News

Africa’s Two Female Presidents Confer in Liberia

Malawi's new President Joyce Banda gives a press conference in Lilongwe (file photo).
Malawi's new President Joyce Banda gives a press conference in Lilongwe (file photo).

Multimedia

Audio
  • Butty interview with Sirleaf spokesman Jerolinmek Piah

James Butty

Malawian President Joyce Banda Sunday ended a two-day visit to Liberia where she had discussions with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first-elected female president.

Jerolinmek Piah, Sirleaf's press secretary said the two leaders discussed how best to cooperate to advance women’s issues in Africa.

Specifically, Piah said Banda came to Liberia to thank Sirleaf for her support during Banda’s troubles as Malawi’s vice president.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf sits at a ceremony to mark her second presidential inauguration at the Capitol in Monrovia, Liberia, January 16, 2012.
Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf sits at a ceremony to mark her second presidential inauguration at the Capitol in Monrovia, Liberia, January 16, 2012.

"One of the leaders on the whole African continent who really stood by her, in her [Banda’s] own words, was President Sirleaf.  Now that she’s president of Malawi, she thought it was proper to come to Liberia specifically to show appreciation for all that President Sirleaf did by standing with her during her own very difficult time,” he said.

During a program Sunday organized by Liberia women’s groups, Piah said Banda told them she views Sirleaf as her role model.

“At that gathering, President Banda was very clear that President Sirleaf has been an inspiration and a role model whose example she wanted to copy,” he said.

Piah said Banda noted that part of the reason for Sirleaf’s success was the support she has received so far from Liberian women.

“One of the things she [Banda] thought she could copy is how the women of Malawi could be made to stand by her so that those things that concern women in Malawi and on the continent as a whole can be advanced properly,” Piah said.

He said Liberian women told Banda that they were rooting for her success because they believe the success of women leaders in Africa represents success for African women.

Piah said both leaders also talked about the need for greater partnership in advancing women and children’s issues in Africa.

“Part of the reason why President Banda came was to foster this kind of partnership with President Sirleaf as both of them would be working with the rest of the leaders on the African continent to tackle some of the problems facing women,” Piah said.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs