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Boat on Cess river in Rivercess County of Liberia
Cess river in Rivercess County in the south-central part of Liberia.
Image: Newhouse School MPD
 
Liberia Flag
Flag of Liberia
Location map of Liberia. Where in Africa is Liberia?
Location map of Liberia

Destination Liberia, the "Land of the Free" a tropical country in West Africa with a spectacular coastline at the North Atlantic Ocean. The country was known for some time as the Pepper Coast and later as the Grain Coast. It is surrounded by Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire.

Liberia covers an area of 111,369 km² (43,000 sq mi), making it somewhat larger than Bulgaria or slightly larger than the U.S. state of Tennessee.

The country has a population of about 4.5 million people (in 2015). Capital and largest city is Monrovia, (named after, no not Marilyn Monroe, but James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States (1817–1825)). The country's major cities are located along the coast like the port cities of Harper and Buchanan.

Spoken languages are English (official) and an English-based pidgin (Liberian English), plus several indigenous languages.

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world with a high unemployment rate (85%) and rampant corruption at almost every level of the Liberian government. The country is recovering from a 14-year civil war where 250,000 people were killed and many thousands more fled the fighting. In 2014 the country was also affected by the worst Ebola epidemic in history.



Republic of Liberia


Country Profile



Background:
Eight years of civil strife were brought to a close in 1997 when free and open presidential and legislative elections were held. President TAYLOR held strong executive power with no real political opposition. Years of fighting, coupled with the flight of most businesses, have disrupted formal economic activity. An unsettled domestic security situation has slowed the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country. In 2001, the UN imposed sanctions on Liberian diamonds, along with an arms embargo and a travel ban on government officials, for Liberia's support of the rebel insurgency in Sierra Leone. Renewed rebel activity has further eroded stability and economic activity. An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war and prompted the resignation of president Charles TAYLOR, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague related to his involvement in Sierra Leone's civil war. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF to power. The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) maintains a strong presence throughout the country, but the security situation is still fragile and the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country will take many years.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)

 

Official Name:
Republic of Liberia
short form: Liberia

ISO Country Code: lr, LBR

Time:
Local Time = UTC +0h
Actual Time: Fri-Nov-17  17:39

Country Calling Code: +231

Capital City: Monrovia (pop. 600 000)

Other Cities: Buchanan (est. 300 000), Ganta (est. 290 000), Gbarnga (est. 150 000), Kakata (est. 100 000), Harbel (est. 136 000)

Government:
Type: Republic.
Independence: 26 July 1847 (from American Colonization Society).
Constitution: 6 January 1986.

Geography:
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone.
Area: 111,369 km² (43,000 sq. mi.).
Terrain: Three areas--Mangrove swamps and beaches along the coast, wooded hills and semideciduous shrublands along the immediate interior, low mountains in northeast, dense tropical forests and plateaus in the interior. Liberia has 40% of West Africa's rain forest.

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; in winter: dry with hot days and cool to cold nights; dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March) in summer: wet, cloudy with frequent heavy showers.

People:
Nationality: Liberian(s).
Population: 4.5 million (2015)
Ethnic groups: Kpelle 20%, Bassa 16%, Gio 8%, Kru 7%, 49% spread over 12 other ethnic groups.
Religions: Christian 40%, Animist 40%, Muslim 20%.
Languages: English (official). There are 16 indigenous languages.
Literacy: 20-40% (est).

Natural resources: Deposits of iron ore, rubber, timber, diamonds, gold and tin, hydropower; crude oil along Atlantic Coast.

Agriculture products: Coffee, cocoa, sugarcane, rice, cassava, palm oil, bananas, plantains, citrus, pineapple, sweet potatoes, corn, and vegetables.

Industries: Iron ore, rubber, palm oil processing, timber, diamonds, gold, beverages, construction.

Exports - commodities: rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee

Exports - partners: Poland 32.9%, China 20.7%, India 9.3%, USA 5.1%, Greece 4.7%, France 4.3% (2015)

Imports - commodities: fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs

Imports - partners: Singapore 28.7%, China 16%, South Korea 15.3%, Japan 10.3%, Philippines 6.6% (2015)

Currency: Liberian Dollar (LRD)

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Liberia and others.
 
Liberia's Capitol Building in Monrovia
Capitol Building in Monrovia, the seat of Liberia's bicameral National Assembly.
Image: David Stanley

Political system
Liberia is a unitary state and a presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system, modeled after the government of the United States. Head of state and head of government is the President. The cabinet is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The bicameral National Assembly consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
The country's legal system is a mixed system of common law (based on Anglo-American law) and customary law.


Official Sites of Liberia

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

The Executive Mansion
Official Liberia government website.

Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT)
Official website with more ads than information about Liberia.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Site of the ministry.

Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of the Republic of Liberia
Embassy of Liberia, Washington, D.C., USA.
Liberian Diplomatic Missions Abroad
List of Liberian Diplomatic Missions Abroad.

Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services - LISGIS
The institute also provides information about Liberia's counties.

Truth & Reconciliation Commission
The commission researches the root causes of the conflict in Liberia, and investigates human rights abuses that occurred between 1979 and 2003
TRC is expected to help restore the human dignity of victims and promote reconciliation, it will also recommend amnesty for the perpetrators under terms and conditions established by the TRC.


Maps

Map of Liberia
Political Map of Liberia.
Administrative Map of Liberia
Map of Liberia showing the country's administrative regions (countys).
Google Earth Google Earth Liberia
Searchable map/satellite view of Liberia.
Google Earth Google Earth Monrovia
Searchable map/satellite view of Liberia's capital city.

Political Map of Africa
The 54 countries of Africa.
Map of Africa
A Relief Map of Africa.

