The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa (TanaForum.org) Secretariat has today announced that the President of the Republic of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will be the keynote speaker at the sixth Tana Forum to be held on 22 to 23 April 2017.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th and current President of Liberia. She won the 2005 presidential election taking office on 16 January 2006, and was re-elected in 2011. She is the first elected female head of state in Africa.
In June 2016, she was elected as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), making her the first woman to occupy the position.
President Sirleaf was jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen.
The women were recognized “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
“Having President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the keynote speaker is a great success for the Forum” says Michelle Ndiaye, Tana Forum Secretariat Head.
“She can use her leadership to highlight on the role of the state in natural resource governance and to call for a proper inclusion of women in all debates that focus on the utilisation of natural resources in Africa.”
Held every year in the northern Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar, the Tana High-Level Forum is an informal gathering of heads of state and government; leaders of regional organisations; civil society; the private sector; and eminent scholars and practitioners.
This year’s theme, “Natural Resource Governance in Africa“, aims to reflect on the centrality of natural resources, both in historical as well as in contemporary times, in understanding the far-reaching implications on state-society relations within the continent, and Africa’s disadvantageous position in global production and exchange.