Bong County Senator, Jewel Howard-Taylor, has been awarded the Africa Leadership Forum's 2012 award as the African Female Leader (AFL) of the Year. The Africa Leadership Forum is a not-for-profit organization founded in Nigeria in 1988 by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The primary focus of ALF is to help improve the current quality of leadership in Africa while at the same time helping to train the next generation of leaders for the continent.
One of ALF's significant policy contributions to Africa's development is the initiation, design and promotion of the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA), which was adopted by the then Organization of African Unity [now African Union] in the year 2000 at Lome, Togo during the Assembly of African Heads of States and Government.
Sen. Howard-Taylor, who is also former First Lady of Liberia, on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, received the AFL 2012 award in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. Speaking Thursday, 13 December 2012 in a telephone interview on the local radio talk show, Truth Breakfast Show, Sen. Howard-Taylor atoned that she was so grateful to God for being the 2012 recipient of the AFL Female African Leader of the Year.
She expressed the belief that the award meant to her: "another chance to continue to do the work that I do; it's an encouragement for me to show that the sacrifices that I make in staying stable, working for peace, working for democracy, working for the upliftment of women in Liberia is not lost, and that the work that we're doing is noticed not just at home, but also around Africa.
"For me it [ALF Female African Leader of the Year Award] is a privilege and an honor; I accepted it last night on behalf of the women of Liberia," the former Liberian first lady averred. She stated that: "there are many, many women [Liberian women] who continue to strive, and are role models for young people," adding that: "this award is just for the women of Liberia, I can say."