Liberia

From FAMEPedia, The free encyclopedia

Republic of Liberia

Flag of Liberia
Flag
Coat of arms of Liberia
Coat of arms
Motto: "The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here"
Template:Map caption
Capital
and largest city
Monrovia
Official languagesEnglish
Ethnic groups
(2008[1])
Demonym(s)Liberian
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
George Weah
Jewel Taylor
Bhofal Chambers
Francis Korkpor
LegislatureLegislature of Liberia
Senate
House of Representatives
Formation and Independence from the American Colonization Society
January 7, 1822
July 26, 1847
• Republic of Maryland annexed
March 18, 1857
• Recognition by the United States
February 5, 1862
• United Nations membership
November 2, 1945
January 6, 1986
Area
• Total
(102nd)
• Water (%)
13.514
Population
• 2021 estimate
5,214,030 [1] (123rd)
• 2008 census
3,476,608
• Density
(180th)
GDP (PPP)2019 estimate
• Total
$6.468 billion
• Per capita
$1,413[2]
GDP (nominal)2019 estimate
• Total
$3.221 billion
• Per capita
$704[2]
Gini (2016)35.3[3]
medium
HDI (2019)Increase 0.480[4]
low · 175th
CurrencyLiberian dollar (LRD)
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
Date formatmm/dd/yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+231
ISO 3166 codeLR
Internet TLD.lr

Liberia (/lˈbɪəriə/ (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Liberia (also The United States in Africa), is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its northwest, Guinea to its north, Ivory Coast to its east, and the Atlantic Ocean to its south and southwest. It has a population of around 5 million and covers an area of 111,369 square kilometers (43,000 sq mi). English is the official language, but over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, reflecting the country's ethnic and cultural diversity. The country's capital and largest city is Monrovia. Liberia declared independence on July 26, 1847, which the U.S. did not recognize until February 5, 1862. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected Liberia's first president after the people proclaimed independence.[7]

Liberia was the first African state to proclaim its independence, and is Africa's first and oldest modern republic. It was among the few countries to maintain its sovereignty during the Scramble for Africa. During World War II, Liberia supported the United States war effort against Germany, and in turn received considerable American investment in infrastructure, which aided the country's wealth and development. President William Tubman encouraged economic and political changes that heightened the country's prosperity and international profile; Liberia was a founding member of the League of Nations, United Nations, and the Organisation of African Unity.

The Americo-Liberian settlers did not relate well to the indigenous peoples they encountered, especially those living in the more isolated areas. Colonial settlements were raided by the from inland chiefdoms. Americo-Liberians promoted religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the native populace.[8] Americo-Liberians formed into a small elite that held disproportionate political power; indigenous Africans were excluded from birthright citizenship in their own land until 1904.[8][9]

In 1980, political tensions from the rule of William R. Tolbert resulted in a military coup during which Tolbert was killed, marking the end of Americo-Liberian rule in the country and beginning over two decades of political instability. Five years of military rule by the People's Redemption Council and five years of civilian rule by the National Democratic Party of Liberia were followed by the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars. These resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people (about 8% of the population) and the displacement of many more, with Liberia's economy shrinking by 90%.[10] A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005, in which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected president, making history as the first female president in the continent. National infrastructure and basic social services were severely affected by the conflicts as well as by the 2013–2016 outbreak of Ebola virus, with 83% of the population living below the international poverty line as of 2015.[11]

History[edit | edit source]

Indigenous People[edit | edit source]

The presence of Oldowan Earlier Stone Age (earliest ESA) artefacts in West Africa has been confirmed by Michael Omolewa, attesting to the presence of ancient humans. diversification, including both microlithic and macrolithic traditions.[12]

The record shows that aceramic and ceramic Later Stone Age (LSA) assemblages in West Africa overlap chronologically, and that changing densities of microlithic industries from the coast to the north are geographically structured. These features may represent social networks or some form of cultural diffusion allied to changing ecological conditions.[12]

Microlithic industries with ceramics became common by the Mid-Holocene, coupled with an apparent intensification of wild food exploitation. Between ~4–3.5ka, these societies gradually transformed into food producers, possibly through contact with northern pastoralists and agriculturalists, as the environment became more arid. However, hunter-gatherers have survived in the more forested parts of West Africa until much later, attesting to the strength of ecological boundaries in this region.[12]

A European map of West Africa and the Grain Coast, 1736. It has the archaic mapping designation of Negroland.

Mande Expansion[edit | edit source]

The Pepper Coast, also known as the Grain Coast, has been inhabited by indigenous peoples of Africa at least as far back as the 12th century. Mande-speaking people expanded westward from the Sudan, forcing many smaller ethnic groups southward toward the Atlantic Ocean. The Dei, Bassa, Kru, Gola, and Kissi were some of the earliest documented peoples in the area.[13]

This influx of these groups was compounded by the decline of the Western Sudanic Mali Empire in 1375 and the Songhai Empire in 1591. As inland regions underwent desertification, inhabitants moved to the wetter coast. These new inhabitants brought skills such as cotton spinning, cloth weaving, iron smelting, rice and sorghum cultivation, and social and political institutions from the Mali and Songhai empires.[13] Shortly after the Mane conquered the region, the Vai people of the former Mali Empire immigrated into the Grand Cape Mount County region. The ethnic Kru opposed the influx of Vai, forming an alliance with the Mane to stop further influx of Vai.[14]

People along the coast built canoes and traded with other West Africans from Cap-Vert to the Gold Coast. Arab traders entered the region from the north, and a long-established slave trade took captives to north and east Africa.[citation needed]

Early colonization[edit | edit source]

Between 1461 and the late 17th century, Portuguese, Dutch, and British traders had contacts and trading posts in the region. The Portuguese named the area Costa da Pimenta ("Pepper Coast") but it later came to be known as the Grain Coast, due to the abundance of melegueta pepper grains. European traders would barter commodities and goods with local people.[citation needed]

In the United States there was a movement to settle free people of color, both free-born and formerly enslaved, in Africa. This was because they faced racial discrimination in the form of political disenfranchisement and the denial of civil, religious, and social rights.[15] Formed in 1816, the American Colonization Society (ACS) was made up mostly of Quakers and slaveholders. Quakers believed blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the U.S.[16][17] While slaveholders opposed freedom for enslaved people, they viewed "repatriation" of free people of color as a way to avoid slave rebellions.[16]

In 1822, the American Colonization Society began sending free people of color to the Pepper Coast voluntarily to establish a colony. Most were transported on Black-owned barques. Mortality from tropical diseases was high — of the 4,571 emigrants who arrived in Liberia between 1820 and 1843, only 1,819 survived.[18][19] By 1867 the ACS (and state-related chapters) had assisted in the migration of more than 13,000 people of color from the United States and the Caribbean to Liberia.[20] These free African Americans and their descendants married within their community and came to identify as Americo-Liberians. Many were of mixed race and educated in American culture; they did not identify with the indigenous natives of the tribes they encountered. They intermarried largely within the colonial community, developing an ethnic group that had a cultural tradition infused with American notions of political republicanism and Protestant Christianity.[21]

Map of Liberia Colony in the 1830s, created by the ACS, and also showing Mississippi Colony and other state-sponsored colonies.

The ACS, supported by prominent American politicians such as Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, and James Monroe, believed "repatriation" was preferable to having emancipated slaves remain in the United States.[17] Similar state-based organizations established colonies in Mississippi-in-Africa, Kentucky in Africa, and the Republic of Maryland, which Liberia later annexed. However, Lincoln in 1862 described Liberia as only "in a certain sense...a success", and proposed instead that free people of color be assisted to emigrate to Chiriquí, today part of Panama.[22]

The Americo-Liberian settlers did not relate well to the indigenous peoples they encountered, especially those in communities of the more isolated "bush". The colonial settlements were raided by the Kru and Grebo from their inland chiefdoms. Encounters with tribal Africans in the bush often became violent confrontations. Believing themselves different from and culturally and educationally superior to the indigenous peoples, the Americo-Liberians developed as an elite minority that held on to political power. In a conscious effort to emulate the American South, the Americo-Liberian settlers adopted clothing such as hoop skirts and tailcoats and excluded natives from economic opportunities including creating plantations on which natives were forced to work.[23] Indigenous tribesmen did not enjoy birthright citizenship in their own land until 1904.[9] Americo-Liberians encouraged religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the indigenous peoples.[23]

Political formation[edit | edit source]

Residence of Joseph Jenkins Roberts, first President of Liberia, between 1848 and 1852.

