By: Collins Jette -Monrovia-Liberia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has given reasons for disbanding her entire cabinet, granting them compulsory leave for reflection and assessment of their performances and what they hope to achieve in the final leg of her administration
The Liberian president said her team is going into the final leg of her administration and it was important to make a sober reflection. She explained. “We are going into the final leg. We have set certain goals; we want to start off in this dry season when we can get most of our work done with as much energy and commitment and dynamism as possible. The whole idea is to say to them, Now, we’re gong to stop, reflect, determine who wants to pursue something else and give them the opportunity to do that, and that those that are already to work will set specific goals for this year and we will judge them by the achievement of those goals, “ the Liberian president said.
Madam Sirleaf who is running for reelection in the 2011 presidential elections said she will be running on her record of moving Liberia from a failed state to once again being a respected country. She said her government is developing long term strategies to build upon the foundation for growth which has been set in Liberia. According to the president, she would consolidate the progress made and achieve target growth rates to improve the lives of people.
The first woman president in Africa made these statements when she met with World Bank Managing Director Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Africare President Dr. Darius Mans in observance of Africares’s 40th anniversary in the United States of America.
Reflecting on the state of affairs, when she took office in 2006, the woman president said a lot has been achieved in transforming the country from a failed state to a developing nation.
She highlighted the success of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and the ‘Lift Liberia ‘strategy, naming the provision of basic social services, debt cancellation, infrastructure development and international recognition as huge success.
She however acknowledged that there are still huge challenges including youth unemployment and efforts to make Liberia self-sufficient in food production.
The Howard trained economist used the occasion to encourage African women to strive for quality education and compete with their male counterparts at all levels. President Sirleaf maintained the women are the future of Africa, a belief which Dr. Okojo-Iweala shared, adding, “Trends around the world show women are more effective and transparent in leadership”. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala received Africare’s 2010 Humanitarian Award for her work at the World Bank in helping to improve the lives of people in Africa.
Also honored were former South African President Nelson Mandela Lifetime Award (received by his daughter and grandson); and Rex Tillerson Corporate Service Award.
Over two thousand persons attended Africare’s 40th anniversary dinner. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the 2007 recipient of the Humanitarian Award, presented it to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala on behalf of Africare. Africare has worked in Africa in the areas of HIV/ AIDS, food security and agriculture and water and sanitation.