Africa’s premier program for women public leaders opens applications for third cohort

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 02 December 2021:

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center) has opened applications for accomplished women leaders to join the third cohort of its flagship program, the Amujae Initiative.

Launched in March 2020, the program is aimed at preparing African women to reach the highest echelons of public leadership.

The Amujae Initiative, the flagship program of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development, prepares and supports African women to achieve that goal.

As Amujae Leaders, participants in the program receive world-class mentorship and training. It is the only initiative in the world that is specifically designed to support talented African women leaders through direct coaching from high-level leaders including former heads of state and heads of international organizations, who have forged the path before them. This includes receiving advice and insight from former African women Presidents including Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be democratically elected as president of an African country.

The first two cohorts of Amujae Leaders – a total of 30 women from 16 African countries – include current and former members of cabinet, a governor, members of parliament, a mayor, senior public servants, political party officials, activists, and senior leaders of NGOs.

These women are seeking to shift the landscape for women’s public leadership in Africa and open doors for other women. African women seeking to join this outstanding group of accomplished and ambitious leaders can apply online from 1 December 2021 to 23 January 2022.

Aspiring Amujae Leaders should be women who:

  • Are citizens of and reside in any African country.
  • Have already been invested in a public leadership journey with demonstrable accomplishments. This journey may have evolved in various professional backgrounds and sectors and is not strictly limited to public service. Sectors include but are not limited to public administration, politics, civil society, business, arts, media, sports, education, sciences, etc.
  • Have the ambition to serve at the highest levels of public leadership.
  • Have demonstrated a commitment towards the uplifting/empowerment of other women.
  • Are patriotic, demonstrating commitment and service to their home country/countries.

To announce the opening of applications for the third cohort of Amujae Leaders, Madam Sirleaf said: “Women’s representation at the highest levels of leadership – not just in Africa, but around the world – is essential as we seek to confront our collective challenges and build back more inclusive, resilient societies. The women in the Amujae Initiative are unafraid to show their ambition and use their voices to call for change. I am eager to see the great heights they will reach and the things they will achieve.”

EJS Center Executive Director Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks added: “The Amujae Initiative has created a unique sisterhood of strong, ambitious, and experienced women leaders. The network they have built has come to be an essential source of support and inspiration. As the network continues to grow over the next year, the new cohort of Amujae Leaders will join the effort to shift the landscape for women in public leadership in Africa and bring other women along.”

African women interested in learning more and applying for the program should visit: 

About The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center)

The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center) was founded in 2018 to be a catalyst for political and social change across Africa by helping unleash its most abundant latent power — its women. The EJS Center aims to amplify the voice of women and girls in all spheres of life by increasing the representation of women in public service leadership roles in Africa.

Through a unique blend of programming, advocacy, archival research, and museum exhibitions, the EJS Center seeks to become a premier institution dedicated to advancing and sustaining women’s political and social development on the continent. Through its work, the EJS Center envisions more voices heard, talents unleashed, and leaders launched that prioritize the aspirations of women.

Its mission is to champion women’s ascension to the highest levels of leadership and challenge systemic barriers to girls’ and women’s advancement. As the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led Liberia from 2006-2018. (Photo: Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf met Amujae women in Freetown, hosted by Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr).

Having been recognized internationally for her leadership, she is passionate about supporting the next generation of women in public life across the continent, to advance on their leadership journeys.

The Amujae Initiative is the EJS Center’s flagship program. Amujae, pronounced ӓ mōō jāēē, means ‘we are going up’ in Kru, a Liberian language. Launched on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020, the vision for the Amujae Initiative is to shift the landscape for women in public leadership in Africa, moving from a culture of tokenism to one that truly values women leaders.

The EJS Center inspires and prepares women to unapologetically take up roles and excel in the highest echelons of public leadership, and to bring other women along.

Watch this video to learn more about the EJS Center and its flagship program:

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