Liberia

  • General data

Official name: Republic of Liberia

Nature of the regime: presidential, modeled on that of the United States of America

Head of State: Mr. George Weah

Vice President: Mrs. Jewel Howard Taylor

Motto: The love of freedom brought us here

  • Geographic Data

Surface area: 111,370 km²

Capital: Monrovia

Main Cities: Gbarnga, Harper, Sanniquellie, Voinjama, Zwedru

Official language (s): English

Current Language (s): Krio

Currency: Liberian Dollar

National holiday: July 26

 

  • Demographic Data

Population (2016): 4.61 million inhabitants (World Bank)

Population growth (2016): 2.5% (World Bank)

Life Expectancy (2016): 62 years (World Bank)

Literacy rate: 47.6% (Unesco estimate)

Religions: Christianity (2/3), Traditional Religions (18%), Islam (15%)

Human Development Index (2016): 0.427 (177th country out of 188 according to UNDP)

  • Economic Data

GDP (2016): $ 2.1 billion (World Bank)

GDP per capita (2016): $ 473 (World Bank)

Growth (2016): – 1.6% (World Bank)

Inflation (2016): 5% (World Bank)

Trade balance (2015): -0.86 billion $ (World Bank)

Principal Clients: South Africa, United States, Spain

Main suppliers: South Korea, China, Singapore, Japan

Share of main sectors of activity in GDP (2016):

  • agriculture: 34%
  • industry: 13%
  • services: 53%

 

  • Official Press and Media
  • Liberian Broadcasting System Radio and TV

                 

Domestic policy

In power since 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf completed her second and final term on January 22, 2018, at the investiture ceremony of her successor, George Weah. This second mandate will have been strongly marked by the effects of the Ebola epidemic which, between March 2014 and June 2016, caused more than 4,800 deaths and a strong disorganization of the economic and social fabric.

– George Weah (Coalition for Democratic Change – CDC) was elected President of the Republic, in the second round of the presidential election on December 26, 2017, with more than 61.5% of the vote, against the vice president in office, Joseph Boakai.

The first round of October 10, of which Weah had won with 38.4% of the vote, resulted in a long judicial serial (an action for annulment, finally rejected by the Supreme Court). The electoral observation missions (AU, EU, ECOWAS) have judged the electoral process fair.

This is the first time in Liberian history that a “native” (native, in opposition to the “Congos” descendants of freed American slaves and repatriated to Liberia who founded the country in 1847) becomes president by the way urns. It is also, for the country, the first handover between two presidents elected since 1944.

At the request of the Liberian authorities, who pleaded for the maintenance of a subregional force until the presidential election of October 2017, the United Nations Security Council decided to extend the mandate of UNMIL peacekeepers until as of March 31, 2018.

–        Economic situation

– Despite the end of the Ebola epidemic, officially recognized by WHO in June 2016, economic activity is struggling to rebound. The decline in the prices of exported raw materials (iron ore in particular) represents a larger shock than initially anticipated due to the fall in production volumes. To a lesser extent, the gradual dismantling of the United Nations peacekeeping mission is weighing on activity, particularly through the service sector. Liberia went into recession in 2016 (-1.6%) after two years of sluggish growth (0.7% in 2014 and 0% in 2015). The IMF is forecasting a 2.6% recovery in 2017/18 driven mainly by the mining sector (gold and iron).

– The country is supported by the International Monetary Fund through a program backed by an extended credit facility. Liberia’s macroeconomic difficulties have disrupted program delivery (several performance criteria have not been met). The implementation of corrective measures, however, allowed for the adoption of the 7th and 8th program reviews.

 

–        Foreign politic

Liberia has historically had a special relationship with the United States. President Johnson Sirleaf has been received several times at the White House during her two terms.

– The dialogue resumed between Liberia and its neighbors opposed to Charles Taylor’s regime: Sierra Leone (Taylor had supported RUF rebel activities), Guinea (which supported the activities of LURD and suffered incursions into Liberia). 2001), Côte d’Ivoire (where Liberian elements fought in the West in early 2003 and took part in the 2010-2011 conflict).

– Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was also called during the last part of her mandate to play an important role in the sub-region. She was elected, at the Dakar Summit on June 4, 2016, to chair the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for a term of office. one year. As such, it has been particularly active in seeking a negotiated solution to the political crises in Gambia and Guinea-Bissau.

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