Big Win partners with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on new initiative to advance women’s public leadership across Africa

Big Win is proud to be supporting the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development as it embarks on a mission to advance women’s public leadership across Africa.

Founded by the first democratically elected woman head of state in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Center was created to be a catalyst for change across the continent, by helping unleash its most abundant untapped power — its women.

In addition to providing support for the launch of the Center, Big Win has partnered in designing and implementing its flagship program, the Amujae Initiative. Derived from a phrase in Kru, a Liberian local dialect, Amujae (ä mōō jāēē) means ‘we are going up’. The Initiative’s mission is to inspire and prepare women to unapologetically take up roles in the highest echelons of public leadership across Africa, and to bring other women along.

Speaking about the launch of the Initiative in an interview with Thomson Reuters Foundation, Sirleaf said:

“We’re creating this wave of women who are ready to take high-level leadership positions in society, and they’re going to do it unabashedly, they’re going to go for it intentionally.”

During her speech at the inauguration of the Center, Sirleaf elaborated on the support that the Initiative would provide to accomplished women leaders across Africa:

“Our ambition is to help capable women across the continent achieve their goals in political life and public service, to provide a lift for emerging public leaders. We aim to create a real and virtual space where women and girls can learn from, and lean on, one another, a network with peers across the continent. A place to gain skills in leadership organization, fundraising, research and polling techniques, and most importantly, become each other’s advocates and storytellers.”

The first cohort of ‘Amujae Leaders’ taking part in the program come from countries across Africa. With backgrounds in law, government, business, education and activism, their achievements are as varied as their origins, but they all have a common purpose; to serve their countries and advocate for their fellow women.

Big Win chair and president, Jamie Cooper, outlined why we have been excited to support the Center and the Amujae Initiative since their inception:

“Our aim is to bolster the cadre of public service leaders on the African continent driven to deliver better futures for their children and young people.  This first class of Amujae Leaders embody the passion, talent and drive to improve their countries that we want to see serving in the highest levels of leadership.”

Big Win has worked with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for several years, first partnering during her tenure as president of Liberia to support the country’s ambitious education agenda. We are delighted to continue this close working relationship to support the next wave of African women in public leadership.