LIBERIA

Date of establishment: July 26, 1847

Brief history:

  • 1816: The American Colonization Society was founded to free and repatriate African Americans to Africa.
  • 1820: The first group of settlers, including freed slaves and free African Americans, arrived in what was later named Monrovia. This place became the basis for the future colony.
  • 1847: On July 26, Liberia’s independence was declared. Joseph Jenkins Roberts was elected the country’s first president.
  • 1860-1870: During this decade, Liberia became a de facto protectorate of the United States and Western European powers who sought control of the Liberian coast.
  • 1920: The first constitutional reform took place that limited the political power and privileged position of African Americans in Liberia.
  • 1944: After World War II, further constitutional reforms were made to strengthen the political rights of indigenous peoples and readjust the system of government.
  • 1980: A military coup led by Samuel K. Doe overthrew President William R. Tolbert and brought to power the first indigenous president.
  • 1989-1997: Liberia was wracked by a civil war that caused great human suffering and destabilized the country.
  • 2003: The civil war officially ended, and an international peacekeeping mission was dispatched.
  • 2005: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected in democratic elections, the first election of a woman to the post of president in Africa.
  • 2018: George Weah, a former world-famous soccer player was elected president.
  • Present: Liberia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with many economic, political, and social challenges.

 

International abbreviation: LR

 

Currency: Liberian dollar LRD

The Liberian dollar is the official currency of the country and is used for all transactions.

 

Internet domain: .lr

 

Dialing code: +231

 

Time zone: -1 GMT

 

Geography:

Liberia has about 580 kilometers (360 miles) of Atlantic Ocean coastline on the western side of the country. The coast is lined with mangrove swamps and beaches.

The coastal area is low-lying and includes extensive marshy areas that are home to many species of birds and animals. The Saint Paul River and other rivers flow through this region.

The interior is mountainous and includes the Guinea Highlands, which is part of a mountain system that stretches across West Africa.

Liberia is rich in rivers and streams. The largest rivers include the Saint Paul, the Saint John, and the Cavalla.

The southwestern part of the country has rainforests, which are home to a diverse subtropical forest ecosystem.

 

Highest peak: Mount Wuteve 1 440 m (4 724 feet) above sea level.

This peak is located in the Nimba Range, which stretches across the borders of Liberia, Guinea, and Ivory Coast.

The summit of Mount Wuteve provides breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and is an important natural and recreational site in Liberia.

 

Climate:

The rainy season lasts from May to October. Heavy rainfall occurs during these months and heavy downpours and thunderstorms often occur. The highest rainfall is usually in August and September. The dry season lasts from November to April. During this time there is much less rainfall, and the landscape can become dry and even arid.

Liberia has high humidity throughout the year, which is typical of tropical areas. Temperatures are higher during the rainy season when they can reach up to 32-35°C (90-95°F). In the dry season, they are milder, hovering around 26-30°C (79-86°F).

Coastal areas have more rainfall and are influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, causing milder temperatures and a more stable climate compared to the interior.

 

Fauna and flora:

Liberia is home to elephants, especially in protected areas like Sapo National Park. Elephants are an endangered species and are protected from poaching.

Leopards are another animal species that inhabits the Liberian forests. Hippos are found near some watercourses and lakes. Various species of monkeys and mongooses live in Liberia.

The southwestern part has extensive rainforests that are home to many species of plants and animals. These forests include tall trees, epiphytes, and vines. Various species of palm trees provide food and materials for the local people. The country is home to many species of orchids, some of which are endemic. Some species of Liberian flora are important for beekeeping and honey production.

 

Agriculture:

Most agriculture is subsistence in nature, meaning that farmers grow food crops for their own consumption and for the local market. The main crops grown include cassava, rice, bananas, sweet potatoes, maize, beans, and others. The country also produces coffee and cocoa, which are important export crops. These are often grown on smaller plantations.

Palm oil and honey are also important agricultural products.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Liberia has rich reserves of iron ore and is one of the main producers in the region. Iron ore mining is done in the Nimba Range. The country also has diamond reserves, although diamond mining has historically been associated with conflict and illegal trade. Efforts at regulation and legalization of diamond mining have been undertaken internationally. Gold is also mined to a lesser extent.

Logging plays a significant role in the economy. The wood is exported abroad and has the potential for sustainable forestry. Liberia has reserves of bauxite, which is the raw material for aluminum production. Bauxite mining is carried out in different parts of the country.

 

Industry:

Industry is relatively limited and less developed than agriculture. The country is still recovering from a long civil war that caused extensive damage to infrastructure and industry.

The mining of raw materials, especially iron ore, diamonds, gold, and bauxite, plays an important role. These raw materials are mined and exported, bringing income to the country.

The food industry focuses on the processing of agricultural products such as rice, cassava, palm oil, and others.

The construction industry has great potential, due to the reconstruction of the infrastructure after the long war.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: shipping

 

Natural and historical attractions: beaches, Providence Island, Lofa-Mano and Sapo national parks

Liberia has a long Atlantic coastline with beautiful beaches. Towns like Monrovia and Buchanan are popular spots for recreational activities.

It has several protected areas, including Sapo National Park and the Nimba Range, which are home to diverse wildlife and exotic habitats. These areas offer bird watching and safari opportunities. It has a rich cultural history that includes different ethnic groups, traditions, and festivals.

The country faces several challenges in the field of tourism such as accommodation facilities, insufficient marketing, and the promotion of tourist attractions. Security issues and lack of stability can also deter potential visitors.

 

Waterparks in Liberia:

 

Form of government: presidential republic

The main constitutional office in Liberia is the president, who the head of state and government and is elected in general elections for a six-year term. The president has broad powers including leading the government, supreme command of the armed forces and conducting foreign policy. The parliament is bicameral. It consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has 30 members, while the House of Representatives has 73 members. Parliament has the power to enact laws, approve the budget and exercise legislative oversight. Liberia has an independent judicial system that includes the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, and other lower courts.

 

Capital city: Monrovia

The city is located on the Atlantic coast, in the northwest of Liberia, and is the political, economic, and cultural center of the country.

Monrovia was founded in 1822 by freed American slaves as a place for settlement and a new life. The city was named after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, who supported freed slaves. Monrovia is also known as the “Mother of African Republics.” The city has a long history associated with the liberation of slaves and the development of the Republic of Liberia.

 

Area: 111 369 km2 (43 000 square miles)

 

Population: 5 360 000 (2022)

The Kpelle are the largest ethnic group in Liberia, inhabiting mainly the central western part of the country. They have a rich cultural tradition and are known for their craft skills. The Bassa are the second largest ethnic group in Liberia, living mainly in the south of the country. They have their own language and culture. The Gio and Mano ethnic groups live mainly in the eastern part of Liberia, near the borders with Guinea and Ivory Coast.

The main religions are Christianity and Islam. Christianity, especially Protestantism and Catholicism, has a large influence on the culture and society of Liberia. In addition, there is also a Muslim minority and some traditional religious practices. The official language of Liberia is English, due to historical ties to the United States of America, where the freed slaves who founded Liberia came from.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

 

National parks: 3

 

  1. Sapo National Park
  2. Lofa-Mano National Park
  3. Gola National Park