Africa's first female president to speak in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Liberia's Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected president of an African country, is scheduled to speak at the University of Tampa commencement.

The 70-year-old is known as the Iron Lady and was imprisoned in the 1980s for criticizing her country's military regime.

University officials say students can learn from Sirleaf's experience bringing peace and stability to Liberia. She became president in 2005, two years after the country emerged from a civil war that killed 200,000 people.

The graduation ceremony is May 9.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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