About Liberia


Liberia is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on its west, Guinea on its north, Ivory Coast on its east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its south. Liberia covers an area of 111,369 square kilometres (43,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 4,700,000 people. English is the official language and about 16 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous ethnic groups who make up more than 95% of the population. The country's capital and largest city is Monrovia.

Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States. The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U.S. did not recognize Liberia's independence until February 5, 1862, during the American Civil War. Between January 7, 1822, and the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U.S., and 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement. The black settlers carried their culture and tradition with them to Liberia. The Liberian constitution and flag were modelled after those of the U.S. On January 3, 1848, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a wealthy, free-born African American from Virginia who settled in Liberia, was elected as Liberia's first president after the people proclaimed independence.

Liberia was the first African republic to proclaim its independence and is Africa's first and oldest modern republic. Liberia retained its independence during the Scramble for Africa. During World War II, Liberia supported the United States war efforts against Germany and in turn, the U.S. invested in considerable infrastructure in Liberia to help its war effort, which also aided the country in modernizing and improving its major air transportation facilities. In addition, President William Tubman encouraged economic changes. Internationally, Liberia was a founding member of the League of Nations, the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity.

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. Americo-Liberians developed as a small elite that held on to political power, and the indigenous tribesmen were excluded from birthright citizenship in their own lands until 1904, in a repetition of the United States' treatment of Native Americans. The Americo-Liberians promoted religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the indigenous peoples.

Political tensions from the rule of William R. Tolbert resulted in a military coup in 1980 during which Tolbert was killed, marking the beginning of years-long political instability followed by the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars consisting of several years of military rule by the People's Redemption Council headed by Samual K. Doe and five years of civilian rule by the National Democratic Party of Liberia headed by Mr Charles Taylor. These resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people (about 8% of the population), the displacement of many more and shrunk Liberia's economy by 90%. A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005, in which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President. Recovery proceeds but about 85% of the population lives below the international poverty line. Liberia's economic and political stability was threatened in the 2010s by an Ebola virus epidemic, which originated in Guinea in December 2013, and later extended to Liberia in March 2014. However, on May 8, 2015, Liberia was declared officially free of the Ebola virus epidemic.

Currently, Liberia is headed by a democratically elected leadership headed by Mr George Weah, a former football star who secured a stunning run-off victory in December 2017 in the country's first democratic transfer of power in decades to replaced Mrs Ellen Johnson.

Some key events in Liberia's history:

  • 1847 - Constitution modelled on that of the US is drawn up, and Liberia becomes independent. 
  • 1917 - Liberia declares war on Germany, giving the Allies a base in West Africa.
  • 1926 - Rubber production becomes the backbone of Liberia's economy after Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company opens rubber plantation on land granted by the government.
  • 1936 - Forced-labour practices abolished.
  • 1943 - William Tubman elected president.
  • 1958 - Racial discrimination outlawed.
  • 1980 - Master Sergeant Samuel Doe carries out military coup ousting and publicly executing President William Tolbert and 13 of his aides.
  • 1985 - Samuel K. Doe wins the presidential election one year after his regime allowed the return of political parties following pressure from the United States and other creditors.
  • 1989-2003 - Civil war. Up to 250,000 are killed, while thousands more are mutilated and raped, often by armies of drugged child soldiers led by ruthless warlords.
  • 2005 - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf becomes the first woman to be elected as an African head of state.
  • 2013-2016 - Outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus sweeps through Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, killing 11,300 people, mainly in Liberia.
  • 2018-01-22 - George Weah became Liberia president, the first African football superstar to become a president of a republic.

Lyric to the National anthem of  Liberia

All hail, Liberia, hail!
All hail, Liberia, hail!

This glorious land of liberty
Shall long be ours.

Though new her name,
Green be her fame,
And mightybe her powers,

Though new her name,
Green be her fame,
And mightybe her powers,

And mightybe her powers,
And mightybe her powers,

In joy and gladness
With our hearts united,
We'll shout the freedom
Of a race benighted,
Long live Liberia, happy land!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God's command!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God's command!

All hail, Liberia, hail!
All hail, Liberia, hail!

In union strong success is sure 
We cannot fail!
With God above
Our rights to prove

We will o'er all prevail,
We will o'er all prevail,
We will o'er all prevail,

With heart and hand
Our country's cause defending
We'll meet the foe
With valorunpretending.

Long live Liberia, happy land!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God's command!
A home of glorious liberty,
By God's command!

Liberia pledge of allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the
flag of Liberia and to the
Republic for which it stands
one nation, indivisible, with
Liberty, and justice for all

Liberia Counties