WINDHOEK-- President Hage Geingob of namibia has heaped praise on former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf when she paid him a courtesy visit at State House here Tuesday.

Geingob said he was honoured to host the former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner and expressed great respect for Johnson-Sirleaf, particularly for being the first woman African president and for peacefully vacating office after her term lapsed in 2018

"It is a great honour for me to welcome you to Namibia (the) first democratically elected female president. Successfully completed your two five-year terms. Left the office and recognized by (the) Mo Ibrahim Prize," Geingob said.

He further lauded Johnson-Sirleaf for the role she played when her country was rocked by the Ebola epidemic. "You never left the country during that time," said Geingob, adding that Liberia and Ethiopia were the first countries that took Namibia's case for independence to the International Court of Justice.

"I am just trying to connect the relationship and long support we were getting during those days from the people of Liberia," he said.

Johnson-Sirleaf said she was equally honoured to be in Namibia, with the visit being her second to the country following the first two years ago.

She expressed excitement that Geingob would be awarded the African Excellence Award on Gender 2017 on Tuesday evening on behalf of Namibia by the Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network.

"Today, I am here to commend you for all that you've done and all that your government has done for the promotion and the empowerment of women in society," she said.

Geingob was to be honoured for his efforts in establishing a legal and policy framework for the promotion and protection of women's rights in Namibia.

He joins presidents Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, both in 2005, Paul Kagame of Rwanda in 2007, Armando Guebuza of Mozambique in 2009 and Johnson-Sirleaf in 2011 as recipients of the award.

She added that Namibia's empowerment of women in executive positions and in Parliament has not gone unnoticed.

Johnson-Sirleaf acknowledged that most southern and West African countries had made significant progress in terms of women empowerment and that the same, however, could not be said about East and North Africa. "There are lessons to be learned and experiences to be shared," she noted.