Liberia's Johnson Sirleaf saddened, concerned after Trump win

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

LONDON (Reuters) - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said on Wednesday she was saddened by the fact U.S. voters had not elected a woman president, and expressed concern about what President-elect Donald Trump’s policy toward Africa would be.

Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman to be elected a head of state in Africa, said: “We are extremely saddened by this missed opportunity on the part of the people of the United States to join smaller democracies in ending the marginalization of women.”

In an interview with BBC television, she said that Liberia, a nation founded in the 19th century by freed American slaves, had a long and historical relationship with the United States and she expected that to continue.

“We are concerned as to whether President-elect Trump will have an African agenda, will be able to build bridges with Africa. We can only hope that he will do so in due course.

“I’m worried about trade deals for Liberia, for Africa. I’m worried about investment and the special programs that have been put in place by President Obama and by President George Bush before him, and we just don’t know what the policy towards Africa will be.”

Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Robin Pomeroy