On July 26, 1847, the settlers issued a Declaration of Independence and promulgated a constitution. Based on the political principles of the United States Constitution, it established the independent Republic of Liberia.[24][25] The United Kingdom was the first country to recognize Liberia's independence.[26] The United States did not recognize Liberia until 1862, after the Southern states, which had strong political power in the American government, declared their secession and the formation of the Confederacy.[27][28][29]

The leadership of the new nation consisted largely of the Americo-Liberians, who initially established political and economic dominance in the coastal areas that the ACS had purchased; they maintained relations with U.S. contacts in developing these areas and the resulting trade. Their passage of the 1865 Ports of Entry Act prohibited foreign commerce with the inland tribes, ostensibly to "encourage the growth of civilized values" before such trade was allowed in the region.[24]

African Americans depart for Liberia, 1896. The ACS sent its last emigrants to Liberia in 1904.

By 1877, the True Whig Party was the country's most powerful political entity.[30] It was made up primarily of Americo-Liberians, who maintained social, economic and political dominance well into the 20th century, repeating patterns of European colonists in other nations in Africa. Competition for office was usually contained within the party; a party nomination virtually ensured election.[30]

Pressure from the United Kingdom, which controlled Sierra Leone to the northwest, and France, with its interests in the north and east, led to a loss of Liberia's claims to extensive territories. Both Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast annexed territories.[31] Liberia struggled to attract investment to develop infrastructure and a larger, industrial economy.

There was a decline in production of Liberian goods in the late 19th century, and the government struggled financially, resulting in indebtedness on a series of international loans.[32] On July 16, 1892, Martha Ann Erskine Ricks met Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle and presented her a handmade quilt, Liberia's first diplomatic gift. Born into slavery in Tennessee, Ricks said, "I had heard it often, from the time I was a child, how good the Queen had been to my people—to slaves—and how she wanted us to be free."[26]

Early 20th century[edit | edit source]

Charles D. B. King, 17th President of Liberia (1920–1930), with his entourage on the steps of the Peace Palace, The Hague (the Netherlands), 1927.

American and other international interests emphasized resource extraction, with rubber production a major industry in the early 20th century.[33] In 1914 Imperial Germany accounted for three quarters of the trade of Liberia. This was a cause for concern among the British colonial authorities of Sierra Leone and the French colonial authorities of French Guinea and the Ivory Coast as tensions with Germany increased.[34]

World Wars and Interwar Period[edit | edit source]

Liberia remained neutral during World War I until August 4, 1917 upon declaring war on Germany. Subsequently, it was one of 32 nations to take part in the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919, which ended the war and established the League of Nations; Liberia was among the few African and non-Western nations to participate in both the conference and the founding of the League.[35]

In 1927, the country's elections again showed the power of the True Whig Party, with electoral proceedings that have been called some of the most rigged ever; the winning candidate was declared to have received votes amounting to more than 15 times the number of eligible voters. (The loser actually received around 60% of the eligible vote.)

Soon after, allegations of modern slavery in Liberia led the League of Nations to establish the Christy commission. Findings included government involvement in widespread "Forced or compulsory labour". Minority ethnic groups especially were exploited in a system that enriched well-connected elites.[36] As a result of the report, President Charles D. B. King and Vice President Allen N. Yancy resigned.[37]

In the mid-20th century Liberia gradually began to modernize with American assistance. During World War II the United States made major infrastructure improvements to support its military efforts in Africa and Europe against Germany. It built the Freeport of Monrovia and Roberts International Airport under the Lend-Lease program before its entry into the Second World War.[38]

After the war, President William Tubman encouraged foreign investment, with Liberia achieving the second-highest rate of economic growth in the world during the 1950s.[38] The country also began to take a more active role in international affairs: It was a founding member of the United Nations in 1945 and became a vocal critic of the South African apartheid regime.[39] As one of the few African nations to escape colonisation, Liberia also served as a proponent both of African independence from European colonial powers and of Pan-Africanism, and helped to fund the Organisation of African Unity.[40]
A technical in Monrovia during the Second Liberian Civil War.

Late 20th-century political instability[edit | edit source]

On April 12, 1980, a military coup led by Master Sergeant Samuel Doe of the Krahn ethnic group overthrew and killed President William R. Tolbert, Jr. Doe and the other plotters later executed a majority of Tolbert's cabinet and other Americo-Liberian government officials and True Whig Party members.[41] The coup leaders formed the People's Redemption Council (PRC) to govern the country.[41] A strategic Cold War ally of the West, Doe received significant financial backing from the United States while critics condemned the PRC for corruption and political repression.[41]

After Liberia adopted a new constitution in 1985, Doe was elected president in subsequent elections that were internationally condemned as fraudulent.[41] On November 12, 1985, a failed counter-coup was launched by Thomas Quiwonkpa, whose soldiers briefly occupied the national radio station.[42] Government repression intensified in response, as Doe's troops retaliated by executing members of the Gio and Mano ethnic groups in Nimba County.[42]

The National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), a rebel group led by Charles Taylor, launched an insurrection in December 1989 against Doe's government with the backing of neighboring countries such as Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. This triggered the First Liberian Civil War.[43] By September 1990, Doe's forces controlled only a small area just outside the capital, and Doe was captured and executed in that month by rebel forces.[44]

The rebels soon split into various factions fighting one another. The Economic Community Monitoring Group under the Economic Community of West African States organized a military task force to intervene in the crisis.[44][failed verification] From 1989 to 1997 around 60,000 to 80,000 Liberians died, and by 1996 around 700,000 others had been displaced into refugee camps in neighboring countries.[45] A peace deal between warring parties was reached in 1995, leading to Taylor's election as president in 1997.[44]

Under Taylor's leadership, Liberia became internationally known as a pariah state due to its use of blood diamonds and illegal timber exports to fund the Revolutionary United Front in the Sierra Leone Civil War.[46] The Second Liberian Civil War began in 1999 when Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, a rebel group based in the northwest of the country, launched an armed insurrection against Taylor.[47]

21st century[edit | edit source]

In March 2003, a second rebel group, Movement for Democracy in Liberia, began launching attacks against Taylor from the southeast.[47] Peace talks between the factions began in Accra in June of that year, and Taylor was indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone for crimes against humanity the same month.[46] By July 2003, the rebels had launched an assault on Monrovia.[48] Under heavy pressure from the international community and the domestic Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement,[49] Taylor resigned in August 2003 and went into exile in Nigeria.[50] A peace deal was signed later that month.[51]

The United Nations Mission in Liberia began arriving in September 2003 to provide security and monitor the peace accord,[52] and an interim government took power the following October.[53] The subsequent 2005 elections were internationally regarded as the most free and fair in Liberian history.[54] Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a US-educated economist and former Minister of Finance, was elected as the first female president in Africa.[54] Upon her inauguration, Sirleaf requested the extradition of Taylor from Nigeria and transferred him to the SCSL for trial in The Hague.[55][56]

In 2006, the government established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to address the causes and crimes of the civil war.[57]

In 2011, July 26 was proclaimed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to be observed as National Independence Day.[58]

Following the 2017 Liberian general election, former professional football striker George Weah, one of the greatest African players of all time,[59][60] was sworn in as president on 22 January 2018, becoming the 4th youngest serving president in Africa.[61] The inauguration marked Liberia's first fully democratic transition in 74 years.[62] Weah cited fighting corruption, reforming the economy, combating illiteracy and improving life conditions as the main targets of his presidency.[62] Template:Clearleft

Geography[edit | edit source]

A map of Liberia
Liberia map of Köppen climate classification.

Liberia is situated in West Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean to the country's southwest. It lies between latitudes and 9°N, and longitudes and 12°W.

