Written By: Aketella Kerkula Blama
MY COUNTRY MY PRIDE - LIBERIA TO THE WORLD:
The important facts and figures you need to know about my country -Mama LIBERIA.
- Official Name - Republic of Liberia.
- Motto: The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here.
- Capital - Monrovia (Named for the US President James Monroe).
- Independence Day is July 26.
- Population: 5,073,296 (2020 est.)
-- Language: English is the official language and more than two dozen of other local languages are spoken. Predominant languages include Kpelle, Bassa, Grebo, Dan, Kru, Mano, Loma, and Mandingo (spoken by the Malinke).
-- Liberia is bordered by Sierra Leone to the Northwest, Guinea to the North, Ivory Coast to the East, and the Atlantic Ocean to the South and West.
-- It is the 102nd largest country in the world in terms of land area with 111,369 square kilometers (43,000 square miles) and 580 kilometers (360 miles) of coastline.
-- Ethnic Groups: Kpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, Krahn 4%, Vai 4%, Mandingo 3.2%, Gbandi 3%, Mende 1.3%, Sapo 1.3%, other Liberian 1.7%, other African 1.4% and non-African .1% (2008 est.).
-- Religion: Christian 75.6%, Muslim 22.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2015 est.).
-- Close to 250,000 people died during two civil wars that spanned 14 years (1989-2003).
-- Liberia is the only African republic to have self-proclaimed independence without gaining independence through revolt from any other power, and is Africa’s first and oldest modern republic.
-- Exportation: Timber and rubber are Liberia’s main export items since the end of the war. Alluvial diamond ? and gold mining activities also account for some economic activity.
-- Wildlife: The endangered and mysterious pygmy hippopotamus is native to the forests and swamps of West Africa, primarily in Liberia.
Endangered species are hunted for human consumption as bushmeat in Liberia. Species hunted for food in Liberia include elephants, pygmy hippopotamus, chimpanzees, leopards, duikers, and other monkeys.
-- Cuisine: Liberian cuisine heavily incorporates rice, the country’s staple food. Others include cassava, fish, bananas, citrus fruit, plantains, coconut, okra and sweet potatoes.
-- Marriage: One-third of married Liberian women between the ages of 15–49 are in polygamous marriages. Liberia Customary law allows men to have up to four wives.
-- Liberia is one of only three countries that have not officially adopted the International System of Units (metric system), the others being the United States and Myanmar. The Liberian government has begun transitioning away from use of imperial units to the metric system.
-- Sports: The most popular sport in Liberia is football. The second most popular sport in Liberia is basketball.
Popular Tourist Centers In Liberia:
1. sandy beaches
2. Sapo National Park
3. Firestone Rubber Plantation
4. Waterside Market
5. Centennial Pavilion
6. National Musuem
Ministry of State
Ministry of National Defense
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Youth and Sports
Ministry of Finance & Development Planning
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
Ministry of Lands Mines and Energy
Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
LIBERIA CURRENT AFFAIRS TIMELINE IN BRIEF:
*1816-1817* - The American Colonization Society buys land in Liberia for the resettlement of freed US slaves.
*1822* - The first freed US slaves arrive in Liberia.
*1847* - Liberia gains its independence. Joseph Jenkins Roberts, a freed slave from Virginia, becomes the first president. For 133 years, Liberia is ruled by the True Whig Party, whose government and constitution are modeled after the United States.
*1980* - Samuel Doe of the Krahn ethnic group takes power in a coup.
*1989* - Charles Taylor leads a revolt that results in Doe's execution and civil war among several factions. The country stays in a state of civil war until 2003.
*1996* - The United Nations, United States, African Union and Economic Community of West African States mediate a peace deal of sorts.
*1997* - Taylor gains power in a special election.
*2000* - Rebels in Liberia begin a struggle against Taylor's government.
*July 20-August 11, 2003* - Liberian rebels, aided by the US military and UN peacekeepers, fight to remove Taylor from office.
*August 11, 2003* - Taylor officially relinquishes his office in a ceremony at the presidential palace. Vice President Moses Blah is sworn in as Liberia's 22nd president. Taylor later leaves for Nigeria, where he has been offered asylum.
*August 12-18, 2003* - The primary rebel group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), agrees to withdraw its troops from Monrovia and the nearby port. The group signs a comprehensive peace agreement with the Liberian government intended to end the civil war.
*September 19, 2003* - UN Security Council Resolution 1509 establishes a peacekeeping force in Liberia.
*October 14, 2003* - Gyude Bryant takes office in Liberia as the head of an interim government meant to disarm fighters and pave the way for elections.
*February 6, 2004* - At a UN-hosted donor conference, Secretary of State Colin Powell says the United States is contributing $200 million in reconstruction and humanitarian aid to Liberia. In addition, as a UN member, the United States will pay another $245 million for UN peacekeeping operations.
*January 6, 2006* - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf takes office as Liberia's first elected female president.
*June 5, 2006* - The Liberian military announces that it will start recruiting female soldiers.
*September 20, 2007* - The UN Security Council votes to reduce the number of peacekeeping forces (15,000 at the time) in Liberia by 2,450 troops and 498 police over the next several months.
*2008* - Liberia begins participation in a three-year Poverty Reduction Strategy program to improve the economy and get out of debt. The program ends in June 2011.
*October 7, 2011* - Madam Sirleaf is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, which she shares with Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni rights activist Tawakkul Karman. They are chosen "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."
*October 11, 2011* - Liberia's presidential election is held. Results show Madam Sirleaf with 44% of votes and Winston Tubman with 32% of votes. A runoff is scheduled.
*November 15, 2011* - Election officials announce that Sirleaf has been reelected with 90.7% of the vote.
*April 26, 2012* - An international tribunal finds Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone's civil war.
*September 2012* - The UN passes Resolution 2066, which will reduce the number of UN troops in Liberia to under 4,000 by 2015.
*August 6, 2014* - Madam Sirleaf declares a 90-day state of emergency amid a deadly Ebola outbreak.
*May 9, 2015* - The World Health Organization declares an end to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. More than 4,000 people died from the disease.
*January 14, 2016* - The WHO declares Liberia is Ebola-free for the third time in 12 months, after the country dealt with two reintroductions of the disease. This announcement comes two incubation cycles -- or 42 days -- after the last confirmed patient in Liberia.
*October 10, 2017* - The first round of Liberia's presidential election is held. Former soccer star George Weah of the Coalition of Democratic Change secures 38.4% of the vote while Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party nets 28.8%.
December 26, 2017 - Weah wins the presidential election runoff with 61.5% of the vote.
*March 30, 2018* - The UN Peacekeeping mission in Liberia ends.
*March 16, 2020* - Liberia recorded its first case of Corona Virus.
- CIA World Factbook | CNN news online | BBC news online | Emansion.gov.lr | MICAT News Page | Britannica Online | Guardian News Nigeria.
Photo Credit: Rami Ramitto.