EJS Center Founder and former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been named as an “icon” on Forbes Africa’s list of “100 Innovations, Inventions, and Icons from Africa.”
The list is a celebration of Forbes Africa’s 100th issue since the magazine’s inception in 2011. The magazine defined icons as Africans who “have considerable impact and enthrall the world with their exemplary work.”
As the first democratically-elected woman head of state in Africa and a winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, Madam Sirleaf was included amongst 40 icons for “their contribution to the African growth story, be it through their work representing Africa or through their philanthropic and societal impact.”
In an interview for the article, Madam Sirleaf said:
“I am humbled to be considered an African icon. I hope that it will inspire others to work towards causes they are passionate about. I hope that it will have a motivating effect for other women and young girls, encouraging their confidence to set goals and to stay on the path to achieve them.”
Asked what more can be done to close the gender gap in African society, Madam Sirleaf said:
“We need more women to dare to contend for the highest positions of public leadership and to bring other women along with them… Every step we take is a step towards progress, and I’m encouraged by the number of women stepping into leadership roles today.”
Madam Sirleaf is in good company with the other icons named on the list, such as World Trade Organization Director-General and EJS Center Board Member Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former US President Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In March, Madam Sirleaf was also awarded the 2021 Forbes Woman Africa Lifetime Achievement Award.
See the full list of “100 Innovations, Inventions, and Icons from Africa” here.