total: 111,369 sq km
land: 96,320 sq km
water: 15,049 sq km
Total: 1,667 km
border countries (3):
Guinea 590 km,
Cote d’Ivoire 778 km,
Sierra Leone 299 km
Coastline: 579 km
Total: 2246 km
dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
mean elevation: 243 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,447 m
iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
agricultural land: 28.1%
arable land 5.2%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 20.8%
other: 27.3% (2011 est.)
30 sq km (2012)
Population – distribution:
more than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-km radius of Monrovia
dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
People and Society
As of the 2017 national census, Liberia was home to 4,694,608 people. Of those, 1,118,241 lived in Montserrado County, the most populous county in the country and home to the capital of Monrovia. The Greater Monrovia District has 970,824 residents. Nimba County is the next most populous county, with 462,026 residents. Liberia’s high fertility rate of nearly 5 children per woman and large youth cohort – more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – will sustain a high dependency ratio for many years to come. Significant progress has been made in preventing child deaths, despite a lack of health care workers and infrastructure. Infant and child mortality has dropped nearly 70% since 1990; the annual reduction rate of about 5.4% is the highest in Africa.
Nevertheless, Liberia’s high maternal mortality rate remains among the world’s worst; it reflects a high unmet need for family planning services, the frequency of early childbearing, lack of quality obstetric care, high adolescent fertility, and a low proportion of births attended by a medical professional. Female mortality is also increased by the prevalence of female genital cutting (FGC), which is practiced by 10 of Liberia’s 16 tribes and affects more than two-thirds of women and girls. FGC is an initiation ritual performed in rural bush schools, which teach traditional beliefs on marriage and motherhood and are an obstacle to formal classroom education for Liberian girls.
Liberia has been both a source and a destination for refugees. During Liberia’s 14-year civil war (1989-2003), more than 250,000 people became refugees and another half million were internally displaced. Between 2004 and the cessation of refugee status for Liberians in June 2012, the UNHCR helped more than 155,000 Liberians to voluntarily repatriate, while others returned home on their own. Some Liberian refugees spent more than two decades living in other West African countries. Liberia hosted more than 125,000 Ivoirian refugees escaping post-election violence in 2010-11; as of mid-2017, about 12,000 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberia as of October 2017 because of instability.
4,689,021 (July 2017 est.)
Kpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, other 20.1% (2008 Census)
English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2008 Census)
Ethnicity, Language, and Religion
Besides the descendants of the early settlers, Liberia is peopled by about 28 ethnic groups, each with its own language. The people of Liberia are classified into three major groups: the indigenous people, who are in the majority and who migrated from the western Sudan in the late Middle Ages; black immigrants from the United States (known historically as Americo-Liberians) and the West Indies; and other black immigrants from neighbouring western African states who came during the anti-slave-trade campaign and European colonial rule. The 16 officially recognized ethnic groups include the Kpelle, Bassa, Mano, Gio or Dan, Kru, Grebo, Krahn, Vai, Gola, Mandingo or Mandinka, Mende, Kissi, Gbandi, Loma, Fante, Dei or Dewoin, Belleh, and Americo-Liberians or Congo people. The Kpelle comprise more than 20% of the population and are the largest ethnic group in Liberia, residing mostly in Bong County and adjacent areas in central Liberia. Americo-Liberians, who are descendants of African American and West Indian, mostly Barbadian settlers, make up 2.5%. Congo people, descendants of repatriated Congo and Afro-Caribbean slaves who arrived in 1825, make up an estimated 2.5%.
Liberia’s indigenous ethnic groups may be classified into three linguistic groups, all belonging to the Niger-Congo language family: the Mande, Kwa, and Mel (southern Atlantic). The Mande are located in the northwest and central regions of Liberia and also in Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Prominent among them are the Vai, who invented their own alphabet and who, in addition, use Arabic and English; the Kpelle, the largest Mande group, who are also found in Guinea; Loma (also found in Guinea); Ngbandi; Dan (Gio); Mano; Mende; and Malinke. Kwa-speaking peoples include the Bassa, the largest group in this category and the largest ethnic group in Monrovia; the Kru and Grebo, who were among the earliest converts to Christianity; the De; Belleh (Belle); and Krahn. The Kwa-speaking group occupies the southern half of the country. The Mel group includes the Gola and Kisi, who are also found in Sierra Leone and are known to be the oldest inhabitants of Liberia. These people live in the north and in the coastal region of the northwest.
