Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected home today Monday February 19, after receiving the 2017 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership.
Mrs. Sirleaf is the fifth winner of the prize since it was first awarded in 2007 to Mozambique’s former President Joaquim Chissano. Other previous winners are Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia (2014), Pedro Pires of Cabo Verde (2011), Festus Mogae of Botswana (2008).
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation Prize Committee praised Mrs. Sirealf’s “exceptional and transformative leadership, in the face of unprecedented and renewed challenges, to lead Liberia’s recovery following many years of devastating civil war”.
Ahead of the former president’s return today, the Mano River Union has sent a message of congratulation to Mrs. sirleaf on the award of the most prestigious and converted Mo Ibrahim prize for leadership in Africa.
In a press release issued Friday from the MRU Secretariat in Freetown Sierra Leone, the Secretary General Amb. Medina Wesseh, expressed immense pride and joy in the selection of Africa’s first woman elected president for this Continental Prize in good stewardship and leadership.
The MRU stressed the particular emphasis made by the award committee which recognized Mrs. Sirleaf’s exemplified transformational leadership during her 12 years as President of Liberia.
The MRU said it is convinced that the Sub region of the four member states are living testimonies of the veracity of transformation where the image of region has positively changed itself into a region of peace and general stability from the immediate distant past when the world saw only chaos and insurrection. Under her watch the then Liberian President made it a cornerstone of her foreign policy that no inch of Liberian soil would ever again be used to cause instability in any of its neighbors.
The release said former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf not only ensured peace within her country but when she chaired the MRU and beyond, encouraged dialogue and discourse in the governance and development agenda of the member states toward regional integration.
The MRU said it believes that this award will not only help to strengthen the democratic culture of governance and peace building but will be highlighted in every country in the MRU to encourage all and most especially women leaders to emulate the life and works of Former President of Liberia.-Othello B. Garblah