Former Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf becomes the first woman to receive the Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership Achievement. The special ceremony was held at Kigali Rwanda on the 28 April, 2018.

The Ibrahim prize was established in 2007 by Mo Ibrahim, with the aim of celebrating excellence in African leadership. The prize seeks to celebrate and recognise an African Executive Head of State or Government that was democratically elected, served for a mandated term, has left office in the last three years and also demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities.

The Ibrahim Prize is believed to be the world’s largest form of recognition, with its’ recipient awarded an initial payment of U.S$5million and U.S$200,000 a year for life.

Speaking to guests from Rwanda and around the world, President Sirleaf said:

I am honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. I receive this distinction on behalf of the many women and men who helped to navigate the profound complexities of the post-conflict country that is Liberia. As the first woman to receive this award, it is my hope that women and girls across Africa will be inspired to break through barriers, and push back on the frontiers of life’s possibilities.

Presenting the Prize to President Sirleaf, Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the independent Prize Committee, said:

Madame Sirleaf embodies the type of role model the Prize is intended to honour. It recognises not good leaders – of which Africa has many – but truly exceptional figures, who, by their nature, are rare. We are looking for leaders who leave their country in a far better state than when they took office, who have strengthened the trust of their fellow citizens in state and leadership, and who have built a strong legacy.

The Mo Foundation thereafter stated that the objective of this prize, is to ensure that Africa continues to benefit from exceptional leaders who use the money to develop areas in other public roles on the continent.

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