EJS Still at What She Does Well -Launches “the Amujae Initiative” To inspire, prepare women to take up roles in leadership across Africa

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Over forty of social and political advocacy, which took her to international and intercontinental fame, and 12 years of practical national leadership have not waned the pedigree and taste of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to traversed for justice, equality, freedom and inclusion of ordinary people not only in Liberia but across the globe. Before, during and even after her presidency, Madam Sirleaf received accolades, including the famous Nobel Peace Prize for her exemplary leadership and international citizenship. Someone may think that that should be too much this notable Liberian to, at her age and achievement, continue to spend her life for the benefit of others. But that’s not she’s opting. She’s still crusading for what she does best and there seems to be no end of this in sight soon, as The Analyst reports.

Former Liberian President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said shortly after leaving office: “After leaving office, I vowed to dedicate my time to advancing the careers of the next wave of women leaders across the continent. Through this Initiative, we are working to do just that – identifying women who are already driving change in their countries who, through mentorship and support, can reach even greater heights. When it comes to advancing women’s public leadership, we don’t have the luxury of time. Africa’s development depends upon harnessing the energy of our women to accelerate progress.”

True to those words—or vows—the former Liberian President continues to work days and nights to help someone in need—particularly women and girls struggling to social and political prominence and survival.

During the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, which is March 8, 2020, her organization formed for that purpose, the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development will officially launch its flagship program – “the Amujae Initiative.”

Derived from the Kru phrase, Amujae (ä mōō jāēē) means ‘we are going up’, the Initiative’s mission is to inspire and prepare women to unapologetically take up roles in the highest echelons of public leadership across Africa, and to bring other women along.

Studies have shown that there is a strong link between women in leadership and better health, education and environmental outcomes, as well as lower levels of corruption and lesser likelihood of using violence when faced with potential conflict.

Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the worst statistics globally when it comes to gender equality in public life, and the Amujae Initiative is working to address this imbalance.

The first cohort of ‘Amujae Leaders’ taking part in the program come from countries across the continent – women from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Guinea, among other nations. 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 their fellow women.

According to a release, during the inaugural Amujae Forum, hosted by the Center in collaboration with Big Win Philanthropy, participants will be coached and mentored by some of the continent’s most prominent public leaders.

They will also receive training from leading experts in communications, advocacy, planning, and finance, amongst other areas, the release said further.

The formal launch of the Initiative will take place at an event in at Farmington Hotel on March 8, 2020. Details can be found below.

The program will be convened at a location in Monrovia to be announced soon and will take place this Sunday, March 8.

It will include a panel discussions with Amujae participants and leaders advocating for gender parity and a celebration of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s legacy through a cultural performance.

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development was founded in 2018 to be a catalyst for change across Africa, by helping unleash its most abundant untapped power — its women.

Through a unique blend of programming, advocacy, research and exhibitions, the Center will advance women’s public leadership and social development on the continent.

As the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is passionate about supporting the next generation of women in public 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 that include: ENHANCE CAPACITY — to enhance the capacity of women in public leadership, helping them to increase their effectiveness within their current roles; EMBOLDEN WOMEN — To embolden women as they navigate career paths in public leadership, supporting them to aspire to the highest positions; STRENGTHEN TIES — To strengthen ties among a growing, experienced, and capable network of women public leaders in Africa.

Other goals include: 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 will achieve these goals through a set of integrated activities.

The activities include Leadership Development: The Initiative will host 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 is hosted in collaboration with Big Win Philanthropy.

Advocacy and movement building: The Center will advocate for and help to establish a sustainable environment for women in public leadership. This will take 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 will be a leading voice in challenging the state of women’s participation in public life in Africa. To this end, the Center will produce and promote 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 will document the stories of the Amujae Leaders and other women in public life. This content will be 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.

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