South Africa Bestows High Honor on Former President Sirleaf
Report by Lennart Dodoo, [email protected]
Monrovia – South Africa has recognized and appreciated former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s for her exceptional contribution to women’s leadership in the African continent by tenaciously containing conflicts in a volatile region while ensuring recovery and development of newly founded democracies in Africa.
As former President Sirleaf was receiving the Mo Ibrahim Peace Prize in Kigali, Rwanda, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marjon Kamara, was simultaneously receiving on behalf of Madam Sirleaf the Order Of The Companions of OR Tambo In Gold bestowed on her by the South African government.
The award was given in Pretoria, South Africa on April 28, 2018.
The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo is awarded in three categories to eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore concerned primarily with matters of peace, cooperation, international solidarity and support and is integral to the execution of South Africa’s international and multilateral relations.
Madam Sirleaf was awarded along His Excellency Mr Joaquim Alberto Chissano, former President of Mozambique; His Excellency Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire (Posthumous), former President of Botswana and His Excellency Dr. Samuel Daniel Sam Nujoma of Namibia.
Presenting the award to Madam Sirleaf at her residence, Madam Kamara said the former President is still being highly recognized internationally because she has been a trailblazer for what women can do.
“Let me congratulate the President and really thank her for everything she has done to lift the profile of womanhood and to let the world know that we can do if we’re given the opportunity,” she said.
Decorating Madam Sirleaf with the ornaments of the award, South African Ambassador to Liberia, Vanapalan Punjanathan Moodley, said it was an honor bestowed on him to deliver the letter on behalf his President, Cyril Ramaphosa, informing her that she is a recipient of the award.
Former President Sirleaf thanked President Ramaphosa for the recognition and dedicated the award to “all the women and men of Liberia and of Africa who have with me to be able to grow past the challenge that we face and be able to have a democratic transition in January 2018”.
President Sirleaf recalled when she worked in South Africa at the United Nations African Bureau and how she was inspired by South African women pursuing their dreams.
According to Madam Sirleaf, she was particularly touched by the award because it was given by an African country.
“I can receive the awards and honors from countries all over the world but what touches me is when its from your own – Mo Ibrahim, South Africa, many other African countries – those are the ones I really cherish. When your own recognizes you for what you have done, that’s the greatest recognition that you can receive.”
She said she hopes the award and her achievements would inspire women and young girls around the world who dream big believing that dreams come true if they pursue and have the perseverance.