The early settlers, freed American slaves, brought with them the culture and religion of the US deep South of the slavery era. Their descendants are generally adherents of Protestant denominations. It is estimated that about 40% of the population practice Christianity exclusively or in combination with traditional indigenous religions. Christian denominations include Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, United Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME), AME Zionist, and several Pentecostal churches. About 20% of the population practice Islam. Mandingo traders, who live mainly in the northern and eastern counties, have made many Muslim converts and Egyptian and Pakistani Muslim missionaries have been active since 1956. About 40% of the population practice traditional indigenous religions exclusively. Veneration of ancestors forms the core of most Liberian traditional religion. There is also a small Baha’i community.
The Liberian education system is emerging from a prolonged and brutally destructive period of civil unrest. Long-standing impacts from the war, compounded by the 2015 school closure due to the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) outbreak, continue to take a toll on the fragile education system. Liberia is significantly behind most other African countries in nearly all education statistics. For example, the Primary School Net Enrollment Rate, the percentage of primary age students attending primary grades, is only 44 percent. After 14 years of civil war, which resulted in the destruction of much of the country’s trained workforce, Liberia is still in the process of rebuilding its educational system. In 2010, the literacy rate of Liberia was estimated at 60.8% (64.80% for males and 56.8% for females).
Liberia has both public and private schools. There are also quite a number of schools run by religious groups. Majority of the school-goers go to public schools only because the privately-run schools are very expensive. One problem encountered often by students from public schools is that the quality of teaching is not at par with the private schools. The teachers are underpaid and so teachers don’t give much effort to do their job as they should. However, right now, the budget for the education department is improving slowly but until the economy really gets better, the quality of education from the public school sector would sure to increase, too.
The current school system of Liberia has 5 levels: The Kindergarten or Pre-Primary, the Primary School, Junior High School, Senior High School and College. The kindergarten level accepts enrollees from children aged 3 to 6 years old. Primary and secondary education is free and compulsory from the ages of 5-16 though enforcement of attendance is lax. On average, children attain 10 years of education (11 for boys and 8 for girls). Liberia’s education sector is hampered by inadequate schools and supplies, as well as a lack of qualified teachers and corruption.
In the Primary School level, basic mathematics, science, and English are taught. Next to the Primary School level is the Junior High School. In this level, subjects like algebra, chemistry, and geometry are introduced. The Senior High School level is the last stage before entering college. Here more advanced concepts of subjects from the Junior High School level is taken up. Senior high school completes their school education. Here, students study more advanced levels of junior high school subjects and prepare for university. As 98% of these schools are in the capital city of Monrovia, it becomes clear that the system is designed around the needs of the nation’s already-haves.
Higher education is provided by a number of public and private universities. The University of Liberia is the country’s largest and oldest university. Located in Monrovia, the university opened in 1862. Today it has six colleges, including a medical school and the nation’s only law school, Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law. Cuttington University was established by the Episcopal Church of the USA in 1889 in Suakoko, Bong County, as part of its missionary education work among indigenous peoples. It is the nation’s oldest private university. In 2009, Tubman University in Harper, Maryland County was established as the second public university in Liberia. Since 2006, the government has also opened community colleges in Buchanan, Sanniquellie, and Voinjama.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia’s economy, especially infrastructure in and around the capital. Much of the conflict was fueled by control over Liberia’s natural resources. With the conclusion of fighting and the installation of a democratically elected government in 2006, businesses that had fled the country began to return. The country achieved high growth during the period 2010-13 due to favorable world prices for its commodities. However, during the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis, the economy declined and many foreign-owned businesses departed with their capital and expertise. The epidemic forced the government to divert scarce resources to combat the spread of the virus, reducing funds available for needed public investment. The cost of addressing the Ebola epidemic coincided with decreased economic activity reducing government revenue, although higher donor support significantly offsets this loss. During the same period, global commodities prices for key exports fell and have yet to recover to pre-Ebola levels.
Liberia’s economy is showing signs of modest recovery in 2017, amid significant fiscal and external imbalances. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2017 is estimated at 2.5% compared to a deceleration of 1.6% in 2016 and zero percent growth in 2015. The incipient recovery is driven largely by improved performance of the mining sector, which grew by 29%, following an uptick in global commodity prices during the first quarter of 2017. The non-mining sector, however, grew by 0.2%, reflecting the sluggish performance of agriculture and services sectors. Headline inflation increased to double-digit, averaging 12.5%in 2017 compared to 8.5 percent in 2016 due to the depreciation of the Liberia dollar, following the sharp decline in exports, the UNMIL drawdown and capital flight.
