Namibia: Geingob Praises Johnson-Sirleaf

Former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nobel Laureate and past recipient of the African Gender Award and Hage Geingob ahead of Namibia receiving the African Gender Award from Gender is My Agenda Campaign.

President Hage Geingob heaped praise on former Liberian president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf when she paid him a courtesy visit at State House yesterday.

Geingob said he was honoured to host the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

He expressed great respect for Johnson-Sirleaf particularly for being the first female African president and for peacefully vacating office after her term lapsed earlier this year.

"It is a great honour for me to welcome you to Namibia... (the) first democratically elected female president. Successfully completed your two five-year terms. Left the office and recognised by (the) Mo Ibrahim Prize," Geingob said.

He further lauded Johnson-Sirleaf for the role she played when the Ebola epidemic rocked her country.

"You never left the country during that time," said Geingob, adding that Liberia and Ethiopia were the first countries that took Namibia's case for independence to the International Court of Justice.

"I am just trying to connect the relationship and long support we were getting during those days from the people of Liberia," he said.

On her part, Johnson-Sirleaf was equally honoured to be in Namibia, with the visit being her second to the country following the first, two years ago.

Johnson-Sirleaf expressed excitement that Geingob would be awarded the African Excellence Award on Gender 2017 yesterday evening on behalf of Namibia by the gender is my agenda campaign (GIMAC) network.

"Today, I am here to commend you for all that you've done and all that your government has done for the promotion and the empowerment of women in society," she said.

Geingob will be rewarded for his efforts in establishing a legal and policy framework for the promotion and protection of women's rights in Namibia.

He joins presidents Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, both in 2005, Paul Kagame of Rwanda in 2007, Armando Guebuza of Mozambique in 2009 and Johnson-Sirleaf in 2011 as recipients of the award.

She added that Namibia's empowerment of women in executive positions and in parliament has not gone unnoticed.

Johnson-Sirleaf acknowledged that most southern and west African countries have made significant progress regarding women empowerment and that the same, however, cannot be said about East and North Africa.

"There are lessons to be learned and experiences to be shared," she noted.

- Nampa

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