Ellen Johnson SirleafLiberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, activist Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and rights activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen will share this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on October 7, 2011.
Mrs Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia since 2005, was the first woman elected as leader of an African nation.
I have spoken and danced and listened to many Liberian politicians, activists, community leaders since 2009. One thing struck m: Mrs Johnson Sirleaf is serious, and she will pull up Liberia back to its former glory, and better, if she has to do it with her teeth. I listened to the Mayor of Monrovia, Mary Broh, talk about how she is making people behave in Liberia's biggest city; I listened to the President of an engineering university talk about how she had to clear the trees that were growing out of the university buildings.
This all contrasted with what I saw and heard in Sierra Leone, which as Liberia's neighbor, was the target of the rebels and government soldiers and had their own war from 1990 to 2001. I have seen the devastation of the war in West Africa, and I am overjoyed that Mrs Johnson Sirleaf built on the peace movement started by Leymah Gbowee.
Click here for story on Leymah Gbowee, and for MJoTA film review on story of the Liberian war, click here.