 

News


News from Liberia
The Inquirer
Liberian news published in Monrovia.
The New Dawn
Private daily news published in Monrovia.
Daily Observer
Daily Observer newspaper online.
FrontPage Africa
Monrovia based Liberian newspaper online.

US based Liberian news
The Liberian Times.com
US based online news.
The Liberian Connection
TLC Africa Internet Magazine.
The Perspective
Newsmagazine covers Liberian issues from politics to the environment.
Liberian Post
Independent and non-political Internet Magazine, dedicated to the promotion of Liberia in west Africa.

Radio/TV
Liberia Broadcasting System - LBS
The nation's number one radio station, a state-owned radio network.

International News Sources
allafrica.com - Liberia News
US based african news site.
IRIN News West Africa
UN agency with news coverage West Africa.
 

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Arts & Culture


Liberiana
An expat's Life in Africa's Lone Star Republic.

Contemporary Liberian Literature
Daily Observer article about Liberian literature and Liberian poetry.

Radio Lib
Liberian online radio station broadcasting in the United States.
 

Harbel in Margibi County is home to Firestone's rubber plantation
The town of Harbel in Margibi County of Liberia is home to Firestone's rubber plantation, the largest in the world which is still operated by the Firestone subsidiary of Bridgestone.
Image: blk24ga


Business & Economy

Liberia's economy is constrained by a small domestic market, lack of adequate infrastructure, high transportation costs, and poor trade links with neighboring countries. Liberia has the second-largest maritime registry in the world behind Panama, accounting for 11% of ship registry worldwide.

Central Bank of Liberia
The principal objective of the CBL is to achieve and maintain price stability in the Liberian economy.

Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry
One of the largest registries in the world, Liberia offers efficient, and tax effective offshore corporate registries.

 
 
Former Ducor Palace Hotel in Monrovia
Pool area of the former Ducor Palace Hotel in Monrovia, once the first international-class hotel constructed in Liberia. The hotel was closed in 1989, just before the First Liberian Civil War.
Image: Mark Fischer


Travel and Tour Consumer Information


Destination Liberia - Country Guides


Discover Liberia:
Cities: Monrovia, Liberian National Museum (the country's national museum); Robertsport, a coastal town with excellent surfing opportunities. Omega Tower in Paynesville (abandoned radio tower, with 426 m it was the tallest structure ever built in Africa, demolished in 2011)

Points of interest:
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site); Sapo National Park (the country's largest protected area in Sinoe County); Lake Piso (a lagoon and Liberia's largest 'lake'), Kpatawe waterfall (primal waterfall in Bong County), Monkey Island (six islands with chimpanzees).

Wikivoyage: Liberia
Travel information for Liberia.

Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services - LISGIS
The institute also provides information about Liberia's counties.

Visit Liberia
We are committed to promote the Liberian tourism industry.

Bong Town Community
Site about Liberia and the mining town Bong.

Liberia
Images and background information by Kevin McNulty.


UNESCO World Heritage Site

World Heritage Site Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve
The Nature Reserve is located on the borders of Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. The reserve harbors an especially rich flora and fauna, with endemic species.

Mount Nimba within Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is located on the borders of Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. Mount Nimba (1,752 m) is the highest mountain in both Guinea and Ivory Coast.
Image: © UNESCO Author: Guy Debonnet

More Information about Liberia
Friends of Liberia
A network of people who care about the citizens of Africa's oldest republic.
Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC)
HIC page about its work and with county profiles for Liberia.
UNDP in Liberia
UN site about its work and the situation in Liberia.
 

Students studying by candlelight in Bong County in Liberia
Students studying by candlelight in Bong County in Liberia.
Image: USAID

Education

Cuttington University College
Official website of the college with its history, its current situation, and future, news and announcements are included.
University of Liberia
The new website of the university.
 
 

Environment & Nature


Voice for the Forest and Its People
Silas Kpanan’Ayoung Siakor exposed evidence that former Liberia President Charles Taylor used the profits of unchecked, rampant logging to pay the costs of a brutal 14-year civil war that left 150 000 people dead.

Save My Future Foundation (SAMFU)
SAMFU's mission is to facilitate and promote participatory community-based sustainable natural and human resource management and development in Liberia.

Sustainable Development Institute
SDI a NGO focuses on natural resources and promotes equity in the sharing of benefits derived from resource exploitation.
 
 
Ex-combatants waiting for their payment for disarming in Voinjama, Lofa County
2004 Liberia disarmament, ex-combatants waiting for their payment for disarming in Voinjama, capital city of Lofa County.
Image: Kevin McNulty

History

Liberia was founded, established, colonized, and controlled by citizens of the United States and ex-Caribbean slaves as a colony for former African American slaves and their free black descendants.
The American Colonization Society (ACS) was formed in 1817 to send free African-Americans to Africa as an alternative to emancipation in the United States. In 1822, the society established on the west coast of Africa a colony that in 1847 became the independent nation of Liberia. By 1867, the US society had sent more than 13,000 emigrants.

The African-American Mosaic: Colonization
Records of the American Colonization Society (1817-1964), formed to send free African-Americans to Africa.

Liberia: Past and Present of Africa's Oldest Republic
Comprehensive site about Liberia and Liberia's history until today.

Virtual Library: History Liberia
Page with links to online resources related to Liberia's history.

History of Liberia
Wikipedia entry on the history of Liberia.
 
 

Sources and additional Information about Liberia


BBC Country Profile: Liberia

GlobalEDGE: Liberia

The Heritage Foundation: Liberia

Human Rights Watch: Liberia

OEC: Liberia

Reporters Without Borders: Liberia

USAID: Liberia

Wikipedia: Liberia

The World Factbook -- Liberia
 
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