In FY2017, fiscal pressures increased due to declining domestic revenues and high non-discretionary expenditures. Total revenues and grants for FY2017 fell short of the approved budget by 9% compared to a shortfall of 4% in FY16 due to a lower domestic revenue mobilization, arising from the lull in economic activities. While the international trade taxes fell short of target by 11%, direct tax and non-tax revenues fell short of target by 29.1% and 57%respectively. The government mitigated the full impact of the revenue shock by introducing new revenue measures during the year; namely, the increase in the General Sales Tax (GST) rate from 7% to 10%and petroleum storage surcharge of US$.30 per gallon. On the expenditure side, the government cut spending on goods and services, subsidies, transfers, and domestically-financed investment. These measures combined with augmented financial support from donor partners helped to contain the overall budget deficit to 7.4% of GDP.
In 2017, gold was a key driver of growth, as a new mining project began its first full year of production; iron ore exports are also increased as Arcelor Mittal opened new mines at Mount Gangra. The completion of the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Dam increased electricity production to support ongoing and future economic activity, although electricity tariffs remain high relative to other countries in the region and transmission infrastructure is limited. Presidential and legislative elections in October 2017 generated election-related spending pressures.
The medium-term growth prospects remain positive, although substantial downside risks remain. GDP’s growth is projected to recover to an annual average growth rate of 3.8%over the period 2018-2020. The recovery is expected to be driven largely by the agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors, as the economy begins to reap the benefits of improved access to road transport network and cheaper sources of electricity. The mining sector is projected to recover rather slowly, in tandem with the recovery in global commodity prices. Inflation is projected to decline from 11.5% in 2018 to 9.5%by 2020. Additionally, in line with projected improvements in the economy over the period 2018-2020, poverty is expected to fall from 50.5% in 2018 to 48.6 in 2020.
Revitalizing the economy in the future will depend on economic diversification, increasing investment and trade, higher global commodity prices, sustained foreign aid and remittances, development of infrastructure and institutions, combating corruption, and maintaining political stability and security.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$3.906 billion (2017 est.)
$3.808 billion (2016 est.)
$3.871 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$2.14 billion (2017 est.)
GDP – real growth rate:
2.6% (2017 est.)
-1.6% (2016 est.)
0% (2015 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP):
$900 (2017 est.)
$900 (2016 est.)
$900 (2015 est.)
Gross national saving:
NA% (2017 est.)
-21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-2.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
services: 53.4% (2017 est.)
Agriculture – products:
rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
mining (iron ore and gold), rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds
Population below poverty line:
54.1% (2014 est.)
revenues: $626.1 million
expenditures: $727.6 million (2017 est.)
Agriculture is the primary livelihood source for more than 60 percent of Liberia’s population and provides sustenance for many households who engage in farming of rubber, rice, oil palm, cocoa, and sugarcane. However, low agricultural productivity results in Liberia importing more than 80 percent of its staple food, making the country vulnerable to global food price volatility. Poorly integrated, the sector lacks basic infrastructure such as machines, farming equipment/tools, farm-to-market roads, fertilizers and pesticides, and food storage capacity. Cassava and rice are the primary staple food crops. The main cash crops and foreign exchange earners are rubber, cocoa, and timber. Rubber is the most important cash crop for households and one of the dominant generators of state revenues accounting for nearly 34.6 percent of the total export receipts in 2016. An estimated 30,000 people are employed by commercial rubber farms and up to 60,000 smallholder households are involved in growing of rubber trees. Firestone Rubber Plantation, covering almost 200 square miles, is the largest single natural rubber operation in the world and the biggest private-sector employer in Liberia.
Another significant cash crop is oil palm, which has traditionally been produced for the domestic market. Recently, there has been considerable interest from both smallholders and large investors in expanding export production. However, uncertainty with regard to land tenure is a significant challenge for potential oil palm farmers and investors. Stakeholders in the oil palm sector include smallholder farmer cooperatives, individual farmers, large multinational corporations, and concessionaires, as well as individuals playing various intermediation roles and support services. Another obstacle to investment in the sector is the lack of capital and professional expertise to increase farm productivity.
The country has favorable climate and fertile soil for cocoa production and there is increased investment in the rehabilitation of cooperative and smallholder farms in the country. Although cocoa production is small scale, it is expected to increase as farmers continue to reclaim and rehabilitate their farms. As with the agriculture sector in general, smallholder cocoa farmers and local cooperatives are challenged by inadequate farm-to-market roads, lack of familiarity with measurement and quality standards, lack of storage facilities, and limited access to updated price and market information.
Besides the cash crops, there are market opportunities and potential for agribusiness investment, which focuses on developing the value chain of the available food crops such as rice, cassava, vegetables, fruits, poultry, and fish. Liberia has a suitable climate for horticulture such as the production of peppers, okra, onions, tomatoes, bitter balls, etc., which are in high demand throughout the country all year round. Lowland cultivation and low-cost irrigation would give smallholders an opportunity to increase productivity and expand market share of these valuable crops. Liberia has an Atlantic coastline spanning about 580 kilometers endowed with abundant marine fish stocks. The coastline and abundant freshwater resources provide breeding grounds varieties of marine species including crab, lobster, shrimp, tilapia, tuna, shark, croaker, and barracuda.
