Mo Ibrahim Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: ‘Democracy is spreading in Africa’

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (picture-alliance/dpa/EPA/EFE/J. Lizon)

Liberia’s former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is in Rwanda to receive the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. She spoke to DW in an exclusive interview about her record as leader of post-war Liberia.

Governance is changing on the African continent, says Liberia’s former president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “Look around and see how many peaceful transitions have taken place,” she told DW, saying that more African leaders were willing to make way for their successor after two terms.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first woman to receive the prestigious Ibrahim Prize, awarded to African leaders for good governance and commendable leadership. Sirleaf took to office after Liberia emerged from a 14-year-long civil war. The country’s progress was devastated again during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak. Sirleaf remains one of the only female heads of states to have served on the African continent. She served two terms in office and handed over leadership to her successor George Weah in January 2018.

While Sirleaf is criticized for Liberia’s struggling infrastructure development and the handling of corruption in her administration, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said Liberia was the only African country to improve in every category of the organization’s Ibrahim Index of African Governance. Former Ibrahim prize laureates include South Africa’s Nelson Mandela and Botswana’s Festus Mogae. Ahead of the award ceremony, she spoke to DW in an exclusive interview.

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Source: DW | News Now |

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