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As the first elected female head of state to serve an African country, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia is a pioneer and role model worldwide. 

From her service as a Liberian cabinet minister in the 1970s, a senior United Nations administrator in the 1990s and president since 2006, Johnson-Sirleaf has always been committed to democracy in her country and even earned the nickname "Iron Lady" for her stern discipline and dedication to the cause. 

Shortly after taking office, she initiated poverty reduction programmes and also established Liberia's first Truth and Reconciliation Commission to promote peace and unity after 20 years of civil war. 

Surprisingly, her long-standing political career came about unexpectedly after studying and working in accounting.

As an infant, a community elder visited her family home and announced that "this child will be great"– a prophecy that would eventually reflect her life journey for years to come.

This episode of One on One with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf can be seen from Saturday, December 18, at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0730, 2330; Sunday: 0300; Monday: 0630; Tuesday: 1230; Wednesday: 1430; Friday: 0030.

Source: Al Jazeera