, Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has agreed to be the Keynote speaker at 10GA.  

Ellen Sirleaf has been the President of Liberia since 2006 and is Africa’s first democratically elected female Head of State. She was jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.  

Together with L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) she has also launched an initiative for to provide comprehensive eye care services to Liberians, through the John F Kennedy Memorial Medical Centre, Liberia.  

President Johnson Sirleaf served as Chairperson of the Mano River Union. She has also worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and several financial institutions.

The President is also Goodwill Ambassador for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Africa.  

Her entry into politics began in 1972 when she delivered her famous commencement address at graduation convocation of her alma mater (College of West Africa). In 1975 she joined the then Treasury Department in Liberia, rising to the position of Minister of Finance in 1979 where she introduced measures to curb the mismanagement of government finances.  

She was a founding member of the International Institute for Women in Political Leadership; was designated in 1999 by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) (now African Union) to serve on the committee to investigate the Rwanda genocide; was a Commission Chair for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue; and was selected by UNIFEM as one of two persons to investigate and report on the effect of conflict on women and women’s roles in peace-building.

Photo credit: Ash Carter