There is a strong potential for storage and preservation of vegetables and fruits, such as peppers, okra, grains, tomatoes, banana, mangoes, oranges, and pineapples, which are in demand all year round. Fish is an important protein source throughout Liberia, and in high demand in the market; therefore, fish farming offers good prospects for investment. Potential opportunities include adding value to agricultural produces (rubber, cocoa, rice, cassava, and vegetables.) through processing, manufacturing, and marketing for both domestic and international markets. Other opportunities include the provision of farming implements, fertilizers, storage or warehousing facilities, pest control, standard measurement and drying methods. There is a niche market opportunity for production and marketing of unpolished or “country” rice; opportunities also exist for vegetable drying and storage that would allow for sales in all seasons.
population without electricity: 3,900,000
electrification – total population: 10%
electrification – urban areas: 17%
electrification – rural areas: 3% (2013)
Electricity – production:
70.07 million kWh
Electricity – consumption:
39 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity – exports:
0 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity – imports:
0 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity – installed generating capacity:
125,000 kW (2015 est.)
Electricity – from fossil fuels:
63.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity – from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Telephones – fixed lines:
total subscriptions: 8,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones – mobile cellular:
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 66 (July 2016 est.)
Internet country code:
percent of population: 7.3% (July 2016 est.)
Industry and Mining
Since the outbreak of the civil war, the mining sector has lost all its foreign investment. This has resulted in an underdeveloped mining sector in the country. Diamond and gold are the primary mining products for the country. The industry also produces other minerals such as tin, phosphates, zinc, copper, nickel, molybdenum, beach sand, bauxite, kyanite, uranium, chromite, and silica sands. The country’s mining sector is victim to smuggling across the borders of Sierre Leone, Guinea, and Cote de Ivoire. Liberia produced barite, cement, diamond, small amounts of gold, iron ore, sand, and crushed stone. Cement was manufactured from imported raw materials at a plant in Monrovia, diamond and gold were produced by artisanal miners from alluvial deposits at various locations throughout the country, and iron ore was produced from the Bong and Western Range Project Mines in the northern and western parts of the country.
Although Liberia’s mineral production was small in terms of its contribution to world output, the mineral sector—in particular, the diamond and iron ore industries—played a significant role in the country’s economy as a major contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) and to export revenues. In 2014, however, the mineral sector’s contribution to GDP decreased to 10.7% from a revised 17% in 2013. Diamond, gold, and iron ore exports, which generated more than $423 million in 2014, accounted for about 73% of Liberia’s total export revenues. Liberia’s nominal GDP in 2014 was estimated to be $2 billion. The mineral sector remained the country’s main source of foreign exchange.
Despite the slump in the international price of gold and iron ore, mining companies with gold and iron ore projects at advanced stages of development, such as Canada-based Aureus Mining Inc. and Russia-based PAO Severstal, formerly known as OAO Severstal (the name changed on December 3, 2014) continued to work on the development of their respective projects. India-based Vedanta Resources plc, however, reported that on October 10 it had removed some of its staff from Liberia as it continued to monitor the EVD outbreak. Vedanta held the rights to the Western Cluster iron ore project, which is located about 140 kilometers (km) northwest of the capital city of Monrovia. ArcelorMittal contractors working on phase two of the Western Range project (WRP) also temporarily removed staff from the country.
In 2014, cement output increased by 52.3% to 295,363 metric tons (t), mostly as a result of the ramping up of operations at Liberia Cement Corp. Ltd.’s Cemenco plant following the commissioning of a cement mill in 2013. Iron ore production was estimated to have increased by 11.7% to 5.25 million metric tons (Mt). This estimate was based on reported production by ArcelorMittal of 4.9 Mt and estimated production of 350,000 t from China Union Investment (Liberia) Bong Mines Co.’s (CUI) Bong Mine for the 7 months from February to September 2014. Rough diamond production, as reported by the Central Bank of Liberia, increased by 46.2% to 78,497 carats. Gold output, which was reported to be 598 kilograms (kg) remained at about the same level of production that was estimated by the Central Bank of Liberia in 2013. Data on crushed stone and sand output were unavailable and, therefore, were estimated.
