Political Science

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“THE CHALLENGES OF LEADERSHIP IN POST- CONFLICT AFRICA: THE CASE OF LIBERIA.”

BY

HER EXCELLENCY ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA

AT

THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES,
LONDON, MAY 31, 2006

Mr. Chairman
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:

Let me begin by thanking the distinguished Governing Board, the membership and the staff of your Institute for this invitation to dialogue with you and, by so doing, join the array of other world leaders who have addressed this body. I will also use this opportunity to express thanks and appreciation to the British public for keeping faith with us as a people by way of the immutable public broadcasting body, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which over the past several years played no small role in bringing the plight of our people and country to the attention of a global audience.

Today, I invite you and the rest of the good people of this great country to join us in savoring the dawn of a new dispensation in my country – one that embodies the hopes and aspirations of the majority of Liberians. I am confident that my Government can also count on the support of the Government and people of this country to see us through our journey toward achieving national renewal after decades of conflict.

Academic studies on the evolution of leadership in Africa take note of the fact that the liberation leaders of the continent were nationalistic, selfless and visionary—leaders who put the interest of the state over and above parochial considerations. The immediate post-colonial ,and indeed post-apartheid, period bear testimony to this.

Notwithstanding capacity limitations, several of these leaders, notably Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Patrice Lumumba and Gamal Abdul Nasser, inspired their people and exuded a high sense of nationalism and patriotism in most of…...

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