The Elders

Monday 7 November 2022

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2021) Available at: (Accessed: November 2, 2022)

The website provides biographical and cultural context to the life and work of Allen Johnson Sirleaf, the first ever female president in Liberia – and in the whole African continent. She is a figurehead for the promotion of peace and democracy in sub-Saharan Africa, and has greatly contributed to peacebuilding in Liberia after its brutal four-year war and a trauma for the region. She also cared deeply about health, at a time when viruses such as Ebola were ravaging the region.

The case study of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a very concrete example of grassroots peace building, starting from the communities and local organisations, reaching slowly wider organisations and upper levels. Indeed, she herself started building her power from the local communities and lead the protests in front of the presidential palace. from the success of the protests, she herself then became the very resident of the palace, becoming the first female President of Liberia. This case study shows that peace building does not necessarily follow the set out processes theorised and codified by states. They emerge from the contextual specificities of each place and conflict and are important to be able to make the international rules for peace general enough to englobe as many cases as possible.

This website, more broadly, collects biographies of leaders who are working together for peace, equality and human rights, a category to which Sirleaf certainly belongs. The Elders’ programme was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to assemble leaders and encourage cooperation and human rights. More concretely, they support key international programs focused on building a better future globally.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2021) The Elders. Available at: (Accessed: November 2, 2022)

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