Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Este archivo solo abarca los artículos del autor incorporados a este sitio a partir el 1 de mayo de 2007. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

The continuation of the war in Ukraine is of great concern to Africa. It is time that Africans spoke out in our continent’s interests.

Even before the war, Africa faced a perfect storm. It suffered from isolation from global supply chains during covid-19, stalling the economic recovery that was beginning to take shape. A debt crisis looms, with 25 African countries in debt distress or at high risk of defaulting, with Zambia and Nigeria among the worst affected. This is all happening against the backdrop of a rapid demographic change. The continent’s population will double to 2.5bn over the next generation, and most of this new cohort will live in cities.…  Seguir leyendo »

Desde el año 1911, las sociedades de todo el mundo han dedicado días, meses e incluso décadas (esto en el caso de África) a la celebración de los logros de las mujeres y a la promoción de soluciones para superar desafíos nuevos y persistentes. Pero en los últimos dos años, la pandemia de COVID-19 ha expandido la difícil situación en la que se encuentran las mujeres a proporciones desmesuradas, poniendo claramente de manifiesto la urgencia del tema del Día Internacional de la Mujer de este año: “Romper con los prejuicios”.

La obligación de cumplir con este deber recae en nosotras, las mujeres del mundo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Portrait of a young woman caught up in the conflict in Cameroon. ‘Although there is no peace process at present, women will need to be included in negotiations when the sides are ready to talk.’ Photograph: Giles Clarke/UNOCHA/Getty

Young girls should never be forced to have sex to get through a security checkpoint. Female activists or rebels should not be relegated to side discussions because of their gender. And women should be able to advocate for peace without fear of reprisals. Yet in Cameroon’s conflict between English-speaking separatists and the government, this is the reality for many women and girls.

Coming to grips with this reality is critical to move beyond the simplistic view that it’s only men who play an active role in the conflict. Women are involved as peace or political activists. Others have joined separatist militias or are key community influencers.…  Seguir leyendo »

This Is What Africa Needs Right Now

How do you tell people that they must leave their community or drown? This was the gut-wrenching decision I faced five years ago, as president of Liberia, when thousands of families in the capital’s largest township saw their homes swept out to sea.

Similar devastation stretches across Africa. Mozambique and Zimbabwe are still struggling to recover from the deadly Cyclone Idai that hit in 2019, and Madagascar is on the brink of famine. As weather patterns become more volatile, irregular rain is common, badly affecting crop and livestock yields. For a continent dependent on agriculture — it accounts for around one-fifth of sub-Saharan Africa’s economic output — the effects of climate change are especially ruinous.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ningún país se salvó de la COVID-19, pero algunos —los «estados más frágiles» del mundo— enfrentan un conjunto de desafíos especialmente difícil. Antes de que llegara la pandemia Yemen, Sudán, Haití, Sierra Leona, Birmania, Afganistán, Venezuela y otros países con dificultades ya estaban agobiados por la pobreza, los conflictos, la corrupción y los malos gobiernos. Ahora estos factores los ponen en una situación especialmente delicada para lidiar con la crisis de la COVID-19.

Para soportar una pandemia, los países necesitan exactamente lo que les falta a los estados frágiles: un gobierno con capacidad institucional para diseñar e implementar un plan de acción integral, policía eficaz para hacer cumplir las normas, programas sociales para entregar dinero y provisiones, y sistemas de salud para atender a los contagiados.…  Seguir leyendo »

Europa y África están inextricablemente vinculadas por la historia, la geografía y la economía. Hoy, garantizar un futuro pacífico y próspero en cada uno de los dos continentes demanda la cooperación de ambos, pero no en una relación donante‑suplicante como la que definió la “cooperación” en el pasado. En vez de eso, las dirigencias de uno y otro lado deben construir una relación estratégica igualitaria que beneficie a Europa tanto como a África, y a África tanto como a Europa.

Las dirigencias africana y europea deben comenzar a sentar los cimientos de esa relación, acordando una estrategia con visión de futuro para resolver los desequilibrios estructurales, aprovechar el impacto positivo de las migraciones y proveer beneficios tangibles a la población, especialmente la que ha quedado rezagada o es particularmente vulnerable al cambio climático.…  Seguir leyendo »

El brote de ébola que comenzó el año pasado en Guinea, Sierra Leona y Liberia, tres de los cuatro países de la Unión del Río Mano, es el más grave registrado desde que en 1976 se diagnosticó esa enfermedad por primera vez en el África central. Las consecuencias de la epidemia han sido devastadoras y han puesto en entredicho los importantes avances socioeconómicos de nuestros tres países después de decenios de conflictos e inestabilidad.

Hasta ahora, esa región ha registrado un total de 25.791 casos y 10.689 muertes, casi diez veces el número de muertes de todas las epidemias de ébola combinadas.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the Ebola nightmare continues in Liberia and as we battle to contain the epidemic, it is important to look beyond the immediate crisis. Many more lives will be lost before this dreadful outbreak is beaten, but to properly honor the memory of the victims we need to ask how it happened in the first place and, more pressingly, how we can prevent it from happening again.

After 30 years of brutal civil and political unrest, Liberia was a nation reborn. We transformed our country from a failed state into a stable democracy, rebuilding its infrastructure and its education and health systems, and enjoying one of the most promising growth records in Africa.…  Seguir leyendo »

As Liberia celebrates 10 years since the signing of the peace accords that ended our devastating series of civil wars, it is right to reflect upon not only the progress the country has made, but also the concurrent transformation of much of Africa.

