Liberia: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center Announces third Cohort of “Amujae” Women

.... “There is no program like the Amujae Initiative out there, and it fills me with the hope that another 12 brilliant African women will be joining the sisterhood to continue their development as public leaders," says the Interim EJS Center Executive Director, Oley Dibba-Wadda.

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development  (EJS Center) has announced the third cohort of accomplished African women set to join its flagship program, the Amujae Initiative. 

The initiative was launched in 2020 by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with the aim of inspiring and preparing women to unapologetically take up roles and excel in the highest echelons of public leadership and, crucially, to bring other women along. 

The third cohort is made up of 12 women leaders from 10 countries across the African  continent. They include current government ministers, members of parliament, senior  government advisors, and activists engaged with issues ranging from economic development to  gender equality and youth empowerment. 

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said:  “I am incredibly proud to be welcoming the EJS Center’s third cohort of Amujae Leaders.  These 12 women have already demonstrated staggering success over the course of their careers and have the ambition and commitment to enact real change as public leaders.  They follow in the footsteps of our first and second cohorts who continued to go from  strength to strength and will undoubtedly serve as sisters and supporters as our new  leaders embark on their Amujae journey.”

Meanwhile, the Interim EJS Center Executive Director, Oley Dibba-Wadda, added:  “There is no program like the Amujae Initiative out there, and it fills me with the hope that  another 12 brilliant African women will be joining the sisterhood to continue their  development as public leaders." 

"As an Amujae Leader myself, I know all too well the enriching and joyous journey our third cohort is about to embark on. Their first and second cohort sisters stand ready and  waiting to welcome and support them on their own unique leadership journeys.” 

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center) was  founded in 2018 to be a catalyst for political and social change across Africa by helping unleash  its most abundant latent power — its women. 

The EJS Center aims to amplify the voice of women and girls in all spheres of life by increasing the representation of women in public service leadership roles in Africa.  Through a unique blend of programming, advocacy, archival research, and museum exhibitions,  the EJS Center seeks to become a premier institution dedicated to advancing and sustaining women’s political and social development on the continent. 

Through its work, the EJS Center envisions more voices heard, talents unleashed, and leaders  launched that prioritize the aspirations of women. Its mission is to champion women’s  ascension to the highest levels of leadership and challenge systemic barriers to girls’ and  women’s advancement. 

As the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led Liberia from 2006-2018. Having been recognized internationally for her leadership, she is passionate about supporting the next generation of women in public life across the continent. 

The 2023 cohort of Amujae Leaders consists of 12 women, all recognized as leaders in their  spheres of work.  

1. Hon. Peggy Onkutlwile Serame - Minister of Finance, Botswana 

2. Dr. Grace Ayensu-Danquah – Gender Advocate and Humanitarian Surgeon, Ghana  3. Ms. Seregbe Keita - Public Policy Analyst and Development Expert, Guinea  4. 

Mrs. Sona Traore Sesay - Educator, Policymaker, and Social Justice Leader, Liberia 

5. Hon. Emma Theofelus - Member of Parliament and ICT Deputy Minister, Namibia 

 6. Ms. Chipokota Mwanawasa – Policy Advisor to the President, Zambia  7. 

Gladys Wanga – Governor of Homa Bay County, Kenya 

8. Cllr. Moriah K.D. Yeakula – Lawyer, Feminist and Political Activist, Liberia  9. 

Ms. Fatou Jagne Senghore - Founder of the Center for Women’s Rights and Leadership,  The Gambia 

10. Hon. Joyce Chitsulo - Member of Parliament, Mwanza West Constituency, Tanzania  11. Hon. Joanah Mamombe - Member of Parliament for Harare West Constituency,  Zimbabwe  

12. Ms. Chilando Nakalima Chitangala - Mayor of Lusaka, Zambia