The landscape is characterized by mostly flat to rolling coastal plains that contain mangroves and swamps, which rise to a rolling plateau and low mountains in the northeast.[63]

Tropical rainforests cover the hills, while elephant grass and semi-deciduous forests make up the dominant vegetation in the northern sections.[63] The equatorial climate, in the south of the country, is hot year-round with heavy rainfall from May to October with a short interlude in mid-July to August.[63] During the winter months of November to March, dry dust-laden harmattan winds blow inland, causing many problems for residents.[63]

Liberia's watershed tends to move in a southwestern pattern towards the sea as new rains move down the forested plateau off the inland mountain range of Guinée Forestière, in Guinea. Cape Mount near the border with Sierra Leone receives the most precipitation in the nation.[63]

Liberia's main northwestern boundary is traversed by the Mano River while its southeast limits are bounded by the Cavalla River.[63] Liberia's three largest rivers are St. Paul exiting near Monrovia, the river St. John at Buchanan, and the Cestos River, all of which flow into the Atlantic. The Cavalla is the longest river in the nation at 515 kilometers (320 mi).[63]

The highest point wholly within Liberia is Mount Wuteve at 1,440 meters (4,724 ft) above sea level in the northwestern Liberia range of the West Africa Mountains and the Guinea Highlands.[63] However, Mount Nimba near Yekepa, is higher at 1,752 meters (5,748 ft) above sea level but is not wholly within Liberia as Nimba shares a border with Guinea and Ivory Coast and is their tallest mountain as well.[64]

Forests[edit | edit source]

Forests on the coastline are composed mostly of salt-tolerant mangrove trees, while the more sparsely populated inland has forests opening onto a plateau of drier grasslands. The climate is equatorial, with significant rainfall during the May–October rainy season and harsh harmattan winds the remainder of the year. Liberia possesses about forty percent of the remaining Upper Guinean rainforest. It was an important producer of rubber in the early 20th century.[citation needed] Four terrestrial ecoregions lie within Liberia's borders: Guinean montane forests, Western Guinean lowland forests, Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, and Guinean mangroves.[65] It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 4.79/10, ranking it 116th globally out of 172 countries.[66]

Administrative divisions[edit | edit source]

Template:Counties of Liberia Image Map

A view of a lake in Bomi County

Liberia is divided into fifteen counties, which, in turn, are subdivided into a total of 90 districts and further subdivided into clans. The oldest counties are Grand Bassa and Montserrado, both founded in 1839 prior to Liberian independence. Gbarpolu is the newest county, created in 2001. Nimba is the largest of the counties in size at 11,551 km2 (4,460 sq mi), while Montserrado is the smallest at 1,909 km2 (737 sq mi).[67] Montserrado is also the most populous county with 1,144,806 residents as of the 2008 census.[67]

The fifteen counties are administered by superintendents appointed by the president. The Constitution calls for the election of various chiefs at the county and local level, but these elections have not taken place since 1985 due to war and financial constraints.[68]

Parallel to the administrative divisions of the country are the local and municipal divisions. Liberia currently does not have any constitutional framework or uniform statutes which deal with the creation or revocation of local governments.[69] All existing local governments – cities, townships, and a borough – were created by specific acts of the Liberian government, and thus the structure and duties/responsibilities of each local government varies greatly from one to the other.[citation needed]

Map no. County Capital Population
(2008 Census)[67]
Area
(km2)[67]
Number of
districts
Year
created
1 Bomi Tubmanburg 82,036 1,942 km2 (750 sq mi) 4 1984
2 Bong Gbarnga 328,919 8,772 km2 (3,387 sq mi) 12 1964
3 Gbarpolu Bopolu 83,758 9,689 km2 (3,741 sq mi) 6 2001
4 Grand Bassa Buchanan 224,839 7,936 km2 (3,064 sq mi) 8 1839
5 Grand Cape Mount Robertsport 129,055 5,162 km2 (1,993 sq mi) 5 1844
6 Grand Gedeh Zwedru 126,146 10,484 km2 (4,048 sq mi) 3 1964
7 Grand Kru Barclayville 57,106 3,895 km2 (1,504 sq mi) 18 1984
8 Lofa Voinjama 270,114 9,982 km2 (3,854 sq mi) 6 1964
9 Margibi Kakata 199,689 2,616 km2 (1,010 sq mi) 4 1985
10 Maryland Harper 136,404 2,297 km2 (887 sq mi) 2 1857
11 Montserrado Bensonville 1,144,806 1,909 km2 (737 sq mi) 4 1839
12 Nimba Sanniquellie 468,088 11,551 km2 (4,460 sq mi) 6 1964
13 Rivercess Rivercess 65,862 5,594 km2 (2,160 sq mi) 6 1985
14 River Gee Fish Town 67,318 5,113 km2 (1,974 sq mi) 6 2000
15 Sinoe Greenville 104,932 10,137 km2 (3,914 sq mi) 17 1843

Environmental issues[edit | edit source]

Pygmy hippos are among the species illegally hunted for food in Liberia.[70] The World Conservation Union estimates that there are fewer than 3,000 pygmy hippos remaining in the wild.[71]

Endangered species are hunted for human consumption as bushmeat in Liberia.[70] Species hunted for food in Liberia include elephants, pygmy hippopotamus, chimpanzees, leopards, duikers, and other monkeys.[70] Bushmeat is often exported to neighboring Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, despite a ban on the cross-border sale of wild animals.[70]

Bushmeat is widely eaten in Liberia, and is considered a delicacy.[72] A 2004 public opinion survey found that bushmeat ranked second behind fish amongst residents of the capital Monrovia as a preferred source of protein.[72] Of households where bushmeat was served, 80% of residents said they cooked it "once in a while," while 13% cooked it once a week and 7% cooked bushmeat daily.[72] The survey was conducted during the last civil war, and bushmeat consumption is now believed to be far higher.[72]

Loggers and logging truck, early 1960s

Liberia is a global biodiversity hotspot—a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is under threat from humans.[73]

Slash-and-burn agriculture is one of the human activities eroding Liberia's natural forests.[74] A 2004 UN report estimated that 99% of Liberians burned charcoal and fuel wood for cooking and heating, resulting in deforestation.[74]

Illegal logging has increased in Liberia since the end of the Second Civil War in 2003.[73] In 2012, President Sirleaf granted licenses to companies to cut down 58% of all the primary rainforest left in Liberia.[73] After international protests, many of those logging permits were canceled.[73] In September 2014, Liberia and Norway struck an agreement whereby Liberia ceased all logging in exchange for $150 million in development aid.[73]

Pollution is a significant issue in Monrovia.[75] Since 2006, the international community has paid for all garbage collection and disposal in Monrovia via the World Bank.[76]

Climate change[edit | edit source]

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Politics[edit | edit source]

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The government of Liberia, modeled on the government of the United States, is a unitary constitutional republic and representative democracy as established by the Constitution. The government has three co-equal branches of government: the executive, headed by the president; the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Legislature of Liberia; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and several lower courts.[citation needed]

The president serves as head of government, head of state, and the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia.[1] Among the president's other duties are to sign or veto legislative bills, grant pardons, and appoint Cabinet members, judges, and other public officials. Together with the vice president, the president is elected to a six-year term by majority vote in a two-round system and can serve up to two terms in office.[1]

The Legislature is composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The House, led by a speaker, has 73 members apportioned among the 15 counties on the basis of the national census, with each county receiving a minimum of two members.[1] Each House member represents an electoral district within a county as drawn by the National Elections Commission and is elected by a plurality of the popular vote of their district into a six-year term. The Senate is made up of two senators from each county for a total of 30 senators.[1] Senators serve nine-year terms and are elected at-large by a plurality of the popular vote.[1] The vice president serves as the President of the Senate, with a President pro tempore serving in their absence. [77]

Liberia's highest judicial authority is the Supreme Court, made up of five members and headed by the Chief Justice of Liberia. Members are nominated to the court by the president and are confirmed by the Senate, serving until the age of 70. The judiciary is further divided into circuit and speciality courts, magistrate courts and justices of the peace.[78] The judicial system is a blend of common law, based on Anglo-American law, and customary law.[1] An informal system of traditional courts still exists within the rural areas of the country, with trial by ordeal remaining common despite being officially outlawed.[78]