Twenty years ago, few African countries could be considered democracies, and where elections were held, many were merely showcases for long-entrenched strongmen pretending they had public support. This was an age of coups and man-made disasters. Now, Africa is a continent dominated by young and genuine democracies with many, such as Liberia, emerging from a period of sustained conflict that severely weakened their fundamental institutions of state.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the developed world, reliable energy is something that can be taken for granted. People pay attention only when something goes wrong, like when the power goes out during the Super Bowl, forcing players and fans to sit uncomfortably in the dark for 34 minutes.

In my country, the West African nation of Liberia, living without power has become a way of life. For the past decade, we’ve been digging out from the aftermath of a 23-year civil war that left our energy infrastructure in shambles. In a country of 4.1 million, only about 1 percent of urban residents — and almost no rural residents — have access to electricity.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Saturday I was in Oslo with two of my sisters from Africa, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of — according to the Nobel Prize committee members — our “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

On Tuesday, I will be in Paris to talk more generally about the role of women in shaping Africa’s future and also to pay my respects to the man who created the prize I am taking with me back to Liberia: Alfred Nobel.

It was in Paris in November 1895 that this Swedish inventor, who made a fortune with the invention of dynamite, wrote his last will and testament leaving much of his estate to establishing the prizes that bear his name.…  Seguir leyendo »

Americans are an extraordinarily generous people. As president of Liberia, I have seen firsthand the benefits of this generosity.

From 1980 through 2003, my tiny West African nation was engulfed in conflict that left our infrastructure and economy in tatters. Many of our children missed out on an education, and we still suffer from a critical skills shortage. For nearly 25 years, our judicial system was weak. We have had to tackle a massive external debt and reestablish the rule of law and sound governance.

Even now, eight years after our civil war ended, Liberia faces a huge uphill battle. Even though we have achieved economic growth averaging 7.2 percent since 2006, the basic needs of some 60 percent of our population remain unmet.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ten years ago, heads of state from across the world promised “to spare no effort to free their fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected.” The historic Millennium Declaration was duly adopted and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established, with the aim of reversing the grinding poverty, hunger and disease affecting billions of people.

Ten years is a long time, and many millions will be looking to the United Nations General Assembly’s summit meeting next week to assess progress on the MDGs for a beacon of hope, a chink of light.…  Seguir leyendo »

For more than a decade, much of Africa has been moving forward. Economic growth is rising, poverty is falling and democratic governance is spreading. But the global financial crisis threatens to undo this progress by reducing investment, exports and aid just as they should be expanding to build on these successes.

While international attention has been understandably focused on events in Darfur, Somalia and Zimbabwe, countries across the continent including Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and Liberia have been quietly turning around. Economic growth rates regularly exceed 5 percent in many nations. Since 2000, 34 million more African children are in school. More than 2 million Africans are on lifesaving HIV/AIDS medicines.…  Seguir leyendo »

Americans know what they think about Abraham Lincoln. But what does the world think about him? To mark Presidents’ Day, and Lincoln’s 200th birthday, which took place last week, the Op-Ed editors asked four writers from around the world to describe how Lincoln has influenced their countries.

  1. Hard Working Man. Lincoln, who rebuilt his nation, has inspired Japan's reformers as well.
  2. Undivided Loyalty. Germans admire Lincoln for his success in uniting a country.
  3. Founding Father. Liberia’s democracy is a tribute to Abe Lincoln's values.
  4. Radio Free Lincoln. In Hungary, Lincoln's dream is finally being realized.

Liberians and Americans share a history, and we have a special bond to America’s 16th president. Established in 1847 by freed American slaves, Liberia adopted a red, white and blue flag and named its new capital, Monrovia, after James Monroe.

But it was 15 years before an American administration recognized Liberia as a sovereign nation. As president, Lincoln did what his predecessors had refused to do for fear of offending Southern states.

Liberians might not always remember this history, but our connection with Lincoln lives on.

I know it does in my life. Decades ago, before I ever considered that history might choose me to lead Liberia, I remember visiting the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.…  Seguir leyendo »

La canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, ha colocado a África firmemente en el programa de la cumbre del G-8, que se celebra esta semana. En Liberia y en toda África acogemos con beneplácito su capacidad de mando y agradecemos el apoyo del G-8 a África, en particular sus compromisos en los últimos años de reducir la carga de la deuda, duplicar la ayuda de aquí al 2010 y ampliar el acceso al comercio. Los grandes esfuerzos por parte de los africanos, junto con las inversiones del G-8 y otros asociados, están dando resultados importantes que con frecuencia pasan inadvertidos al mundo exterior.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mi país, Liberia, tiene un escudo que refleja un acontecimiento extraordinario de la historia mundial. Muestra al sol saliendo detrás de un barco del siglo XIX que transportaba africanos que habían sido esclavos en América para empezar una nueva vida aquí, en la costa oeste de África. Ese viaje fue el resultado de un movimiento de personas buenas y justas en varios países del mundo, que consideraron que la esclavitud había sido un terrible error hacia la población de África. El trabajo conjunto de esas personas para poner fin a ese error convirtió Liberia, la tierra de la libertad, en la primera república independiente de África, en 1847.…  Seguir leyendo »