Best Bitcoin Card for Liberia
Liberia is located in the tropical part of West Africa and is the oldest republic on the continent. At the same time, it is, apart from Ethiopia, the only country in Africa that has never been under European colonial rule. With a land area of 111 370 km², Liberia is almost a third the size of Germany. To the east, Liberia borders on the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, to the north on Guinea and to the northwest on Sierra Leone.
Three landscape zones can be distinguished: a lowland plain running along the coast, a hilly zone with tableland in the centre and a low mountain range. These form the Nimba Mountains in the north, where the highest elevation in the country is 1,384 metres. The compensation coast in the north has an alternation of steep and flat coastal stretches, is difficult to reach by ship and has a length of about 550 km. The centre of the country is divided by deep valleys of the rivers Saint Paul and Cestos into a more fertile cultivated western part, a central region and large deserted forest areas in the east.
3.48 million inhabitants live in Liberia, about a quarter of them in the metropolitan area of the capital Monrovia. The descendants of the slaves from America who once founded the country make up only a few percent of the population, but as elite and upper class they still shape social life in the state. In addition, there are 16 main and numerous smaller tribes; the largest ethnic groups are the Kpelle (almost one fifth of the population), Bassa, Grebo, Gio and Kru.
The civil war had drastic consequences for the social fabric of Liberia. More than three-quarters of the inhabitants have had to flee their ancestral homeland in the past ten years and have since lived either in neighbouring countries or in other regions of the country. Half a million Liberians are still in refugee camps in the country itself.
10 % of the population are Christians, about 70 % are followers of natural religions, 20 % are Muslims. In addition to English, the official national language, which only speaks about one fifth of the population, more than a dozen different tribal languages are spoken, including Kpelle and Bassa.
Life expectancy in Liberia is very low at 48 years due to the catastrophic medical care and the high HIV infection rate (official estimate 2003 just under 6%; more recent data are not available, estimates by local doctors are significantly higher). Nevertheless, population growth is high at just under 4%. Almost two thirds of men, but only 42% of women in Liberia, can read and write.
According to the constitution that came into force in 1986, Liberia is a presidential republic. The president, directly elected by the people for six years, is also head of state, commander-in-chief of the armed forces and head of government of the executive branch. He appoints his cabinet with the approval of the Senate. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been Africa’s first elected female head of state since January 2006.
A bicameral system forms the legislative branch. It consists on the one hand of a Senate with 30 members and a term of office of nine years, and on the other of a House of Representatives with 73 members elected by the people for six years. Liberia is divided into 15 districts.
Liberia has good basic economic conditions, as it possesses high-quality iron ore deposits as well as numerous other raw materials. In addition, fertile soils, coastal waters rich in fish, a stable climate and the presence of precious tropical woods in the rainforests represent rich natural resources. However, the foundations for a successful economy were largely destroyed in the civil war. Unemployment stands at 85%; around 64% of the population live below the poverty line.
Most Liberians practice agriculture (cultivation of manioc and rice in chopping) as subsistence production. Nevertheless, food must be imported. By contrast, the plantations in the cleared central part of the country, most of which are owned by foreigners, are managed effectively and success-oriented. Rubber is the country’s most important export product. In addition to rubber, cocoa and coffee are also grown for export.
The export of iron ore, which was important before the civil war, is growing again. But also precious woods, gold and diamonds are again exported to South Korea, China, Japan and Germany. The most important imported goods are machinery, vehicles, food and fuel from South Africa, the USA and Spain. Numerous tankers and merchant ships of foreign shipowners sail under the Liberian flag due to the favourable conditions.
The country’s main port is Monrovia, which has a free port. Liberia’s international airport is also close to the capital in Robertsfield. The currency is the Liberian dollar.