When the World Bank came to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s rescue

Reading about Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Krissah Thompson’s March 12 Book World review “Rise of an Iron Lady in a proud, complex country” reminded me of a critical role I played in her life, one not known to most. On April 12, 1980, when a coup took place in Liberia, it appeared certain that the key players of the previous regime, including Sirleaf, who had been minister of finance, would be killed. They were being marched in chains through the streets.

At the time, I was the director for West Africa at the World Bank and responsible for Liberia, among other countries. Sirleaf had been a World Bank staff member before she joined the Liberian government. The rules of the bank require that the relationship with the bank be cut off when someone leaves to take a government job.

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Source: News Now/Washington Post

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About Cholo Brooks 15844 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.