“Iron Lady of Africa” President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Bids Farewell to UN
02 Oct 2017
Marking the close of her final term as President of Liberia, APB speaker and Nobel Peace Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addressed the UN General Assembly, highlighting Liberia’s advances and celebrating an unprecedented transfer of power for a country that endured a decade of civil war.
“Liberia is just 22 days away from historic legislative and presidential elections. It will mark the first time in 73 years that political power will be handed over peacefully and democratically, from one leader to another,” said Sirleaf, a Harvard-trained economist and the first democratically-elected woman head of state in Africa. Sirleaf has attracted international praise for not only stabilizing her war-ravaged country, but moving it substantially forward. Her accomplishments include transforming the economy from a growth rate of less than zero to 8.7% and emerging from the tragedy of the Ebola Crisis to strengthen Liberia’s healthcare systems. Under Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian life expectancy increased from 47 years to 62 and the poverty rate decreased from 63.8% in 2007 to 50.9% in 2016. She also attracted over $16 billion in foreign direct investment and negotiated $4.6 billion in external debt forgiveness.
A noted author of This Child Will Be Great; an economic expert on investments in Africa, the developing world, a staunch defender of human and women rights issues. Sirleaf will turn her attention to public speaking after stepping down in January of 2018. Her U.S. speaking tour will begin this spring.
To learn more about bringing President Sirleaf to your event, contact Holly Goulet.
View highlights of President Sirleaf’s farewell address.