Joseph Boakai: Getting to Know Liberia's New President

Joseph Boakai is the President of Liberia after winning the presidential election. Boakai defeated incumbent President George Weah in a closely contested race. For many Liberians, their new president is a relatively unknown political figure. This article will provide some background on who Joseph Boakai is and how he rose to Liberia’s highest office.

Joseph Boakai biography

Joseph Boakai was born on November 30, 1944, in Foya District, Liberia. He comes from a modest upbringing, born into a rural farming family. Boakai has described growing up studying by kerosene lamp and walking several miles to attend school each day. This instilled a strong work ethic from a young age.

After graduating from Liberia College in 1968, Boakai earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Liberia in 1972. He later received a Master’s in Public Administration from Rutgers University in New Jersey during the 1980s.

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Joseph Boakai age: How old is Joseph Boakai?

Joseph Boakai is 79 years old as he was born on November 30, 1944, in Foya District, Liberia.

Professional Background

Before entering politics, Boakai worked as an auditor and accountant for various companies in Liberia. He was Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company and later worked as a project manager for the World Bank in Liberia. This experience helped equip him with financial expertise.

Early Political Career

Boakai’s political career began when he was elected to the Liberian Senate to represent Lofa County in 1984. He would go on to serve as a Senator for over 30 years. During this time, he chaired committees on agriculture and finance. Boakai played an influential role in drafting Liberia’s new Constitution in 1986.

In 2005, Boakai was chosen by newly elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to serve as Vice President of Liberia. He was re-elected Vice President when Sirleaf won a second term in 2011. As Vice President for 12 years, Boakai gained important experience in the executive branch.

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Presidential Election

After serving loyally under President Sirleaf for over a decade as her Deputy, Boakai decided to run for President himself in the 2017 election. He secured the nomination as the Unity Party candidate, with President Sirleaf’s blessing. However, Boakai lost the 2017 race to former soccer star George Weah.

Over the next few years, Boakai remained firm in his conviction to run again and correct the country’s course. In 2022, he secured the opposition’s nomination and campaigned vigorously, criss-crossing the nation. Boakai pledged to bring stability and prosperity back to Liberia. His persistence and policy platform resonated with voters.

In the December 10 runoff, Boakai defeated the incumbent Weah by just over 2% to become President-elect. At age 78, he will be Liberia’s oldest president at inauguration, bringing decades of experience.

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The Road Ahead

Joseph Boakai’s long record of public service has prepared him for the monumental task of leading Liberia. With the country facing economic turmoil and post-civil war reconstruction efforts still lagging, the new President will have to act swiftly. Having overseen the nation’s finances as Vice President, Boakai seems up to the challenge. Only time will tell how his tenure plays out.

Joseph Boakai wife

Is Joseph Boakai married? Joseph Boakai is married to Kartumu and they have four children. He is a Baptist and a deacon of Effort Baptist Church.


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