Sirleaf wins 2017 African Leadership Award
Less than one month after handing over power to George Weah, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has already found a new job as “ambassador” for Liberia in the world. On 12 February, she was granted the 2017 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, in recognition for her efforts to rebuild her country following two civil wars. “As the first woman to receive the award, it is my hope that women and girls across Africa will be inspired to reach for their true potential, to navigate the challenges, break through barriers, and to pursue their dreams. Where there is a first, there comes a second, and a third, and a fourth,” Sirleaf declared. The prize aims to change perceptions of African leadership by “showcasing exceptional role models from the continent.” The USD 5 million (payable over ten-years) is reserved for former African heads of state or government who have left office in the past three years and demonstrated exceptional leadership. The African Leadership Award was established in 2006, but so far only five African leaders were granted the prize: President Nelson Mandela (South Africa, Honorary), President Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique, 2007), President Festus Mogae (Botswana, 2008), President Pedro Pires (Cabo Verde, 2011) and President Hifikipunye Pohamba (Namibia, 2014).