Liberia, the land of the free, is unique in several aspects. It is a land of many stories with several of them untold. It is a land of hope and great opportunities. But it is also a land of pain, poverty and despair.
The Republic of Liberia is located along the western coast of Africa and borders the Republic of Sierra Leone to the west, the Republic of Guinea to the north and the Republic of Ivory Coast to the east.
The Republic of Liberia is very unique in the sense that, it was founded mostly by "free borns" and freed slaves from America (The Americo-Liberians). The Settlement of freed slaves from the United States in what is today Liberia, began in 1822. By 1847, the settlement had developed into a Republic. (NB. There were several local communities living in the interior parts of the country before the arrival of the freed slaves from America).
The Republic of Liberia has a total land area of about 111,369 squared kilometers (with about 579km of coastline). Just about 3.4% of this total land area remains arable (land good for farming). Liberia currently has an estimated population of 5.6 million people with the population growth rate hovering around 2.7%. About 49% of the total population of Liberia lives in urban areas in major cities and towns such as Harbel, Buchanan, Greenville, Zwedru, Robertsport and Monrovia. The metropolitan area of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, contains about 1.7 million people (as of 2023) which is about 30% of Liberia's total population.
The Republic of Liberia just like its neighboring countries, is a culturally rich country consisting of a beautiful blend of several ethnic and racial groups. Kpelle, the most populous ethnic group, make up about 20.3% of the total population. Followed by the Bassa (about 13.4% of the total population), the Grebo ( about 10%), the Gio (about 8% of the total population), the Mano (about 7.9%), the Kru (about 6%), the Lorma (about 5.1%), the Kissi (about 4.8%), the Gola (about 4.4%), the Krahn (about 4%), the Vai (about 4%), the Mandingo (about 3.2%), the Gbandi (about 3%), the Mende (about 1.3%) and the Sapo (about 1.3%). Other minority groups (including other Africans and non-Africans) form the remaining fraction of the population.
Liberia is a predominantly Christian nation with about 85.6% of the population identifying as Christians. Muslims form about 12.2% of the total population. Traditional believers and other religious groups form the remaining 2.2% of the total population.
Although English is the official language, just about 20% of the population speaks and understands English. Besides English, there are several other languages spoken in Liberia today including some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence.
The Republic of Liberia, just like its neighboring countries, is blessed with abundance of natural resources such as iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower, etc. However, despite the abundance of natural and human resources, Liberia remains one of the poorest countries in Africa today.
Liberia's shaky economy depends heavily on foreign assistance. Several conflicts, especially the two civil wars between 1989 and 1996, and also between 1999 and 2003, destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia the capital. Many local and foreign businesses fled the country taking capital and expertise with them. However, with the end of the war, the return of peace, and the installation of a democratically-elected government in 2006, several of these companies and investors have returned to the country, helping rebuild Liberia for the better. However, much more work needs to be done.
Liberia has a literacy rate of just 60.8% for the entire population with the female literacy rate hovering around 56.8%. In other words, just about 60.8% of Liberia's population above the age 15, can read and write. Also, quality education which helps a lot in building strong economies, is something quite lacking in Liberia today. Children of school-going age are often seen hawking and petty trading along the streets of major towns and cities. Most of Liberia's rural and sub-urban communities lack proper educational facilities.
Lack of well-equipped hospitals and health centers, etc. remain a major problem in Liberia today. Most rural and sub-urban communities lack health facilities and most hospitals and health centers in the urban areas are not well-equipped. Several people continue to die from preventable and curable diseases and illnesses in Liberia due to the lack of health facilities.
Lack of good drinking water and water for domestic purposes remain a major problem in Liberia today. Most rural communties and towns lack access to good drinking water and most water bodies in the urban areas are polluted due in part to improper sewage disposals, industrial and agricultural runoffs, etc.
HIV/AIDS continues to wreak havoc in Liberia today. In fact, the National AIDS Commission of Liberia has reported an increase in the number of persons living with HIV in Liberia from about 33,000 persons (in 2010) to 43,200 persons (in 2017) with HIV/AIDS adults prevalence rate hovering around 2.1% (used to be 1.5% in 2009). Besides HIV/AIDS, the deadly ebola (NB: Liberia is now ebola-free), malaria, etc. continue to threaten several lives in Liberia today.
Rampant deforestation of the tropical rain forest, pollution of the coastal waters, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, etc. remain some of the major environmental issues facing Liberia today.
Just like in most other African countries, corruption and poor governance continue to threaten several lives and properties in Liberia today. Most of Liberia's government officials, religious leaders, health personnels, men and women in uniforms and other public figures, are very corrupt.
I LOVE LIBERIA
1. Because our leader's and we the followers are not development oriented. We get in power and only think about what we will get for ourselves. How many people will take power in this our country to think about building orphanage home, build crazy camp to remove crazy people from the street, to fix their community roads without depending on the president, to provide scholarships for young people who want to go to school but don't have money, some representatives will have scholarships, but they will sell it or only give it to family members. Common example is that they will be in power and instead of building houses they will go and live in luxurious hotel, and instead of buying their own cars they depend on governments cars, and if they leave power, they go back to zero.
2. Dependency syndromes is also the reason why our country is like this. People don't want to take responsibilitie s. You will see a family with over ten (10) to (20) members depending on only one brother or sister who made-up their mind's to do something instead of helping them. If you give them business to do, they misused the money and if you stop helping, they will find way to bring you down or killed you. Even with the country it is the same. We depend on other countries for almost everything instead of using our resources wisely and even going back to our farms to work. People are no more investing it to agricultural, everyone wants to live in the city.
3. Lack of education is also the reason why our country is like this. Because people are not educated, their minds are not developed. You will see people voting someone to power simply because the person is beautiful and because of their profile. People voting someone because they are members of the same church or society group and not for what the person will do for the country. Our leader's will promise us good things and when they get to power, they start to do the otherwise as if there's a power somewhere controlling them. Our young girls prioritize marriage to education and good looks to business. There is no competition in our education systems. High school graduates and university graduates are making the same salaries. There are no standards! These things have to stop if we need improvement.