Looking back at 2023: Celebrating a year of achievements at the EJS Center

Championing women’s leadership and equal representation in public and private life is a mission that the EJS Center is determined to advance in Liberia and across the African continent.

Every year, the accomplishments and milestones achieved in pursuit of this mission continue to grow in reach and impact, and 2023 has been no exception. From influential African and international fora, to expanding networks of accomplished women leaders, we have worked to amplify the voices of African women and help propel them to the highest levels of leadership.

The 78th session of the UN General Assembly, which took place in September, was a unique opportunity to highlight the crucial importance of inclusive governance for sustainable development. Bringing together leaders, activists, and a wide range of stakeholders at two side events, the EJS Center and its partners examined the most effective strategies to advance women’s participation in decision-making, as well as pathways toward evidence-driven inclusive governance in Africa.

In 2023, the EJS Center welcomed the third cohort of Amujae Leaders into its flagship Amujae Initiative, increasing the total number of distinguished African women in the program to 42 since its launch in 2020.

These women are “respected and admired for their integrity, for their passion, for their support,” as described by our founder, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in her address at the 2023 Amujae Leadership Forum in Nairobi. The Forum offered the newest cohort a unique chance to join Amujae coaches, mentors, and fellow Amujae Leaders in workshops, activities, and discussions around women’s leadership in Africa and their own journeys as public leaders.

In 2023, Madam Sirleaf also took to the stage at various international events and was recognized for her transformative influence on women’s leadership in Liberia and across Africa.

Receiving the TIME100 Impact Award, she encouraged women to pursue the goal of leadership and called for equity and justice in all spheres of life. She also highlighted the unparalleled contribution that women bring to development and progress in Africa in her participation in this year’s Women Deliver Conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

This year also marks 20 years since the signing of the Accra Peace Agreement that ushered in a new era of peace in Liberia, cemented the role of women as peacebuilders, and paved the way for Madam Sirleaf’s election. Marking this anniversary, the EJS Center held an inter-generational dialogue with various key partners highlighting the role women play in maintaining peace and exploring opportunities for their meaningful participation in democratic processes.

Bringing Madam Sirleaf’s leadership legacy to a wider audience, a major new partnership between Madam Sirleaf and Harvard Library was announced in 2023. Through this innovative agreement, Madam Sirleaf’s personal and professional archives will be preserved and made publicly available for the benefit of researchers and the wider academic community in Liberia, Africa, and across the globe. 

The EJS Center is proud of the milestones achieved throughout 2023. The partnerships and international events and collaborations, in addition to the growing network of Amujae Leaders, are changing the landscape of public leadership in Africa. The momentum of these achievements will continue into the new year and add further impetus to our mission to champion women’s leadership on the continent. 

Learn more about some of the key events in the last few months in our latest newsletter.

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