Liberia’s Ministry of Finance and Development Planning reported that prior to the onset of the EVD outbreak the country was experiencing a slowdown in economic activities as a result of a decrease in domestic demand and in the international price of its key commodities, iron ore and rubber (Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, 2015, p. 1). Although neither the widespread transmission of the EVD nor the decrease in the international price of iron ore deterred (for the most part) mining company activities in the country in 2014, these events are likely to continue to put financial pressure on mining companies operating in the country. The prospects for future foreign direct investment in mining and hence that of the country’s economic growth are more likely to remain vulnerable to changes in mineral market conditions than to the effects of the EVD outbreak on mining operations. The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning projects GDP growth in 2015 to be -1.1%.
Banking and Finance
The government does not have foreign portfolio investment abroad and there are no domestic capital market or portfolio investment options, such as a stock market, in the country. Therefore, private sector investors have limited credit and investment options. The Central Bank of Liberia has begun to issue Treasury bills in an effort to develop a capital market. Foreign investors can participate in the T-bill auctions which are often over-subscribed. The monthly T-bill auction has a three-month maturity term. The CBL has successfully operationalized aspects of the Scriptless Securities Settlement System in combination with efforts to create a secondary market that would lead to a more vibrant financial market. The DEPO/X system is a well-organized electronic platform that supports the conduct of the FX Auction and processing of government securities. The CBL respects IMF Article VIII by refraining from implementing restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions.
The banking sector continued to show growth in key indicators in 2016. There are nine commercial banks, eight of which are foreign banks. Foreign banks or branches can establish operations in Liberia, and are subject to prudential measures or other regulations required by the Central Bank of Liberia. Total bank assets rose by over 5 percent, and capital and deposits grew by 21 percent and nearly 4 percent respectively. The total assets of the country’s largest commercial bank (in term of customer size) are approximately $23.55 million. Generally, the financial system remains strong and resilient despite slow growth in the domestic economy. According to the CBL report (2016), the banking system continues to be well capitalized and liquidity remains strong. However, high levels of non-performing loans remain a concern. Liquidity for the sector remained strong during the year with a liquidity ratio of 36.8 percent, which is well above the 15 percent minimum requirement. Overall, the financial system has grown stronger and remains resilient, despite the legacy of the negative impact of the Ebola crisis and external shocks from the fall in international commodity prices.
There are no restrictions or limitations placed on foreign investors in converting, transferring, or repatriating funds associated with an investment. Liberian law allows for the transfer of dividends and net profits after tax to investors’ home countries. The Investment Act allows unrestricted transfer of capital, profits, and dividends “through any authorized dealer bank in a freely convertible currency.” Therefore, funds associated with any form of investment can be freely converted into any world currency. The Central Bank of Liberia’s regulation concerning transfers of foreign currency stipulates that every business house, entity, or individual wishing to make a foreign transfer of funds may do so without limitation of the amount to be transferred. However, the amount to be transferred must have been in an entity’s bank account for no less than three banking days prior to the transfer. Though conversion restrictions do not exist, the CBL currency auctions are often oversubscribed, and it may take investors more than a week to exchange large sums of money.
Liberia can be a nation given having enormous, still untrained opportunities regarding journey and travel and leisure growth. Nevertheless, it is journey and travel and leisure marketplace is usually likely to see small development on the estimated period of time, considering the fact that despite the fact that peace and calm now rule, America continues to be having difficulties in order to free per connected with it is popularity like a war-torn nation. Regardless of staying far from transforming into a mass-tourism location, journey and travel and leisure within Liberia can easily nevertheless come to be on the list of biggest members in order to rejuvenate the countrywide financial system, in the event that appropriately maintained.
Liberia, a lush, green, friendly and vibrant land, offers everything from excellent surf spots and shops selling wares by edgy local designers to days spent lolling in a comfy hammock on the edge of the rainforest while listening to tropical birds sing. It’s home to one of West Africa’s best national parks and still hangs on to a confident American spirit mixed with West African roots. And despite the ravages of the past, it is a fantastic place to travel, full of hope and energy.
Place of Attraction
Arenal is Costa Rica’s most famous and active volcano. Around it, there are several delightful hot springs, the most developed of which is at Tabacon Resort. If you are lucky, you will see Arenal “blow its top”, but often the summit is shrouded in clouds. It is famous because of its spectacular views.
The Iglesia de la Agonía is a Roman Catholic church in Liberia, Costa Rica. Inherent 1825, it is an adobe pilgrim church and is recognizable by its white Spanish style brickwork with its twin columns and a curved doorway.
The northeastern some piece of Liberia is still a rainforest territory. This is still the case, despite the fact that timber fares expanded hugely after the finish of the common war and the decision of Taylor as president in 1997. Between the outskirt and Ganta, the street slices directly through the backwoods.
This tour begins with a one-hour drive through the Guanacaste mountain range. During this portion, you will be privileged with awe-inspiring views experienced
significant eruptions in some time, it continues to expel gas and geysers near its base, emanations which are used by the government to produce geothermal energy. Rated 7.5/10 by visitors.
