About Liberia

Liberia in Africa
Liberia in Africa

Liberia was founded by freed slaves from the United States of America. Liberia became an independent nation in 1847. It is the second oldest country in Africa after Ethiopia. The country is named after “Liberty” and its capital is Monrovia.

Liberia National Flag
Liberia National Flag

Since 1989 Liberia has been experiencing civil war from time to time which intensified in 2003. As the result of intervention of the United States of America, the President – Charles Tyler (he is also responsible for civil war in Sierra Leone) – fled to Nigeria. It is said that the civil war had killed about two hundred seventy thousand people and produced seven hundred ninety thousand refugees.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected as the first female president in Africa. She is now serving the second term of her presidency and working on the reconstruction of the nation.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Public Domain
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia,
Public Domain

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th president of the Republic of Liberia. She is the first president of the country elected in liberal election after the civil war and she is also the first elected female head of state in Africa. Her experiences of being a survivor of imprisonment and exile earned her nickname “Iron Lady.” Since taking office in 2006, she has been taking an active role in implementing policies of appointing women to official positions in the government as well as opening free vocational training schools. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.

[Area]   111,370 square kilometers (a little smaller than the state of Louisiana in USA)
[Population]   4.3 million people (2013: World Bank)
[Average life expectancy]   60.2 years (in 2012: World Bank)
[Mortality rate of under 5-year-old]   75 out of 1,000 live birth (2012: UNICEF)
[Graduation rate of elementary school]   67.8% (2008- 2012: UNICEF)
[Pregnancy rate of teenage girls]   31% (2007: UNICEF)
[GNI per capita]   370 US dollar (2012: World Bank)
[Human Development Index]   175th out of 187 (USA 5th, UK 14th) (2014: UNDP)
[Major industry]   Mining: gold, diamonds—Agriculture and Forestry: natural rubber, wood products
[Diamond exports] estimated annual 1,723.3 million US dollars (2013: Kimberley Process)
[The number of workers in Diamond mines]  Estimated 400,000 – 450,000 people (based on interviews to the Vice Minister of Ministry of Lands Mines and Energy)