Red Carpet Welcome for Ellen in Paris
While Francophone African Heads of State are bumping into each other to be received by François Hollande, the latter is rolling out the red carpet for the President of Liberia.
France took the lead by inviting Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for an official working visit in Paris on the 7th of November 2012, where she will receive the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor (the highest distinction of the country) at the Elysée Palace.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 2011, the first female Head of an African State, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is and will remain a symbol of democratization of Africa, something which is dear to Mr. Hollande. Critics on the management of her administration are not rare, even from her compatriot and co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, Leymah Gbowee.
During the visit, the two Heads of State will discuss the strategy that should be defined by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to recover the north of Mali. Liberia is still reluctant to send military forces because of homeland security, but supports the idea democratically.
However, it’s more the economic cooperation which Monrovia is concerned about. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will also meet Nicole Bricq, the French Minister for Foreign Trade, and will have a long working lunch at Medef (the French Business Confederation), with some private meetings.