The Santa Rosa National Park is the sight of Costa Rica’s most paramount landmark, the Hacienda Santa Rosa. Known provincially as La Casona, this landmark denotes the fall of delay William Walker and his expert hired soldiers to a nearby worker guard in 1856. Today, La Casona is a historical center devoted to the memory of this fight. This tour will permit you to stop by and investigate this recorded sight.
Historians believe that many of the indigenous peoples of Liberia migrated there from the north and east between the 12th and 16th centuries AD. Portuguese explorers established contacts with people of the land later known as “Liberia” as early as 1462. They named the area Costa da Pimenta or Grain Coast because of the abundance of Melegueta pepper. In 1602 the Dutch established a trading post at Grand Cape Mount but destroyed it a year later. In 1663, the British installed trading posts on the Pepper Coast. No further known settlements by non-African colonists occurred until the arrival in 1821 of free blacks from the United States.
In the 1820s, in the United States, there was a movement to resettle free-born blacks and freed slaves who faced racial discrimination in the form of political disenfranchisement, and the denial of civil, religious and social privileges in the United States. Most whites and later a small cadre of black nationalists believed that blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the U.S. The American Colonization Society was founded in 1816 in Washington, DC, for this purpose, by a group of prominent politicians and slaveholders, but its membership grew to include most people who supported the abolition of slavery. Slaveholders wanted to get free people of color out of the South, where they were thought to threaten the stability of the slave societies. Some abolitionists collaborated on the relocation of free blacks, as they were discouraged by racial discrimination against them in the North and believed they would never be accepted in the larger society. Most blacks, who were native-born by this time, wanted to work toward justice in the United States rather than emigrate. Leading activists in the North strongly opposed the ACS, but some free blacks were ready to try a different environment.
The first ship, Mayflower of Liberia (formerly Elizabeth), departed New York on February 6, 1820, for West Africa carrying 86 settlers. Between 1821 and 1838, the American Colonization Society developed the first settlement, which would be known as Liberia. On July 26, 1847, it declared its independence. By 1867, the ACS had assisted in the migration of more than 13,000 blacks to Liberia. These free African-Americans and their descendants married within their community and came to identify as Americo-Liberians. Many were of mixed race and educated in American culture; they did not identify with the indigenous natives of the tribes they encountered. They intermarried largely within the colonial community, developing an ethnic group that had a cultural tradition infused with American notions of political republicanism and Protestant Christianity.
The New Government
On July 26, 1847, the settlers issued a Declaration of Independence and promulgated a constitution. Based on the political principles denoted in the United States Constitution, it established the independent Republic of Liberia. The United Kingdom was the first country to recognize Liberia’s independence. The leadership of the new nation consisted largely of the Americo-Liberians, who initially established political and economic dominance in the coastal areas that had been purchased by the ACS; they maintained relations with United States contacts in developing these areas and the resulting trade. Their passage of the 1865 Ports of Entry Act prohibited foreign commerce with the inland tribes, ostensibly to “encourage the growth of civilized values” before such trade was allowed in the region.
From the first presidential election in 1847, the Liberian Party held political dominance. It used its position of power to attempt to cripple its opposition. In 1869, however, the Whigs won the presidential election under Edward James Roye. By 1877, the Americo-Liberian True Whig Party was the most powerful political power in the country. It was made up primarily of people from the Americo-Liberian ethnic group, who maintained social, economic and political dominance well into the 20th century, repeating patterns of European colonists in other nations in Africa. Competition for office was usually contained within the party; a party nomination virtually ensured election.
Pressure from the United Kingdom, which controlled Sierra Leone to the west, and France with its interests in the north and east led to a loss of Liberia’s claims to extensive territories. Both Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast annexed some territories. Liberia struggled to attract investment in order to develop infrastructure and a larger, industrial economy. There was a decline in production of Liberian goods in the late 19th century, and the government struggled financially, resulting in indebtedness on a series of international loans. On July 16, 1892, Martha Ann Erskine Ricks met Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle and presented her a handmade a quilt, Liberia’s first diplomatic gift. Born into slavery in Tennessee, Ricks stated, “I had heard it often, from the time I was a child, how good the Queen had been to my people – to slaves – and how she wanted us to be free.”
The Rubber Industry
In 1909 a commission appointed by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt investigated political and economic conditions in Liberia and recommended financial reorganization. A loan of $1.7 million (U.S.), secured by customs revenue, was raised by an international consortium of bankers in 1912, and a receivership of customs was set up, administered by appointees of the British, French, and German governments and a U.S. receiver-general. A frontier police force was organized by officers of the U.S. Army, with the result that Liberian authority was better maintained. However, this promising new regime was upset by World War I. Revenues dropped to one-fourth of their previous level, and the financial situation steadily deteriorated.