From 1877 to 1980 the government was dominated by the True Whig Party.[30] Today over 20 political parties are registered in the country, based largely around personalities and ethnic groups.[54] Most parties suffer from poor organizational capacity.[54] The 2005 elections marked the first time that the president's party did not gain a majority of seats in the Legislature.[54]

Military[edit | edit source]

The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) are the country's armed forces. Founded as the Liberian Frontier Force in 1908, the military was renamed in 1956. For virtually all of its history, the AFL has received considerable material and training assistance from the United States. For most of the 1941–89 period, training was largely provided by U.S. advisors, with combat experience in the Second World War also playing a role in training. After UN Security Council Resolution 1509 in September 2003, the United Nations Mission in Liberia arrived to referee the ceasefire with units from Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, and China with the view to assist the National Transitional Government of Liberia in forming the new Liberian military.[79]

Foreign relations[edit | edit source]

President Sirleaf with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, and British PM David Cameron in September 2015

After the turmoil following the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars, Liberia's internal stabilization in the 21st century brought a return to cordial relations with neighboring countries and much of the Western world. As in other African countries, China is an important part of the post-conflict reconstruction.[80]

In the past, both of Liberia's neighbors, Guinea and Sierra Leone, have accused Liberia of backing rebels in their countries.[81]

Law enforcement and crime[edit | edit source]

The Liberian National Police is the country's national police force. As of October 2007 it has 844 officers in 33 stations in Montserrado County, which contains Monrovia.[82] The National Police Training Academy is in Paynesville City.[83] A history of corruption among police officers diminishes public trust and operational effectiveness. The internal security is characterized by a general lawlessness coupled with the danger that former combatants in the late civil war might reestablish militias to challenge the civil authorities.[84]

Rape and sexual assault are frequent in the post-conflict era in Liberia. Liberia has one of the highest incidences of sexual violence against women in the world. Rape is the most frequently reported crime, accounting for more than one-third of sexual violence cases. Adolescent girls are the most frequently assaulted, and almost 40% of perpetrators are adult men known to victims.[85]

Both male and female homosexuality are illegal in Liberia.[86][87] On July 20, 2012, the Liberian senate voted unanimously to enact legislation to prohibit and criminalize same-sex marriages.[88]

Corruption[edit | edit source]

Corruption is endemic at every level of the Liberian government.[89] When President Sirleaf took office in 2006, she announced that corruption was "the major public enemy."[81] In 2014 the US ambassador to Liberia said that corruption there was harming people through "unnecessary costs to products and services that are already difficult for many Liberians to afford".[90]

Liberia scored a 3.3 on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt) on the 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index. This gave it a ranking 87th of 178 countries worldwide and 11th of 47 in Sub-Saharan Africa.[91] This score represented a significant improvement since 2007, when the country scored 2.1 and ranked 150th of 180 countries.[92] When dealing with public-facing government functionaries, 89% of Liberians say they have had to pay a bribe, the highest national percentage in the world according to the organization's 2010 Global Corruption Barometer.[93]

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Economy[edit | edit source]

A proportional representation of Liberian exports. The shipping related categories reflect Liberia's status as an international flag of convenience – there are 3,500 vessels registered under Liberia's flag accounting for 11% of ships worldwide.[94][95]
Liberia, trends in the Human Development Index 1970–2010.

The Central Bank of Liberia is responsible for printing and maintaining the Liberian dollar, Liberia's primary currency. Liberia is one of the world's poorest countries, with a formal employment rate of 15%.[78] GDP per capita peaked in 1980 at US$496, when it was comparable to Egypt's (at the time).[96] In 2011 the country's nominal GDP was US$1.154 billion, while nominal GDP per capita stood at US$297, the third-lowest in the world.[97] Historically the Liberian economy has depended heavily on foreign aid, foreign direct investment and exports of natural resources such as iron ore, rubber, and timber.[63]

Economic history[edit | edit source]

Following a peak in growth in 1979, the Liberian economy began a steady decline due to economic mismanagement after the 1980 coup.[98] This decline was accelerated by the outbreak of civil war in 1989; GDP was reduced by an estimated 90% between 1989 and 1995, one of the fastest declines in history.[98] Upon the end of the war in 2003, GDP growth began to accelerate, reaching 9.4% in 2007.[99] The global financial crisis slowed GDP growth to 4.6% in 2009,[99] though a strengthening agricultural sector led by rubber and timber exports increased growth to 5.1% in 2010 and an expected 7.3% in 2011, making the economy one of the 20 fastest-growing in the world.[100][101]

Current impediments to growth include a small domestic market, lack of adequate infrastructure, high transportation costs, poor trade links with neighboring countries and the high dollarization of the economy.[100] Liberia used the United States dollar as its currency from 1943 until 1982 and continues to use the U.S. dollar alongside the Liberian dollar.[102]

Following a decrease in inflation beginning in 2003, inflation spiked in 2008 as a result of worldwide food and energy crises,[103] reaching 17.5% before declining to 7.4% in 2009.[99] Liberia's external debt was estimated in 2006 at approximately $4.5 billion, 800% of GDP.[98] As a result of bilateral, multilateral and commercial debt relief from 2007 to 2010, the country's external debt fell to $222.9 million by 2011.[104]

While official commodity exports declined during the 1990s as many investors fled the civil war, Liberia's wartime economy featured the exploitation of the region's diamond wealth.[105] The country acted as a major trader in Sierra Leonian blood diamonds, exporting over US$300 million in diamonds in 1999.[106] This led to a United Nations ban on Liberian diamond exports in 2001, which was lifted in 2007 following Liberia's accession to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.[107]

In 2003, additional UN sanctions were placed on Liberian timber exports, which had risen from US$5 million in 1997 to over US$100 million in 2002 and were believed to be funding rebels in Sierra Leone.[108][109] These sanctions were lifted in 2006.[110] Due in large part to foreign aid and investment inflow following the end of the war, Liberia maintains a large account deficit, which peaked at nearly 60% in 2008.[100] Liberia gained observer status with the World Trade Organization in 2010 and became an official member in 2016.[111]

Liberia has the highest ratio of foreign direct investment to GDP in the world, with US$16 billion in investment since 2006.[101] Following Sirleaf's inauguration in 2006, Liberia signed several multi-billion-dollar concession agreements in the iron ore and palm oil industries with numerous multinational corporations, including ArcelorMittal, BHP and Sime Darby.[112] Palm oil companies like Sime Darby (Malaysia) and Golden Veroleum (USA) have been accused of destroying livelihoods and displacing local communities, enabled by government concessions.[113] Since 1926 Firestone has operated the world's largest rubber plantation in Harbel, Margibi County. As of 2015 it had more than 8,000 mostly Liberian employees, making it the country's largest private employer.[114][115]

Shipping flag of convenience[edit | edit source]

Due to its status as a flag of convenience, Liberia has the second-largest maritime registry in the world behind Panama. It has 3,500 vessels registered under its flag, accounting for 11% of ships worldwide.[94][95]

Major industries[edit | edit source]

Agriculture[edit | edit source]

Template:Excerpt

Mining[edit | edit source]

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Telecommunications[edit | edit source]

There are six major newspapers in Liberia, and 45% of the population has a mobile phone service. Much of Liberia's communications infrastructure was destroyed or plundered during the two civil wars (1989–1996 and 1999–2003).[116] With low rates of adult literacy and high poverty rates, television and newspaper use is limited, leaving radio as the predominant means of communicating with the public.[117]

Transportation[edit | edit source]

The streets of downtown Monrovia, March 2009
Template:Excerpt

Energy[edit | edit source]

Public electricity services are provided solely by the state-owned Liberia Electricity Corporation, which operates a small grid almost exclusively in the Greater Monrovia District.[118] The vast majority of electric energy services is provided by small, privately owned generators. At $0.54 per kWh, the cost of electricity in Liberia is among the highest in the world. Total capacity in 2013 was 20 MW, a sharp decline from a peak of 191 MW in 1989 before the wars.[118]

