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AMERICA'S THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. LIBERIA. By: Iantha E. Jones-George. OTS 370T.

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AMERICA'S

THIRD WORLD COUNTRY

LIBERIA

By: Iantha E. Jones-George

OTS 370T

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In 1816, with the support of a US congressional grant, the American Colonization Society began to transport to Africa those freed slaves who whished to return to the continent of their ancestors. Between 1822 and 1892 some 22,000 freed slaves were resettled along the “Grain Coast”, 75% of them from America.

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Independence Day came on July 26, 1847. The Republic of Liberia was declared. There where 300th families who formed the settler social life.

As the oldest on the Africa continent, Liberia is best described as a melting pot of the African Diaspora.

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WAR

Seventeen years of civil war and military dictatorship diminished Liberia’s start on the World scene. However, internationally recognized free and fair elections held July 19, 1997 heralded the birth off a New Liberia.

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WAR

The years of fighting coupled with the flight of most businesses had disrupted formal economic activity. A still unsettled domestic security situation has slowed the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country.

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WAR

After years of civil strife were brought to a close in 1996 when free and open presidential and legislative elections were held. President Taylor now holds strong executive power with no real political opposition.

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GEOGRAPHY

Situated on the west African coast, Liberia contains an area of 43,000 Sq miles, 45% of the land area is prime forest, divided into 30 countries.

There are three major Physiographic regions, the low Atlantic coastal strip, southeast of the coast, and inland. Most of the plateau region is grassland or forest.

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ECONOMY

The civil war destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Many businessmen fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them.

Richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products, while local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope.

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ECONOMY

The democratically elected government, installed in August 1997, inherited massive international debts and currently relies on revenues from its maritime registry to provide the bulk of its foreign exchange earnings.

The restoration of the infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy depend on the implementation of sound macro- and micro-economic policies of the new government, including the encouragement of foreign investment.

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NATIONAL RESOURCES

National Unemployment Rate is 70% percent but national resources are:

  • Iron ore
  • Timber
  • Diamonds
  • Gold
  • Hydropower
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LANGUAGE

Official language is English but there are seventeen indigenous languages. Dialects of the Niger-Congo are also spoken, comprising three main linguistic groups: Mande, West Atlantic, and Kwa.

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RELIGION

 70-75% of the population follow traditional animist beliefs.

 20% are Muslim and 10% Christian including Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Pentecostal and African Methodist denominations.

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ART

WORK

  • Egungun Headdress

This fromYoruba (South western Nigeria)

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ART

WORK

  • Cameroonian Mask

This round, carved wooden mask is from (Western Cameroon).

The mask exhibits distinctive facial scarification, narrow eyes, and a long prominent nose.

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SOURCES OF INFORAMTION

 Edited by Roger East and the Staff of CIRCA reference, “World Fact File”.

WWW. LIAAFRICA.ORG

WWW.FEWS.NET

WWW.WESTAFRICA.COM