AMERICA'S THIRD WORLD COUNTRY. LIBERIA. By: Iantha E. Jones-George. OTS 370T.
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THIRD WORLD COUNTRY
By: Iantha E. Jones-George
As the oldest on the Africa continent, Liberia is best described as a melting pot of the African Diaspora.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
National Unemployment Rate is 70% percent but national resources are:
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.
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.
This fromYoruba (South western Nigeria)
This round, carved wooden mask is from (Western Cameroon).
The mask exhibits distinctive facial scarification, narrow eyes, and a long prominent nose.
Edited by Roger East and the Staff of CIRCA reference, “World Fact File”.