She started political life as first lady of Liberia during the heydays of the West African nation’s civil unrest. Despite the challenges that existed, Madam Jewel Howard-Taylor went into the trenches to lend helping to women and children who were the eventual victims of the war. She went through the turbulence with no stain of blood on her hands according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) investigation into the atrocities that took place in Liberia. Then, the humble people of Bong County requested her service to represent them at the Liberian Senate in 2005. During her also thirteen (13) years of stay at the Liberian Legislature, “Cianeh” as her native kinsmen would call her, raised her voice and took stringent actions to protect the wellbeing of women and children. Then come the next stage of being the first female Vice President of Liberia on the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in a male bullying political sphere: she braved the storm to give women a voice at the highest decision-making table.
These milestones, according to “African Observatory for the Promotion of Good Governance” (OAPGG) –a conglomeration of journalists and communications professionals based in Abijan, the Republic of Ivory Coast, deserve recognition. Hence, the group has awarded its “West Africa’s Most Influential Woman” Award to Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor. The accolade was received on December 20, 2018 by Mr. Ephraim Tunis Teage, Sr. Deputy Director of Protocol in the Office of the Vice President on behalf of his boss lady.
The award, OAPGG said is in recognition of Vice President Howard-Taylor’s “outstanding leadership and stellar examples and advocacy for gender inclusion and empowerment” while serving in different capacities. OAPGG is comprised of 50 senior journalists from across West Africa.
Receiving the award on behalf of the Liberian Vice President, the Deputy Director of Protocol, Mr. Teage, Sr. said Veep Howard-Taylor sees the award as a “welcoming incentive that bears the potential of propelling her to do more.”
He said it will undoubtedly serve as an inspiration to many who will now begin to opt to aspire to earn the attention of this greatly promising organization.
The Deputy Director of Protocol in the Office of the Vice President enunciated since VP Howard-Taylor began her political life, she has uncompromisingly campaigned for good governance in Liberia.
According to Mr. Teage, the Liberian Vice President has not limited her focus to good governance at the national level but also at the community and county levels.
Stressing the critical importance of good governance, the VP was cited as noting that, even if a nation is one of affluence and prosperity, the piercing effects of governance limitations can stymie its growth, undermine prosperity and shortchange its vision.
Mr. Teague further quoted the VP as underscoring the need to pay specific attention to improving, elevating, and sustaining our governance practices; a point that can never be overemphasized.
“Paying greater attention to a vitally important functional area as governance—a sphere that carries such a heavy weight, bearing far-reaching implications on our living conditions, our bottom line, and even our existence, will pay dividends of highly impressive proportions.” Mr. Teage went on to quote the VP to the audience at the awards ceremony.
Others who received awards from the group include Mr. Mahamadou Bonkoungou (EBOMAF), Best Enterprise Personality of West Africa ward; Mr. Tibou Kamara, Minister of State and Legal Counsel to President Alpha Conde’ of the Republic of Guinea. Best Artist for the Promotion of Peace and Development of the Republic of Guinea and Mr. Salfo Sore’, Director General of Bizart Production Best Promoter of Culture of West Africa award, among others.