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company obtained a concession of 1,000,000 acres (400,000 hectares) for a rubber plantation in 1926. At the same time, a loan was arranged through the Finance Corporation of America, a Firestone subsidiary. Using this private loan, the Liberian government consolidated and bonded all its external and internal debts and placed the country’s finances on a relatively stable basis. Administration of the customs and internal revenue was placed in the hands of a U.S. financial adviser. In 1952 the government was able to liquidate its foreign debt for the first time since accepting the English loan of 1871.
American and other international interests emphasized resource extraction, with rubber production a major industry in the early 20th century. In 1929 allegations of modern slavery in Liberia led the League of Nations to establish the Christy commission. Findings included government involvement in widespread “Forced or compulsory labor”, minority ethnic groups especially were exploited in a system which enriched well-connected elites within Liberia. As a result of the Christy report, President Charles D. B. King and Vice-president Allen N. Yancy both resigned.
An investigation by the League of Nations of forced labor and slavery in Liberia, involving the shipment of Africans to the Spanish plantations in Fernando Po, brought about the resignations of President Charles King and Vice President Allen Yancy and the election of Edwin Barclay to the presidency in 1931. Liberia appealed to the Council of the League of Nations for financial aid, and a commission of inquiry was established. The next three years were marked by unsuccessful attempts to work out a plan of assistance involving appointing foreign administrators, declaring a moratorium on the Firestone loan, and suspending diplomatic relations with Great Britain and the United States. After the League Council had finally withdrawn its plan of assistance, the Liberian government reached an agreement with Firestone along lines similar to the league’s recommendations.
Liberia role in the major international wars
In 1942, Liberia signed a Defense Pact with the United States. Rubber was a strategically important commodity, and Liberia assured the U.S. and its allies of all the natural rubber they needed. Also, Liberia allowed the U.S. to use its territory as a bridgehead for transports of soldiers and war supplies, to construct military bases, airports, the Freeport of Monrovia, roads to the interior, etc. Many of this personnel who passed through Liberia were African-American soldiers (who at the time were in segregated army divisions) being deployed into military service in Europe. The American military presence boosted the Liberian economy; thousands of laborers descended from the interior to the coastal region. The country’s huge iron ore deposits were made accessible to commerce.
n December 1960 Liberia became a member of the UN Security Council, and from that time it took an active part in African and international affairs. In 1963 the country became a member of the Organization of African Unity (since 2002 the African Union) at its inception. In 1963 Tubman was elected to his fifth term as president, and the following year the United States and Liberia signed an agreement to transfer the free port of Monrovia to the government of Liberia. Tubman was again elected president in 1967, the only candidate for the office; he died in London on July 23, 1971, shortly after his election to a seventh term as president. He was immediately succeeded by Vice President William R. Tolbert. A decline in world prices for Liberia’s chief exports, iron ore, and natural rubber brought financial hardship to the country during the 1960s and early ’70s. Foreign loans helped sustain the economy during that period.
On April 12, 1980, a military coup led by Master Sergeant Samuel Doe of the Krahn ethnic group overthrew and killed President William R. Tolbert, Jr.. Doe and the other plotters later executed a majority of Tolbert’s cabinet and other Americo-Liberian government officials and True Whig Party members. The coup leaders formed the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) to govern the country. A strategic Cold War ally of the West, Doe received significant financial backing from the United States while critics condemned the PRC for corruption and political repression.
A draft constitution providing for a multiparty republic had been issued in 1983 and was approved by referendum in 1984. After the referendum, Doe staged a presidential election on October 15, 1985. Nine political parties sought to challenge Doe’s National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL), but only three were allowed to take part. Prior to the election, more than fifty of Doe’s opponents were murdered. Doe was ‘elected’ with 51% of the vote, but the election was heavily rigged. Foreign observers declared the elections fraudulent, and most of the elected opposition candidates refused to take their seats.
The Civil War
In November 1985 Thomas Quiwonkpa, Doe’s former second-in-command, with an estimated 500 to 600 people, failed in an attempt to seize power; all were killed. Doe was sworn in as President on January 6, 1986. Doe then initiated crackdowns against certain tribes, such as the Gio (or Dan) and Mano, in the north, where most of the coup plotters came from. This government’s mistreatment of certain ethnic groups resulted in divisions and violence among indigenous peoples, who until then had coexisted relatively peacefully. In the late 1980s, as fiscal austerity took hold in the United States and the perceived threat of Communism declined with the waning of the Cold War, the U.S. became disenchanted with Doe’s government and began cutting off critical foreign aid to Liberia. This, together with the popular opposition, made Doe’s position precarious.
