Former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, yesterday became the first woman to win the $5 million Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, in recognition of her efforts to rebuild her country following two devastating civil wars.This is coming after two consecutive occasions where no African ex leader was found worthy of the prestigious award.
Announcing the decision, Chairman of the Prize Committee, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, said “Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took the helm of Liberia when it was completely destroyed by civil war and led a process of reconciliation that focused on building a nation and its democratic institutions.
Throughout her two terms in office, she worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of Liberia. “Such a journey cannot be without some shortcomings and, today, Liberia continues to face many challenges. Nevertheless, during her twelve years in office, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf laid the foundations on which Liberia can now build.”
Johnson-Sirleaf became President of Liberia on January 16, 2006, after winning the 2005 national elections. She served her first term 2006- 2011 and was re-elected for a second term, serving in office 2012-2017.