Namibian President Hage Geingob has rained praises on former president Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf when she paid him a courtesy visit at that country’s State House over the weekend.
Mr. geingob says he was honored to host the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mrs. Sirleaf. According to a Namibian website, President Geingob expressed great respect for Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf particularly for being the first female African president and for peacefully vacating office after her term lapsed earlier this year.
“It is a great honor for me to welcome you to Namibia… the first democratically elected female president, after successfully completing your two six year terms,” Mr. Geingob is quoted as saying.
He also recalls how Mrs. Sirleaf left office and was recognized by the Mo Ibrahim Prize, further lauding her for the role she played when the Ebola epidemic rocked her country.
“You never left the country during that time,” said Geingob, adding that Liberia and Ethiopia were the first countries that took Namibia’s case for independence to the International Court of Justice.
“I am just trying to connect the relationship and long support we were getting during those days from the people of Liberia,” he said. For her part, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf expressed honor to be in Namibia, with the visit being her second to the country following the first, two years ago.
She expressed excitement that Geingob would be awarded the African Excellence Award on Gender 2017 last week on behalf of Namibia by the gender is my agenda campaign (GIMAC) network.
“Today, I am here to commend you for all that you’ve done and all that your government has done for the promotion and the empowerment of women in society,” the former Liberian President noted.
Geingob will be rewarded for his efforts in establishing a legal and policy framework for the promotion and protection of women’s rights in Namibia.He joins presidents Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, both in 2005, Paul Kagame of Rwanda in 2007, Armando Guebuza of Mozambique in 2009 and Johnson-Sirleaf in 2011 as recipients of the award.
She added that Namibia’s empowerment of women in executive positions and in parliament has not gone unnoticed. Mrs. Sirleaf acknowledged that most southern and West African countries have made significant progress regarding women empowerment and that the same, however, cannot be said about East and North Africa.