Sirleaf Joins Obama at Mandela’s Centenary

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Flashback: Madam Sirleaf with Ex-South African President Jacob Zuma in 2008.

Former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is currently in South Africa to participate in celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela’s birth, a dispatch has said.

On Tuesday, July 17, according to the dispatch, former United States President Barack Obama delivered the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture.

It may be recalled that in 2008, former President Sirleaf delivered the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tuesday’s lecture was preceded by a panel discussion that featured former President Sirleaf, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the former Foreign Affairs Minister of Algeria Lakhdar Brahimi at the Obama Foundation gathering of young African leaders.

Those events were also preceded by the launch of the “Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Program,” a year-long initiative of leaders of Africa that will connect 200 emerging leaders from across the African continent to take on challenges in their communities.

Four Liberians, including H. Zaizay, Gbovadeh Gbilia, Jarius Greaves and Mlen-Too Wesley, were selected to form part of the inaugural class of the “Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Program.”  They joined 196 young leaders from 43 other African countries to benefit from a year-long leadership development and civic engagement program aimed at training, supporting, and connecting emerging African leaders as a means to creating positive change in their communities.

In a related development, Madam Sirleaf will today join the Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights, in highlighting the extraordinary contributions made by a group of 100 brilliant grassroots organizations.

Those organizations, classified as “Sparks of Hope,” are positively impacting communities in Africa and across the globe.

As part of today’s events, Madam Sirleaf will again join a panel discussion with Madam Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Raj Panjabi, Co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health, which is one of the “100 Sparks of Hope.”

Today’s discussion will center on world peace, access to health, justice, and equality.

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