President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been awarded the ALMA Award of Excellence for her exemplary leadership in the fight against the African killer disease malaria. ALMA is the African Leaders Malaria Alliance and President Sirleaf is the current Chairperson of the Alliance.
Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan received the award on Monday, January 28th in Addis Ababa on behalf of President Sirleaf at a ceremony held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa during the just ended 20th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly.
The award was presented on behalf of ALMA by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the Chairperson of the AU Commission Nkosana Dlamini Zuma.
President Sirleaf was among 13 African leaders who received the 3rd ALMA Award for their exemplary leadership in policy and impact and implementation.
President Sirleaf and Liberia fell in the Policy category where recipients of the awards are leaders of countries that have increased progress in performance for the fight against malaria.
Liberia was recognized for removal of tariffs on anti-malarial commodities, distribution of treated mosquito nets; ban the usage of oral Artemis-based mono therapy and community case management of malaria. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was also recognized for issuing Executive Order #42 for the waiver of taxes and tariffs on anti malaria drugs and commodities.
The ALMA Awards for Excellence were chosen by an independent awards selection committee that comprised high level practitioners from various institutions. They are Dr. Rob Newman from the Global Malaria Program of the World Health Organization, Dr.James Banda of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Dr.Akudo Ikemba of the Friends of the Global Fund, Africa, Professor Fred Binka of the University of Ho of Ghana and Nando's Sherwin Charles.
The selection of the countries for the awards was based upon data in the ALMA Scorecard for Accountability and Action and country Quarterly reports. Other countries that received the ALMA Award for Excellence in the Policy category alongside Liberia were Guinea, Cameroon, Mozambique, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.