Completion of the repair and expansion of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Project, with a maximum capacity of 80 MW, is scheduled to be completed by 2018.[119] Construction of three new heavy fuel oil power plants is expected to boost electrical capacity by 38 MW.[120] In 2013, Liberia began importing power from neighboring Ivory Coast and Guinea through the West African Power Pool.[121]

Liberia has begun exploration for offshore oil; unproven oil reserves may be in excess of one billion barrels.[122] The government divided its offshore waters into 17 blocks and began auctioning off exploration licenses for the blocks in 2004, with further auctions in 2007 and 2009.[123][124][125] An additional 13 ultra-deep offshore blocks were demarcated in 2011 and planned for auction.[126] Among the companies to have won licenses are Repsol YPF, Chevron Corporation, and Woodside Petroleum.[127]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Liberia's population from 1961 to 2013, in millions.[128] Liberia's population tripled in 40 years.[128]
Liberia's population pyramid, 2005. 43.5% of Liberians were below the age of 15 in 2010.[129]

As of the 2017 national census, Liberia was home to 4,694,608 people.[130] Of those, 1,118,241 lived in Montserrado County, the most populous county in the country and home to the capital of Monrovia. The Greater Monrovia District has 970,824 residents.[131] Nimba County is the next most populous county, with 462,026 residents.[131] As revealed in the 2008 census, Monrovia is more than four times more populous than all the county capitals combined.[67]

Prior to the 2008 census, the last census had been taken in 1984 and listed the country's population as 2,101,628.[131] The population of Liberia was 1,016,443 in 1962 and increased to 1,503,368 in 1974.[67] As of 2006, Liberia had the highest population growth rate in the world (4.50% per annum).[132] In 2010 some 43.5% of Liberians were below the age of 15.[129]

Ethnic groups[edit | edit source]

Template:Bar box The population includes 16 indigenous ethnic groups and various foreign minorities. Indigenous peoples comprise about 95 percent of the population. The 16 officially recognized ethnic groups include the Kpelle, Bassa, Mano, Gio or Dan, Kru, Grebo, Krahn, Vai, Gola, Mandingo or Mandinka, Mende, Kissi, Gbandi, Loma, Dei or Dewoin, Belleh, and Americo-Liberians or Congo people.

The Kpelle comprise more than 20% of the population and are the largest ethnic group in Liberia, residing mostly in Bong County and adjacent areas in central Liberia.[133] Americo-Liberians, who are descendants of African American and West Indian, mostly Barbadian (Bajan) settlers, make up 2.5%. Congo people, descendants of repatriated Congo and Afro-Caribbean slaves who arrived in 1825, make up an estimated 2.5%.[1][134] These latter two groups established political control in the 19th century which they kept well into the 20th century.

Numerous immigrants have come as merchants and become a major part of the business community, including Lebanese, Indians, and other West African nationals. There is a high percentage of interracial marriage between ethnic Liberians and the Lebanese, resulting in a significant mixed-race population especially in and around Monrovia. A small minority of Liberians who are White Africans of European descent reside in the country.[better source needed][1] The Liberian constitution exercises jus sanguinis, restricting its citizenship to "Negroes or persons of Negro descent."[135]

Languages[edit | edit source]

English is the official language and serves as the lingua franca of Liberia.[136] Thirty-one indigenous languages are spoken in Liberia, but each is a first language for only a small percentage of the population.[137] Liberians also speak a variety of creolized dialects collectively known as Liberian English.[136]

Largest cities[edit | edit source]

Template:Largest cities of Liberia

Religion[edit | edit source]

Template:Bar box According to the 2008 National Census, 85.6% of the population practices Christianity, while Muslims represent a minority of 12.2%.[138] A multitude of diverse Protestant confessions such as Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, United Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) and African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AME Zion) denominations form the bulk of the Christian population, followed by adherents of the Roman Catholic Church and other non-Protestant Christians. Most of these Christian denominations were brought by African American settlers moving from the United States into Liberia via the American Colonization Society, while some are indigenous—especially Pentecostal and evangelical Protestant ones. Protestantism was originally associated with Black American settlers and their Americo-Liberian descendants, while native peoples held to their own animist forms of African traditional religion. Indigenous people were subject to Christian missionary, as well as Americo-Liberian efforts to close the cultural gap by means of education. This proved successful, leaving Christians a majority in the country.[citation needed]

Muslims comprise 12.2% of the population, largely represented by the Mandingo and Vai ethnic groups. Liberian Muslims are divided between Sunnis, Shias, Ahmadiyyas, Sufis, and non-denominational Muslims.[139]

Traditional indigenous religions are practiced by 0.5% of the population, while 1.5% subscribe to no religion. A small number of people are Baháʼí, Hindu, Sikh, or Buddhist. While Christian, many Liberians also participate in traditional, gender-based indigenous religious secret societies, such as Poro for men and Sande for women. The all-female Sande society practices female circumcision.[140]

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respects this right.[140] While separation of church and state is mandated by the Constitution, Liberia is considered a Christian state in practice.[54] Public schools offer biblical studies, though parents may opt their children out. Commerce is prohibited by law on Sunday and major Christian holidays. The government does not require businesses or schools to excuse Muslims for Friday prayers.[140]

Education[edit | edit source]

Students studying by candlelight in Bong County

In 2010, the literacy rate of Liberia was estimated at 60.8% (64.8% for males and 56.8% for females).[141] In some areas primary and secondary education is free and compulsory from the ages of 6 to 16, though enforcement of attendance is lax.[142] In other areas children are required to pay a tuition fee to attend school. On average, children attain 10 years of education (11 for boys and 8 for girls).[1] The country's education sector is hampered by inadequate schools and supplies, as well as a lack of qualified teachers.[143]

Higher education is provided by a number of public and private universities. The University of Liberia is the country's largest and oldest university. Located in Monrovia, the university opened in 1862. Today it has six colleges, including a medical school and the nation's only law school, Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.[144]

In 2009, Tubman University in Harper, Maryland County was established as the second public university in Liberia.[145] Since 2006, the government has also opened community colleges in Buchanan, Sanniquellie, and Voinjama.[146][147][148]

Due to student protests late in October 2018, newly elected president George M. Weah abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students in the public universities in Liberia.[149]

Private universities[edit | edit source]

  • Cuttington University was established by the Episcopal Church of the USA in 1889 in Suakoko, Bong County, as part of its missionary education work among indigenous peoples. It is the nation's oldest private university.
  • Stella Maris Polytechnic, a post-secondary, private institution of higher learning. Founded in 1988, the school is owned and operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Monrovia. Located on Capitol Hill, the school has approximately 2,000 students.[150]
  • Adventist University of West Africa, a post-secondary learning environment that is situated in Margibi County, on the Roberts International Airport.[151]
  • United Methodist University, a private Christian university located in Liberia, West Africa, it is commonly known amongst locals as UMU. As of 2016, it had approximately 9,118 students. This institution was founded in 1998.[152]
  • African Methodist Episcopal University, a private higher education institution that was founded in 1995.[153]
  • St. Clements University- University College (Liberia), a private higher education institution that was founded in 2008, Home

Health[edit | edit source]

Hospitals in Liberia include the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia and several others. Life expectancy in Liberia is estimated to be 57.4 years in 2012.[154] With a fertility rate of 5.9 births per woman, the maternal mortality rate stood at 990 per 100,000 births in 2010.[155] A number of highly communicable diseases are widespread, including tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases and malaria. In 2007, the HIV infection rates stood at 2% of the population aged 15–49[156] whereas the incidence of tuberculosis was 420 per 100,000 people in 2008.[157] Approximately 58.2%[158] – 66%[159] of women are estimated to have undergone female genital mutilation.

Liberia imports 90% of its rice, a staple food, and is extremely vulnerable to food shortages.[160] In 2007, 20.4% of children under the age of five were malnourished.[161] In 2008, only 17% of the population had access to adequate sanitation facilities.[162]

Approximately 95% of the country's healthcare facilities had been destroyed by the time civil war ended in 2003.[163] In 2009, government expenditure on health care per capita was US$22,[164] accounting for 10.6% of total GDP.[165] In 2008, Liberia had only one doctor and 27 nurses per 100,000 people.[157]

In 2014, an outbreak of Ebola virus in Guinea spread to Liberia.[166] As of November 17, 2014, there were 2,812 confirmed deaths from the ongoing outbreak.[167] In early August 2014 Guinea closed its borders to Liberia to help contain the spread of the virus, as more new cases were being reported in Liberia than in Guinea. On May 9, 2015, Liberia was declared Ebola free after six weeks with no new cases.[168]

According to an Overseas Development Institute report, private health expenditure accounts for 64.1% of total spending on health.[169]

Culture[edit | edit source]

Bassa culture. Helmet Mask for Sande Society (Ndoli Jowei), Liberia. 20th century. Brooklyn Museum.

