First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her success in steering Liberia to stability and development in the last nine years.
The First Lady said the President’s leadership has been tested and proved as demonstrated by the way she handled the devastating Ebola virus that hit her country recently.
The First Lady was speaking Monday evening when she presented the Liberian President with this years’ Socio Economic and Sustainable Development Award in recognition of her contribution in championing the cause for women in business.
The event took place during a business dinner in honour of the visiting Liberian President held at the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi.
“The award that we are presenting to you this evening is our way of recognising you as a business role-model not only in Liberia but also in Africa,” said the First Lady.
She pointed out that the expected accession of Liberia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) during the upcoming tenth WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi was proof of President Sirleaf enormous contribution in championing the cause of women in business not only in Liberia but also Africa as a whole.
In Kenya, said the First lady, Kenyan women have made great strides in business which has in turn contributed to their socio- economic development.
“Women have broken down barriers and entered into sectors that in the past have been dominated by men,” affirmed the First Lady.
Adding; “The impact made by women in the corporate and business world have been recognised most recently in the Top 40 Women under 40”.
The First Lady said the new Constitution of 2010 has provided an enabling environment for business initiated and driven by women to thrive.
She said the same constitution also empowers women entrepreneurs by providing them with easily accessible financial incentives through the Women Enterprise Fund.
President Sirleaf applauded the First Lady and the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amb: Amina Mohammed for being role models of true women leadership in the country.
“As a woman am gratified that the vital role of women in national affairs has been recognized and embedded in the current Kenya constitution,” said the Liberian President.
She pointed out that Kenya’s economic success in the East African region and Africa as a whole would not have been possible without the county’s women as they have continuously played a key role in economic development.
She said Kenya’s success in the manufacturing which contributes to more than 10% of the country’s GDP has largely been attributed to the high quality exports of furniture, textile and apparel.
She said Kenya’s exports represent a third of all textile exports in sub-Sahara region under the AGOA programme.
“Undoubtedly Kenyan women are integral and indispensable contributors and partners who are helping to make this a reality,” said the Liberian leader.
Other speakers included Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amb: Amina Mohammed, Vice Chairlady Kenya Association of Manufacturers Flora Mutahi and Executive Director International Trade Centre Arancha Gonzalez.