Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization, is once again hosting a plethora of women leaders from across the African continent under the aegis of her Amujae Initiative, which is founded to prepare women to excel in the highest echelons of public leadership and bring other women along.
The last the time the forum was convened in Liberia was March 2020 when the Initiative was launched.
This year’s conference is expected to be held by the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development and under the theme, “Building Resilience During Uncertain Times.”
According to a release, the women taking part in today’s Forum are part of the Amujae Initiative, the EJS Center’s flagship program, which prepares women to excel in the highest echelons of public leadership and bring other women along.
Drawn from a diverse range of personal and professional backgrounds, the Amujae Leaders include members of parliament, a governor, a mayor, and several government ministers from 16 countries across Africa.
The participants were selected through a rigorous application process from hundreds of applicants and they each have a track record of demonstrable achievements in public life and a drive to uplift African women and girls.
This year’s Forum will be the first gathering of Amujae Leaders since the official launch on March 8, 2020, on the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Focused on the theme “Building Resilience,” the Forum aims to equip the Amujae Leaders with the tools to continue their leadership journeys through uncertain times and support their respective countries in rebuilding following COVID-19.
It also harnesses the power of these accomplished women leaders in advancing women’s leadership in Liberia and across the African continent.
During the Forum, the Amujae Leaders will hear from a range of distinguished speakers, including Madam Sirleaf, Amb. Deborah Malac, Former Ambassador of the United States to Liberia and EJS Center Board members during the private, three-day Forum.
Addressing the Amujae Leaders ahead of the Forum, Madam Sirleaf said: “We’ve been waiting for this to happen. We’re excited about all you will exchange among yourselves, and we are looking forward to what will be a great three days. We hope you will leave more emboldened, more empowered, and more ready to take on whatever comes your way as you seek to achieve your leadership goals.”
The Amujae Leadership Forum is expected to run from 29 October 2021 through 31 October 2021. It is a closed event.
Facilitators include Ama Van Dantzig, Co-Founder of Dr. Monk and will include addresses and workshops run by the following distinguished speakers such as Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia; Ambassador Deborah Malac, former United States Ambassador to Liberia and Board Chair of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Foundation, and Jamie Cooper, EJS Center Board Member; Founding Chairperson and President, Big Win Philanthropy.
Others include Dr. Kesete Admasu, CEO, Big Win Philanthropy; Renee Ngamau, Life Coach, Lawyer; Professor Angela Ofori-Atta, Inaugural Board Member, EJS Center; Dr. Chris Fomunyoh, Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa, National Democratic Institute; Madam Eva Barboni, Founder and CEO, Atalanta.
The speakers are also K. Riva Levinson, President and CEO, KRL International; Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, Executive Director, EJS Center; Amini Kajunju, Chief Operating Officer, EJS Center; and Rumbidzai Chisenga, Director of Programs, EJS Center
Brief About the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development
The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center) was founded in 2018 to be a catalyst for political and social change across Africa by helping unleash its most abundant latent power — its women.
The EJS Center aims to amplify the voice of women and girls in all spheres of life by increasing the representation of women in public service leadership roles in Africa.
Through a unique blend of programming, advocacy, archival research, and museum exhibitions, the EJS Center seeks to become a premier institution dedicated to advancing and sustaining women’s political and social development on the continent.
Through its work, the EJS Center envisions more voices heard, talents unleashed, and leaders launched that prioritize the aspirations of women. Its mission is to champion women’s ascension to the highest levels of leadership and challenge systemic barriers to girls’ and women’s advancement.
As the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led Liberia from 2006-2018. Having been recognized internationally for her leadership, she is passionate about supporting the next generation of women in public life across the continent.
Amujae Leaders 2021
The Amujae 2021 Leaders including the following personalities: Tejumola Abisoye, Development Expert, Lawyer, Youth Advocate, Nigeria; Farida Bedwei, Tech Entrepreneur, Disability Rights Advocate, Author, Ghana; Dagmawit Moges Bekele, Minister of Transport, Member of House of People’s Representatives of Ethiopia; Susan Grace Duku, Activist, Refugee, Advocate, South Sudan; Dr. Yakama Manty Jones, Economist, Lecturer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Sierra Leone; Isata Kabia, Social Entrepreneur, former MP, Minister; Sierra Leone; Bogolo Kenewendo, Economist, Former Minister, Gender and Youth Activist, Botswana; Eng. Ghada Labib, Deputy Minister for Institutional Development at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), Egypt.
Others are: Angèle Makombo, Political Advisor, Party Leader, – Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Fatoumatta Njai, Parliamentarian, Women’s Leadership Advocate, The Gambia;
Ifeyinwa Maureen Okafor, Government Advisor, Corporate Director, Nigeria; Umra Omar, Humanitarian, Community Development Strategist, Gubernatorial Candidate, Kenya; Dr. Adaeze Oreh, Doctor, Healthcare Advocate, Author, Speaker, Nigeria; Telia Urey, Businesswoman, Politician, Activist, Liberia, and Anne Waiguru, Economist, Governor, Kenya.