SUDAN WATCH: Africa to get first female leader

Monday, January 16, 2006

Africa to get first female leader

Harvard educated Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is to be sworn in as Liberia's president, to become Africa's first elected female leader.

The swearing-in ceremony will make Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf Liberia's first elected head of state since the end of 14 years of war in 2003.

Africa to get first female leader

BBC news today reports on the challenges which lie ahead as she begins her six-year term are great:
After a quarter of a century of war and misrule, Liberia's road network is in ruins, there is no national telephone network, no national electricity grid and no piped water.

Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf has also pledged to fight widespread corruption.

A further challenge is to reintegrate the 100,000 ex-combatants, including many former child soldiers, into civilian life.
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Further reading:

Dec 18, 2005 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's story by Helene Cooper, New York Times - An Act of Kindness 20 Years Ago, Resonating Today - Africa's first female president is ready to repay a favour.

Nov 11, 2005 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Liberia's 'Iron lady' claims win.

Oct 16, 2005 Interview: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf - One of two top candidates for Liberian presidency - Liberia's Election: High Turnout and High Hope.
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Quote of the Year

"I am excited by the potential of what I represent - the aspirations and expectations of women in Liberia, African women and women all over the world". - Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, speaking on the eve of her inauguration.

She vowed to restore hope to her country's people and give its children back their youth and future.

Thoughts from some bloggers

Some great links at Jewels in the Jungle and My heart's in Accra lead to:

What was her slogan? "All the men have failed Liberia; let's try a woman"

Super photos at Grandiose Parlor where a commentator informs us "Johnson-Sirleaf is divorced ... almost all news sources refer to her as Ms. Johnson-Sirleaf."

Black Looks writes "In other parts of Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and Nigeria women are waiting in the wings" - and a commentator says "Can't possibly be worse than what the men have done. A good chance it will be better. We have gone without the wisdom of women for far, far too long."

Fire Angel comments "Fact is, in the past we've had a lot of excellent rulers and warriors on our beautiful continent and they just so happen to have been women."

Nigerian Times blogs "First it was Liberia that led the way with the unprecedented election of their First Female President lady Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and now Chile has followed suit by electing their own First Female President, the fearless Michelle Bachelet who was a former political prisoner."
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Yay for equal number of men and women

Note, Bachelet vow on gender equality - The Chilean President-elect, Michelle Bachelet, has pledged to name a cabinet with an equal number of men and women. [Quite right too - leaders around the world ought to follow her example]

1 Comments:

Blogger Black River Eagle said...

Thanks for the Hat Tip on my Liberia post Ingrid. It was wonderful to see the presidential inauguration of this determined and highly intelligent woman, wasn't it? Now the real work begins in Liberia and it won't be easy. Nonetheless I believe President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf will accomplish a lot during her 6-year term in office.

Ironic that such a magnificent change in the modern-day politics of Africa may be followed shortly by one the greatest blunders in the history of the continent: the election of Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to the Presidency of the African Union.

Thursday, January 19, 2006  

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