Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Meets With President Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 13, 2009

Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary | Behind the Scenes PhotosToday, Secretary Clinton met with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Monrovia, Liberia. Secretary Clinton said:"Today, Liberia is a model of successful transition from conflict to post-conflict, from lawlessness to democracy, from despair to hope. For the last three years, the people of this country have been working to promote reform, reconstruction, and reconciliation. Liberia has adopted sound fiscal policy and seen strong economic growth. We just had a briefing about that, and it is impressive the way that Liberia has decreased its debt, which was run up, of course, during years of conflict, and has had a high rate of GDP growth over these last years. And the government is inclusive, especially for women, which I take great pleasure in noting.

President Sirleaf and I and her cabinet members and the members of government spoke about the work ahead. There is a very clear sense of direction that this government has demonstrated, and, of course, we have to continue to provide the support that Liberia so richly deserves."

Read Secretary Clinton's remarks with President Sirleaf-Johnson or more about her trip to Africa.



Best F.
August 14, 2009

BNEF writes:

Well, its great to hear about this fact. The meeting is not so important but the matter discussed in the meeting is most important.

District Of Columbia, USA
August 14, 2009

Rebecca in Washington, DC writes:

Inspiring rhetoric clearly reported, accompanied by an apt clip.

Thank you, Dipnote.

District Of Columbia, USA
August 14, 2009

Becky in Washington, DC writes:

More ESJ and HRC, please.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the
August 14, 2009

Alexandra in the Democratic Republic of the Congo writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton,

This has been my summer of getting to know you. Granted, I've known who you were since I was six years old and your husband became president. I knew very little about politics then, all I know is that when I asked my father if he was voting for Clinton or Bush he told me very sternly that we were a family of Democrats. You see, my father, an immigrant from the Caribbean came to this country in 1958, when cultural, political, and racial revolutions were beginning to take the world by storm. It was the year Ghana became the first sovereign African nation. A combination of his personal history, and my own, as a woman of color in the United States, made me a fervent supporter of President Obama during his campaign, on a political, emotional, and human level, that is still quite ineffable for me. And so, once again, I did not really get to know you during the long months of the primary campaign. And then I came to Congo. Working here in the Congo has been a dream of mine since early in my college career. Not many people dream of working in conflict zones, but it was the era of my own father's emigration to the United States that drew me to the history of this country, and instilled in me a need to understand, and to help contribute to the solution of what went wrong here after the dream of independence and revolution faded into violence and corruption. The first thing I noticed when I started to settle in here in Bukavu was how aware of my gender I felt. I was one of very few women in my office, and only a quick look at the statistics on sexual violence here in Congo makes one shudder. I had gotten used to a certain veil over gender inequality that has descended upon the U.S., that I had taken for granted how damning it can be to be a woman in some of the world's most dangerous places. And then, you arrived. For me, you arrived weeks before you set foot in Kinshasa on August 10. You arrived when I was visiting Kinshasa, sitting in the apartment of my country director, Lena Slachmuijilder, who you would later meet, and I came across your memoirs. I picked up the book and didn't put it down for most of the time I was away from the office. In the early chapters I got to know Hillary Clinton when she was my age, 23, right out of college, and trying to understand how and where to apply her strengths, how to address her weaknesses, and the realities of being a woman in the workplace. I got to know Hillary Clinton when she was traveling around the world, discovering both the plight and the enormous potential of millions of women around the world, harsh truths, but inspiring possibilities that I have encountered all summer. When I saw the picture of Lena and you addressing the students of COJESKI, I felt so proud to be an American woman, slowly discovering what you have spent a lifetime revealing for others. It took me a long time, and a very long trip away from home, for me to get to know you, Madame Secretary, but I am very happy that I did. Thank you for inspiring women around the world even when they don't realize they are being inspired.

With sincere gratitude,
Alexandra Jacobs
Intern, Search for Common Ground, Bukavu, Dem. Republic of Congo

Virginia, USA
August 24, 2009

Michelle in Virginia writes:

It's so nice to see coverage of a powerful woman deep in conversation with another powerful woman, for once. Really listening to one another and understanding each other more deeply than a male leader could.


Latest Stories

November 8, 2010

DipNote: The Week in Review

Writing for the U.S. Department of State, DipNote Associate Editor Sarah Goldfarb highlights events that took place from November 1-7,… more