Founded by freed men and women of color from the United States, Liberia, the first independent Republic in Africa, is a beautiful country filled with greenery, pristine beaches, rolling hills, exquisite wildlife and stunning waterfalls. Located on the western tip of Africa, the country is blessed with an abundance of natural resources which include iron ore, timber, and diamonds, among others. With English as its official language, Liberia has a population of roughly 4.5 million people, and a land mass of 43,000 square miles, 350 miles of which are on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Boasting tremendously fertile soil, agriculture plays a major and expanding role in the Liberian economy. Liberia maintains the second largest maritime registry in the world (totaling over 3,000 vessels), while operating four seaports along its southern coast. The country’s open-door policy towards global businesses creates a climate for direct foreign investment.
Liberia has two seasons: the first, a “rainy season”, with approximately 180 days of rainfall, lasts from May to October, with an annual precipitation of 210 inches. High temperatures in the warmer “dry season” average in the low to mid-nineties, although the ocean breeze in many of the coastal cities makes these temperatures feel lower. Located just north of the Equator, Liberia has 40% of West Africa’s rainforest. Natural disasters are extremely rare; the country has never experienced an earthquake, tidal waves, hurricane or tornado.
There are several five-star hotels on the many beautiful beaches along the Liberian coastline. These include the beaches near Robertsport, an emerging international surfing destination recognized in the New York Times as one of the best places to surf in Africa. Liberia’s colorful and unique culture, history and way of life, are derived from its mixture of American, Caribbean and African roots.
The Liberian Dollar (LRD) is the official currency of the country, although the United States Dollar (USD) is also used as legal tender and banks now offer ATM facilities to obtain cash from VISA credit or debit cards.
In 2010, Liberia not only became the first West African country to enact a Freedom of Information Act, showing its commitment to transparency and democracy, but it was also ranked by the World Bank as one of the world’s top 10 reformers for the second year in a row. Liberia was one of only two African countries that showed significant improvement in all four sectors measured by the internationally recognized Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance; these included sustainable economic opportunity, human development, participation and human rights and safety and rule of law. Finally, in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2012” survey, Liberia is listed as one of 13 economies globally in which business is easier to do.
The People of Liberia
The people of Liberia come from a diverse background with sixteen ethnic groups. Although English is the official language, there are over twenty different dialects spoken throughout the country. The various dialects are spoken by the numerous African tribes which make up 95% of Liberia’s population that are classified as ‘indigenous’. The remaining 5% are referred to as ‘Americo-Liberians’ who can trace their ancestry to formerly enslaved or free-born African-Americans. Christianity is Liberia’s main religious sector, comprising of roughly 85% of the overall population. The Islamic faith is second and accounts for 12% of Liberia’s religious beliefs. Lastly are traditional beliefs of various kinds, which make up the remaining 3%. While the staple foods in Liberia are rice (which is served with an unlimited number of meat and fish stews) and fufu (generally made out of cassava and eaten with soups), there are a number of Lebanese, hamburger and sushi restaurants, among others, that are available to satisfy whatever one’s particular tastes are. Moreover, fruits, especially plantains, fresh mangoes and oranges, are
traditional favorites. The Liberian people are extremely family-oriented and known for their friendliness, hospitality and hardworking approach. They treat foreigners with the utmost respect and are very welcoming, engaging and helpful.
Beaches such as Robertsport Beach in Cape Mount County (arguably one of the best places to surf in Africa); Multiple Lagoons, Rainforest, Scenic Waterfalls, The Blue Lake (Bomi County), Sapo National Park (Sinoe County), Exquisite Wildlife, and great jungle track hiking trails at Mt. Wuteve and Mt. Wologisi (Lofa County).
The Blue Lake
The man-made Blue Lake is approximately 300 feet deep. Located in Bomi County between several peaks of surrounding hills & mountains, the sun’s reflection on the water provides a beautiful scenic view.
Take a relaxing canoe ride on the Farmington River and end your trip feeding chimpanzees.
Amidst the jungle, Kpatawee Waterfalls is a hidden paradise located in Bong County.
Sapo National Park, located in Sinoe County, is one of West Africa’s last remaining primary rain forests, where forest elephants, pigmy hippos, chimpanzees and a mixture of wildlife are found.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Electricity, Gas and Water, Transportation Sector, Mining, Tourism, Construction and Infrastructure Development, Manufacturing, Telecommunications and much more.
Rubber, Iron Ore, Timber/Logs, Diamonds, Coffee and Cocoa
Petroleum, Food and Live Stock, Machinery, Transport Equipment, Manufactured Goods, Medicine and Chemicals.
Liberia is a unitary state with three separate but equal branches of government comprising of the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judiciary Branch. This system of government is patterned after that of the United States. With the motto of “Let Justice Be Done to All,” the legal system in Liberia is undergoing a massive overhaul with transparency and fairness serving as the primary parameters for the nation’s laws which are based on Anglo-American common law jurisprudence.