The religious practices, social customs and cultural standards of the Americo-Liberians had their roots in the antebellum American South. The settlers wore top hat and tails and modeled their homes on those of Southern slaveowners.[170] Most Americo-Liberian men were members of the Masonic Order of Liberia, which became heavily involved in the nation's politics.[171]

Liberia has a rich history in textile arts and quilting, as the settlers brought with them their sewing and quilting skills. Liberia hosted National Fairs in 1857 and 1858 in which prizes were awarded for various needle arts. One of the most well-known Liberian quilters was Martha Ann Ricks,[172] who presented a quilt featuring the famed Liberian coffee tree to Queen Victoria in 1892. When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf moved into the Executive Mansion, she reportedly had a Liberian-made quilt installed in her presidential office.[173]

A rich literary tradition has existed in Liberia for over a century. Edward Wilmot Blyden, Bai T. Moore, Roland T. Dempster and Wilton G. S. Sankawulo are among Liberia's more prominent authors.[174] Moore's novella Murder in the Cassava Patch is considered Liberia's most celebrated novel.[175]

Polygamy[edit | edit source]

One-third of married Liberian women between the ages of 15–49 are in polygamous marriages.[176] Customary law allows men to have up to four wives.[177]

Cuisine[edit | edit source]

A beachside barbecue at Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia

Liberian cuisine heavily incorporates rice, the country's staple food. Other ingredients include cassava, fish, bananas, citrus fruit, plantains, coconut, okra and sweet potatoes.[178] Heavy stews spiced with habanero and scotch bonnet chilies are popular and eaten with fufu.[179] Liberia also has a tradition of baking imported from the United States that is unique in West Africa.[180]

Sport[edit | edit source]

The most popular sport in Liberia is association football, with President George Weah — the only African to be named FIFA World Player of the Year — being the nation's most famous athlete.[181][182] The Liberia national football team has reached the Africa Cup of Nations finals twice, in 1996 and 2002.

The second most popular sport in Liberia is basketball. The Liberian national basketball team has reached the AfroBasket twice, in 1983 and 2007.

In Liberia, the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex serves as a multi-purpose stadium. It hosts FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in addition to international concerts and national political events.[183]

Measurement system[edit | edit source]

Liberia is one of only three countries that have not yet completely adopted the International System of Units (abbreviated as the SI, also called the metric system), the others being the United States[a] and Myanmar.[b]

The Liberian government has begun transitioning away from use of United States customary units to the metric system.[186] However, this change has been gradual, with government reports concurrently using both United States Customary and metric units.[187][188] In 2018, the Liberian Commerce and Industry Minister announced that the Liberian government is committed to adopting the metric system.[189]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Metrication in the United States is ongoing. The 1988 Omnibus Foreign Trade and Competitiveness Act designated the metric system as "the preferred system of weights and measures for United States trade and commerce," but in practice the system is in mixed usage, with the population generally preferring customary units and industries either fully metric or mixed.[184]
  2. Myanmar made an official decision to metricate in 2013 and has been transitioning away from Imperial and Burmese units since.[185]

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  80. Moumouni, Guillaume (2018). "China and Liberia: Engagement in a Post-Conflict Country (2003–2013)". In Alden, C.; Alao, A.; Chun, Z.; Barber, L. (eds.). China and Africa. pp. 225–251. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-52893-9_12. ISBN 978-3-319-52893-9.
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  107. "Liberia restarts diamond industry". USA Today. May 1, 2007.
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  111. "Members and Observers". wto.org. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  112. "Government Announces Agreement with Chevron to Explore Liberian Waters". allAfrica.com. August 27, 2010.
  113. "Palm oil industry accused of land grabs in Liberia". globalpost.com. December 27, 2012.
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  115. "Firestone and Liberia – Company History". Firestone Natural Rubber Company. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011.
  116. "PPIAF Supports Telecommunications Reform and Liberalization in Liberia" (PDF). Public-Private Infrastructure Facility (PPIAF). July 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  117. "Introduction to Communication and Development in Liberia" Archived March 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, AudienceScapes. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  118. 118.0 118.1 "Options for the Development of Liberia's Energy Sector" (PDF). International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. World Bank Group. 2011.
  119. MacDougall, Clair (July 18, 2012). "Liberia: Stepping Back Into The Light?". ThinkPressAfrica.
  120. "Liberia: Massive Electrification Boost". allAfrica.com. November 27, 2013.
  121. Teh, Joe (July 30, 2013). "Behind The Power Switch in Nimba, An optimism for Vibrant Economy". The News Pinnacle. Archived from the original on June 9, 2014.
  122. "Liberia may have over 1 bln barrels in oil resources". Reuters Africa. November 3, 2009. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012.
  123. "NOCAL 2004 Liberia Offshore Bid Round Announcement". Business Wire. February 2, 2004.
  124. Pearson, Natalie Obiko (December 10, 2007). "Liberia Opens Bidding for 10 Offshore Oil Blocks". RigZone.
  125. "Third Liberian Offshore Petroleum Licensing Round 2009". Deloitte Petroleum Services. Deloitte. August 27, 2009. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013.
  126. Toweh, Alphonso (July 21, 2011). "Liberia marks out new oil blocks, auction seen soon". Reuters. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  127. Konneh, Ansu (August 30, 2010). "Chevron, Liberia Sign Deepwater Offshore Exploration Agreement". Bloomberg News.
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  131. 131.0 131.1 131.2 Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (May 2009). "2008 National Population and Housing Census Final Results: Population by County" (PDF). 2008 Population and Housing Census. Republic of Liberia. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  132. United Nations World Population Prospects: 2006 revision – Table A.8
  133. Fiske, Alan. "Kpelle". www.sscnet.ucla.edu. Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  134. "Liberia's Ugly Past: Re-writing Liberian History". Theperspective.org. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  135. "The Constitution of the Republic of Liberia – Chapter IV: Citizenship". www.liberianlegal.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  136. 136.0 136.1 Moore, Jina (October 19, 2009). "Liberia: Ma Ellen talk plenty plenty Liberian English". Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  137. "Languages of Liberia". Ethnologue. 2009. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  138. "2008 Population and Housing Census: Final Results" (PDF). Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services. May 2009. p. A4-84. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  139. Pew Forum on Religious & Public life. August 9, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2013
  140. 140.0 140.1 140.2 "International Religious Freedom Report 2010: Liberia". United States Department of State. November 17, 2010. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  141. "Education profile – Liberia". Institute for Statistics. UNESCO. 2010. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  142. "LIBERIA: Go to school or go to jail". IRN. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. September 21, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2009.
  143. Trawally, Sidiki; Reeves, Derek (2009). "Making Quality Education Affordable And Assessable To All—Prez. Sirleaf's Vision With Passion". Lift Liberia. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  144. Jallah, David A. B. "Notes, Presented by Professor and Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia, David A. B. Jallah to the International Association of Law Schools Conference Learning From Each Other: Enriching the Law School Curriculum in an Interrelated World Held at Soochow University Kenneth Wang School of Law, Suzhou, China, October 17–19, 2007." International Association of Law Schools. Retrieved on September 1, 2008.
  145. "Ellen Describes Tubman University's Opening As PRS Success". The New Dawn. March 3, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  146. "Remarks by H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf At Official Launch and Fundraising Program Of the Grand Bassa Community College" (PDF). The Executive Mansion. October 21, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  147. Fahn, Peter A. (July 7, 2011). "Government Moves Ahead With Education Decentralization Plans". Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  148. "July 26 Celebrations Kick Off in Lofa As President Sirleaf Arrives". The Executive Mansion. July 25, 2011. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  149. "Liberia's Weah announces free tuition for undergrads". Mail & Guardian. Agence France-Presse. October 25, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  150. "Stella Maris Polytechnic". smp>edu. 2013. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  151. "Adventist University of West Africa". auwa,edu. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  152. "United Methodist University". umu'edu. 2019. Archived from the original on March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  153. "African Methodist Episcopal University". ame.edu. Archived from the original on March 22, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  154. "CIA World Factbook: Life Expectancy ranks". CIA. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  155. "The State of the World's Midwifery 2011: Liberia" (PDF). United Nations Population Fund. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  156. "Data: Prevalence of HIV, total (% of population ages 15–49)". The World Bank. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  157. 157.0 157.1 "Liberia: Health profile" (PDF). World Health Organization. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  158. "Female genital mutilation (FGM)". World Health Organization.
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  160. "Liberia: Nurtitional "crisis" in Monrovia". Integrated Regional Information Networks. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  161. "Data: Malnutrition prevalence, weight for age (% of children under 5). The". World Bank. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  162. "Data: Improved sanitation facilities (% of population with access)". The World Bank. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  163. "Liberia: Breathing Life into ailing healthcare system". Integrated Regional Information Networks. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. September 2006. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  164. "Data: Health expenditure per capita (current US$)". World Bank. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
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  167. Haglage, Abby (November 17, 2014). "How Liberia (Might Have) Beat Ebola". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  168. "Wonderful News Liberia after plague". The Economist. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  169. Marc DuBois and Caitlin Wake, with Scarlett Sturridge and Christina Bennett (2015) The Ebola response in West Africa: Exposing the politics and culture of international aid London: Overseas Development Institute
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  171. "Monrovia—Masonic Grand Lodge". Global Security. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  172. "Martha Ricks". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
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  175. Doe, J. Kpanneh (October 31, 2000). "Baa Salaka: Sacrificial Lamb – A Book Review & Commentary". The Perspective. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
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  177. Olukoju, Ayodeji. "Gender Roles, Marriage and Family", Culture and Customs of Liberia. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2006, p. 97.
  178. "Celtnet Liberian Recipes and Cookery". Celtnet Recipes. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
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  180. "The Baking Recipes of Liberia". Africa Aid. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  181. "Iconic Weah a true great". FIFA.com. Retrieved November 17, 2013
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  189. Dopoe, Robin (May 25, 2018). "Gov't Pledges Commitment to Adopt Metric System". Retrieved September 1, 2019.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Lang, Victoria, To Liberia: Destiny's Timing (Publish America, Baltimore, 2004, ISBN 1-4137-1829-9). A fast-paced gripping novel of the journey of a young Black couple fleeing America to settle in the African motherland of Liberia.
  • Maksik, Alexander, A Marker to Measure Drift (John Murray 2013; Paperback 2014; ISBN 978-1-84854-807-7). A beautifully written, powerful & moving novel about a young woman's experience of and escape from the Liberian civil war.
  • Merriam Webster's Geographical Dictionary: 3rd Edition (Paperback ed.). Merriam Webster Inc., Springfield. 1997. ISBN 0-87779-546-0.
  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey, Military Coups in West Africa Since The Sixties, Chapter Eight: Liberia: 'The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here,' pp. 85–110, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Huntington, New York, 2001; Godfrey Mwakikagile, The Modern African State: Quest for Transformation, Chapter One: The Collapse of A Modern African State: Death and Rebirth of Liberia, pp. 1–18, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2001.
  • Pham, John-Peter (April 4, 2001). Liberia: Portrait of a Failed State. Reed Press. ISBN 1-59429-012-1.
  • Sankawulo, Wilton, Great Tales of Liberia. Dr. Sankawulo is the compiler of these tales from Liberia and about Liberian culture. Editura Universitatii "Lucian Blaga", Sibiu, Romania, 2004. ISBN 9789736518386.
  • Sankawulo, Wilton, Sundown at Dawn: A Liberian Odyssey. Recommended by the Cultural Resource Center, Center for Applied Linguistics for its content concerning Liberian culture. ISBN 0-9763565-0-3
  • Shaw, Elma, Redemption Road: The Quest for Peace and Justice in Liberia (a novel), with a Foreword by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Cotton Tree Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9800774-0-7)
  • Williams, Gabriel I. H. (July 6, 2006). Liberia: The Heart of Darkness. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 1-55369-294-2.

