Liberia is a small country on the west coast of Africa. It covers an area of 111,369 sq km (43,000 sq mi) and has a population of 3.5 million people (2011 estimate). It is bordered by Sierra Leone to the northwest, Guinea to the north, and Côte d’Ivoire to the east. The Atlantic Ocean forms the coastline to the south. The capital and largest city in Liberia is Monrovia.

Liberia observes Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0) with no Daylight Saving Time. Its official currency is the Liberian dollar. The electricity here is 120V/60Hz using USA and European plugs. English is the official language here. The phone IDD code is +231.

Church in Robertsport, Liberia
Author: Michael Keating (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its 2010 estimated nominal GDP stood at just $977 million, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of only $227. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity stood at only $396.

As its name suggest, Liberia was founded by liberated American slaves through the work of the American Colonization Society between 1821 and 1822. The country was created in the hope that the former slaves would have the freedom and equiality in running their own country. Hence, the former slaves were sent to Liberia instead of returning them to their homeland.

Bomi Lake, Liberia
Author: Sahmeditor (public domain)

The Republic of Liberia was founded in 1847. Its capital, Monrovia, was named after James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States, and its flag is also based on the American flag.

Unlike its American model, however, the history of Liberian politics is closer to that of its African neighbors. The country has been rocked by numerous military coups and harsh authoritarian rule. Liberia appears finally to have embarked on the road to peace and order with the 2005 elections, when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the only elected female head of state in Africa. A graduate from Harvar’d John F. Kennedy School of Government, Sirleaf is Liberia’s hope in moving forward.

Visiting Liberia

In order to visit Liberia, you need a letter of invitation and a yellow fever vaccination certificate. The Monrovia International Airport is served by flights from

Atlanta, Brussels, Addis Ababa, among others.

Major Cities in Liberia

  1. Monrovia – capital
  2. Greenville
  3. Harper
  4. Paynesville

Places of Interest in Liberia

  1. Blue Lake
  2. Providence Island
  3. Sapo National Park

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