This week, Liberia’s former president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was awarded the $5 million Ibrahim prize for African Leadership. Sirleaf is probably best known for receiving the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, along with her Liberian compatriot Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, for their struggle for women’s full participation in peace building. In 2005, Sirleaf became Africa’s first elected woman president, and recently stepped down after two terms as Liberia’s head of state.
Now — at a moment when she’s a bit more controversial, at least domestically — she’s received the Ibrahim Prize, an honor started in 2007 that is designed to encourage good governance. The prize goes to a former head of any country in Africa who was democratically elected — and who turned over power in a constitutional process in the previous three calendar years. President Nelson Mandela received an honorary award in 2007. Sirleaf is the first woman to win.
So, who is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf?
To understand Sirleaf and her administrations, we first need to understand that Liberia’s history has been shaped by tensions among the various indigenous communities of Liberia and Americo-Liberians, descendants of African American settlers who arrived mostly in the 19th century fleeing racism. The …read more
Via:: Monkey Cage