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Wikivoyage

Template:Liberia topics Template:Countries of Africa

Description[edit source]

This metadata template links Wikipedia articles to various library (and other) catalogue systems, for biographies and other topics.

This template draws most of its values from Wikidata, but they can be overridden by locally entered data. Adding the data to Wikidata is preferable.

If there is no information in Wikidata for the specific subject, an empty instance of this template will be dormant, meaning it will be invisible on the rendered page. Thus, using this template on a page with no authority information is harmless.

An empty instance of this template stays dormant in an article, until values are added to Wikidata, when it will then display them, so this template should be added to all biographies, whether or not there are authority control identifiers in Wikidata already.

User pages[edit source]

The template may also be placed on user pages, but then data must be entered locally.

Data types[edit source]

Wikidata content is used as fallback for all identifiers.

The template validates digits for all values and shows an error if the check fails.

Wherever possible, the template also generates a link to WorldCat Identities, using VIAF or LCCN values, or manually via |WORLDCATID=.

Position[edit source]

As a metadata template, the Authority control template should be placed after the external links section and navigation templates, right before the categories.

Usage[edit source]

As a general guideline:

1: insert the empty version,
2: click "Show preview" to see which sources are automatically pulled from Wikidata,
3a: if you know of more sources, add them in the template using their named parameter,
3b: alternatively, consider adding those sources to the article's "Wikidata item", so that all versions of Wikipedia will automatically benefit.

In addition to the mixed-case parameter names listed on this page, the template also supports all-lowercase alias names of all parameters (except for deprecated ones).


Examples[edit source]

Victor Hugo:

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Template loop detected: Template:Authority control

Alexander Graham Bell:

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Template loop detected: Template:Authority control

Harry Forbes Witherby:

{{Authority control |VIAF=66861474 |LCCN=n/87/142671 |ISNI=0000 0001 0911 2808 |GND=117421863 |SUDOC=090162897}}

Template loop detected: Template:Authority control

Rendering[edit source]

The template is split into seven sections: "General", "National libraries", "Art galleries and museums", "Art research institutes", "Biographical dictionaries", "Scientific databases", and "Other". If all identifiers are in the same section, |state= is ignored, and the template displays on one line: Template loop detected: Template:Authority control Otherwise, the template displays as a navbox with a header: Template loop detected: Template:Authority control

Initial visibility: currently defaults to autocollapse

To set this template's initial visibility, the |state= parameter may be used:

  • |state=collapsed: {{Liberia|state=collapsed}} to show the template collapsed, i.e., hidden apart from its title bar
  • |state=expanded: {{Liberia|state=expanded}} to show the template expanded, i.e., fully visible
  • |state=autocollapse: {{Liberia|state=autocollapse}}
    • shows the template collapsed to the title bar if there is a {{navbar}}, a {{sidebar}}, or some other table on the page with the collapsible attribute
    • shows the template in its expanded state if there are no other collapsible items on the page

If the |state= parameter in the template on this page is not set, the template's initial visibility is taken from the |default= parameter in the Collapsible option template. For the template on this page, that currently evaluates to autocollapse.

Wikidata and tracking categories[edit source]

The template can get its information from the following properties on Wikidata:

Lua error: too many expensive function calls.

Additional tracking categories[edit source]

This template may add the following categories:

Error reports[edit source]

See the monthly parameter usage report for this template.

Microformat[edit source]

The template wraps each UID value with the HTML markup: <span class="uid">...</span>, which enables the first-found value to be included in an hCard microformat.

See also[edit source]

TemplateData[edit source]

This is the TemplateData documentation for this template used by VisualEditor and other tools; see the monthly parameter usage report for this template.

TemplateData for Liberia

A template to link Wikipedia articles to various library catalogue systems

Template parameters

ParameterDescriptionTypeStatus
VIAFVIAF viaf

International authority data from the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

Default
Wikidata property P214
Numberoptional
LCCNLCCN lccn

Library of Congress Control Number. See [[Wikipedia:Authority control#LCCN]] for formatting instructions.

