Former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf today celebrates her eightieth (80th) birth anniversary, nine months after she transferred power to President George Weah, himself an October born.The celebration of this year’s birthday comes as the former President last week bagged another accolade, this time Mrs. Sirleaf was inducted in to the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Hall of Fame.
At the ceremony which took place in the U.S. State of Florida, Mrs. Sirleaf was inducted alongside Alice Walton, joining iconic leaders like Coretta Scott King, Rosa Park, Wangari Maathai and Ruth Bader Ginsburg This is the second international highest honor Mrs. Sirleaf has received so far since she stepped down as president in January this year at the end of her second term.
In February this year, she became the first woman to win the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, in recognition of her efforts to rebuild Liberia following years of civil wars.Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mrs Sirleaf became president in 2006, three years after the second civil war had ended, and was re-elected for a second term in 2011.
“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,” Salim Ahmed Salim, chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s prize committee, said when he announced Mrs. Sirleaf as winner back in February.
The Mo Abraham foundation said at the time that Liberia was the only country out of 54 to improve in every category and sub-category of the foundation’s Index of African Governance since 2006 under Mrs. Sirleaf’s regime.
Categories include safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.It is not yet clear how Mrs. Sirleaf is going to celebrate her birthday this year as it comes amidst controversy over a “missing 15.5 billion” Liberian bank notes.
Mrs. Sirleaf has repeated stated that every document regarding monies and transaction during her tenure were handed over to the current administration.