The National Patriotic Front of Liberia, a rebel group led by Charles Taylor, launched an insurrection in December 1989 against Doe’s government with the backing of neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. This triggered the First Liberian Civil War. By September 1990, Doe’s forces controlled only a small area just outside the capital, and Doe was captured and executed in that month by rebel forces.
The rebels soon split into various factions fighting one another. The Economic Community Monitoring Group under the Economic Community of West African States organized a military task force to intervene in the crisis. From 1989 to 1996 one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars broke out, claiming the lives of more than 200,000 Liberians and displacing a million others into refugee camps in neighboring countries. A peace deal between warring parties was reached in 1995, leading to Taylor’s election as president in 1997.
Under Taylor’s leadership, Liberia became internationally known as a pariah state due to its use of blood diamonds and illegal timber exports to fund the Revolutionary United Front in the Sierra Leone Civil War. The Second Liberian Civil War began in 1999 when Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, a rebel group based in the northwest of the country, launched an armed insurrection against Taylor.
On August 18, 2003, the Liberian Government, the rebels, political parties, and leaders from civil society signed the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement that laid the framework for a two-year National Transitional Government of Liberia. August 21, they selected businessman Charles Gyude Bryant as Chair of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), effective on October 14. These changes paved the way for the ECOWAS peacekeeping mission to expand into a 3,600-strong force, constituted by Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.
The transitional government prepared for fair and peaceful democratic elections on October 11, 2005, with UNMIL troops safeguarding the peace. Twenty-three candidates stood for the presidential election, with George Weah, international footballer, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and member of the Kru ethnic group, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a former World Bank economist and finance minister, Harvard-trained economist and of mixed Americo-Liberian and indigenous descent. In the first round, no candidate took the required majority, Weah won this round with 28% of the vote. A run-off between the top two vote-getters, Weah and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was necessary.
The second round of elections took place on November 8, 2005. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won this runoff decisively. Both the general election and runoff were marked by peace and order, with thousands of Liberians waiting patiently in the Liberian heat to cast their ballots. Sirleaf claimed the victory of this round, winning 59 percent of the vote. However, Weah alleged electoral fraud, despite international observers declaring the election to be free and fair. Although Weah was still threatening to take his claims to the Supreme Court if no evidence of fraud was found, Johnson-Sirleaf was declared a winner on November 23, 2005, and took office on January 16, 2006; becoming the first African woman to do so. Progress was made, as all of Liberia’s considerable debt was erased by the end of 2010 and Johnson Sirleaf secured millions of dollars of foreign investment in the country. She also worked to promote unity and reconciliation within the country. To that end, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in 2006.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 29 October 1938) is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. Sirleaf was the first elected female head of state in Africa. Born in Monrovia to a Gola father and Kru-German mother, Sirleaf was educated at the College of West Africa before moving to the United States, where she studied at Madison Business College and Harvard University. She returned to Liberia to work in William Tolbert’s government as Deputy Minister of Finance from 1971 to 1974 and later went to work for the World in the Caribbean and Latin America. She returned to work for the late president Tolbert’s government again as deputy minister of Finance before being promoted to the post of Minister of Finance from 1979 to 1980. After Samuel Doe seized power in a coup d’état and executed Tolbert, Sirleaf fled to the United States. She worked for Citibank and then the Equator Bank before returning to Liberia to contest a senatorial seat for Montserrado county in the disputed 1985 elections.
After returning to Liberia, Sirleaf ran for office and finished in second place at the 1997 presidential election won by Charles Taylor. At the beginning of the First Liberian Civil War in 1989, Sirleaf supported Charles Taylor’s rebellion against Doe. She helped raise money for the war and founded the National Patriotic Front of Liberia with Taylor and Tom Woewiyu. Because of this, Doe’s government recommended that Sirleaf is banned from politics in Liberia for 30 years. But, she later opposed Taylor’s handling of the war and his treatment of rival opposition leaders such as Jackson Doe. By 1996, the presence of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peacekeepers led to a cessation of hostilities. The nation held the 1997 general election, which Sirleaf returned to Liberia to contest. She ran as the presidential candidate for the Unity Party and placed second in a controversial election, getting 25% of the vote to Charles Taylor’s 75%. After controversy about the results and being accused of treason, Sirleaf left Liberia and went into exile in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
She won the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16th January 2006. She was re-elected in 2011. In June 2016, she was elected as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States, making her the first woman to hold the position since it was created. In 2011, Sirleaf was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen. The three women were recognized “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Sirleaf was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on 12th September 2013. In 2016, she was listed as the 83rd-most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.