Default
Wikidata property P244
Stringoptional
ISNIISNI isni

International Standard Name Identifier is a method for uniquely identifying the public identities of contributors to media content such as books, TV programmes, and newspaper articles.

Default
Wikidata property P213
Stringoptional
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Authority data on researchers, academics, etc. The ID range has been defined as a subset of the forthcoming ISNI range.

Default
Wikidata property P496
Stringoptional
GNDGND gnd GKD PND SWD

Authority data on people, corporations and subjects from the German National Library.

Default
Wikidata property P227
Stringoptional
SELIBRSELIBR selibr

Authority data from the National Library of Sweden.

Default
Wikidata property P906
Stringoptional
SUDOCSUDOC sudoc

Authority data of people listed in the general catalogue of the University Documentation System of France.

Default
Wikidata property P269
Stringoptional
BNFBNF bnf

Authority data of people listed in the general catalogue of the National Library of France.

Default
Wikidata property P268
Stringoptional
BPNBPN bpn

Dutch project with material for 40,000 digitized biographies, including former colonies of the Netherlands.

Default
Wikidata property P651
Numberoptional
RIDRID rid

An identifying system for scientific authors. The system was introduced in January 2008 by Thomson Reuters. The combined use of the Digital Object Identifier with the ResearcherID allows for a unique association of authors and scientific articles.

Default
Wikidata property P1053
Stringoptional
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BIBSYS is a supplier of library and information systems for all Norwegian university Libraries, the National Library of Norway, college libraries, and a number of research libraries and institutions.

Default
Wikidata property P1015
Stringoptional
ULANULAN ulan

ULAN is an online database using a controlled vocabulary currently containing around 293,000 names and other information about artists.

Default
Wikidata property P245
Stringoptional
HDSHDS hds

Historical Dictionary of Switzerland is an encyclopedia on the history of Switzerland.

Default
Wikidata property P902
Numberoptional
LIRLIR lir

Historical Dictionary of Switzerland: Lexicon Istoric Retic (LIR) is a two volume version with a selection of articles published in Romansh.

Default
Wikidata property P886
Numberoptional
MBAMBA mba

MusicBrainz is an open music encyclopedia that collects music metadata and makes it available to the public.

Default
Wikidata property P434
Stringoptional
MGPMGP mgp

Mathematics Genealogy Project is a web-based database for the academic genealogy of mathematicians.

Default
Wikidata property P549
Numberoptional
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Authority control number issued by the National Library of Australia.

Default
Wikidata property P409
Stringoptional
NDLNDL ndl

Authority control number issued by the National Diet Library (National Library of Japan).

Default
Wikidata property P349
Numberoptional
NCLNCL ncl

National Central Library is the national library of Taiwan, Republic of China.

Default
Wikidata property P1048
Numberoptional
NKCNKC nkc

National Library of the Czech Republic (Národní knihovna České republiky) is the central library of the Czech Republic.

Default
Wikidata property P691
Stringoptional
LéonoreLéonore léonore

Léonore database (Base Léonore) is a French database that lists the records of the members of the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

Default
Wikidata property P640
Stringoptional
ICCUICCU iccu

Central Institute for the Union Catalogue (ICCU: Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico) is an Italian government agency created to build a single catalog of all the libraries in the nation. It manages National Library Service (SBN: Servizio bibliotecario nazionale).

Default
Wikidata property P396
Stringoptional
RSLRSL rsl

Russian State Library (Российская государственная библиотека) is the national library of Russia.

Default
Wikidata property P947
Numberoptional
BotanistBotanist botanist

Author citation (botany): standard form (official abbreviation) of a personal name for use in an author citation (only for names of algae, fungi and plants). Links to page at International Plant Names Index (IPNI).

Default
Wikidata property P428
Stringoptional
NARANARA nara NARA-person NARA-organization

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records.

Default
Wikidata property P1225
Numberoptional
NARA-personNARA-person

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records.

Default
Wikidata property P1222
Numberdeprecated
NARA-organizationNARA-organization

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records.

Default
Wikidata property P1223
Numberdeprecated
USCongressUSCongress uscongress

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress is a biographical dictionary of all present and former members of the United States Congress and its predecessor, the Continental Congress. Also included are Delegates from territories and the District of Columbia and Resident Commissioners from the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

Default
Wikidata property P1157
Stringoptional
BNEBNE bne

National Library of Spain (BNE: Biblioteca Nacional de España) is a major public library, the largest in Spain.

Default
Wikidata property P950
Stringoptional
CINIICINII cinii

CiNii is a bibliographic database service for material in Japanese academic libraries. It is maintained by the [[National Institute of Informatics]].

Default
Wikidata property P271
Stringoptional
TLSTLS tls

Theaterlexikon der Schweiz (TLS) is an encyclopedia about theatre in Switzerland. It was developed by the Institute of Theatre Studies of the University of Berne.

Default
Wikidata property P1362
Stringoptional
SIKARTSIKART sikart

SIKART is a biographical dictionary and a database on visual art in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. It is published online by the Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIAR).

Default
Wikidata property P781
Numberoptional
KULTURNAVKULTURNAV kulturnav

KulturNav is a Norwegian cloud-based software service, allowing users to create, manage and distribute name authorities and terminology, focusing on the needs of museums and other cultural heritage institutions. The software is developed by KulturIT ANS and the development project is funded by the [[Arts Council Norway]].

Default
Wikidata property P1248
Stringoptional
RKDartistsRKDartists rkdartists

RKDartists is an online database using a controlled vocabulary currently containing around 200,000+ names and other information about artists

Default
Wikidata property P650
Numberoptional
autores.uyautores.uy

autores.uy is an author's database, that focus on uruguayan authors. It also provides access to digitized works of the authors in public domain.

Default
Wikidata property P2558
Numberoptional
PICPIC pic

Photographers' Identities Catalog (PIC) is a photographer's database. It is maintained by the New York Public Library.

Default
Wikidata property P2750
Numberoptional
ACM-DLACM-DL acm-dl

Association for Computing Machinery Digital Library (ACM DL) author identifier.

Default
Wikidata property P864
Numberoptional
BALaTBALaT balat

Identifier for images in the Photo Library database of BALaT (Belgian Art Links & Tools), maintained by KIK-IRPA, Belgium's Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage.

Default
Wikidata property P3293
Numberoptional
BildindexBildindex bildindex

Picture index of art and architecture.

Default
Wikidata property P2092
Numberoptional
DBLPDBLP dblp

Identifier for person entries in the DBLP (Digital Bibliography & Library Project) computer science bibliography.

Default
Wikidata property P2456
Numberoptional
IAAFIAAF iaaf

Identifier for athletes in International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) database and website.

Default
Wikidata property P1146
Stringoptional
JocondeJoconde joconde

Identifier in the Joconde database of the French Ministry of Culture.

Default
Wikidata property P347
Stringoptional
LNBLNB lnb

Identifier assigned by the National Library of Latvia.

Default
Wikidata property P1368
Numberoptional
NSKNSK nsk

Identifier for an item in the National and University Library in Zagreb (including leading zeroes).

Default
Wikidata property P1375
Numberoptional
RKDIDRKDID rkdid

Identifier per RKDimages of the Netherlands Institute for Art History.

Default
Wikidata property P350
Numberoptional
SNAC-IDSNAC-ID snac-id

Identifier for items in the Social Networks and Archival Context system.

Default
Wikidata property P3430
Stringoptional
NLBNLB ID nlb

Identifier of a person, organisation or place from the name authorities of National Library Board.

Default
Wikidata property P3988
Stringoptional
UKPARLUKPARL urparl

UK Parliament member ID

Default
Wikidata property P6213
Stringoptional
KANTOKANTO ID finaf Asteri

Finnish national agent database ID

Default
Wikidata property P8980
Stringoptional
VcBAVcBA vcba

Vatican Library ID

Default
Wikidata property P8034
Stringoptional
statestate

Initial state of the template

Suggested values
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Default
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Unknownsuggested

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