Facts About the Culture, Geography, and History of Liberia
Liberia is a resilient country. After overcoming two civil wars, the country still has interesting historical, cultural and landmark events to flaunt. It is the only African country that has had two female presidents in office. The female presidents are Lady Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Ruth Perry.
Hare twelve more outstanding facts that you will find interesting about this old West African republic.
12. Liberia serves as one of the biggest exporters of iron ore in Africa
Liberia has large mineral deposits. Historically, there has been lots of mineral extraction, particularly of iron ore. As a result, iron ore mining plays a significant role in the Liberian economy. It accounts for 30% of total export in 2016.
Likewise, iron ore has overshadowed the importance of other potential mineral resources.
Most of the extraction is by international companies who are heavily into the sector, and they often use local labor. Low global iron ore prices have reduced Liberia’s production and exports over the years. This has also resulted in most international companies scaling down operations.
Arcelor Mittar, one of the largest producers in the world, has both iron ore and metallurgical coal reserves based in Liberia. The reserves are located in the Mount Nimba range, northern Liberia. There are also deposits of manganese, bauxite, uranium and zinc-lead deposits in Liberia. Also, diamond deposits like alluvial and artisans are widespread in most parts of the country.
11.Contains one of the richest ecosystems on the African continent
Liberia’s Sapo National Park is most certainly, one of the 261 natural wonders of the world. First of all, it is the only national park located in the upper Guinean forest ecosystem. Secondly, it contains the second largest area of primary tropical rain forest in West Africa. Lastly, Sapo National Park harbors the highest mammal species diversity in the world.
There has been two successive civil wars which are responsible for causing the destruction of the park’s infrastructure and equipment. The climate is tropical having temperatures ranging between 22-28 degree centigradse.
The park has a rain forest average humidity of 91% and is one of the richest floral species in the country. Most of the floral species are endemic species.
After the approval of Sapo National park on October 10, 2003, the size of the park was expanded 3% to 1804 square km.
10. It’s Atlantic Ocean facing coastline houses lagoons, mangroves, swamps, and sandbars
Liberia’s coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture. The coastline stretches from the Mano River in the north-west to the River Cavally in the south-east. It is about 579 km wide with many branches. The coastline faces the Atlantic Ocean and gets more rain than the inland rain.
9. Spectacular but difficult to reach beaches
The beaches of Liberia are spectacular but difficult to reach. Generally, only the strongest swimmers venture into the sea because the surf is high and the currents strong. Liberia’s beaches have built a name as one of the best surf sights in Africa. Some beaches have golden untouched sands, clear waters and perfectly formed waves. The fishing village called Robertson is a surfer’s heaven.
8. The Liberian footballer George Weah became their president and was praised by Nelson Mandela
Liberia’s President is George Weah, an outstanding footballer who was born in Clara Town, Liberia. He is the first African player to win the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or titles.
Nelson Mandela, one of the most admired world’s icons, once called Weah ‘The Pride of Africa’.
7. The longest river in Liberia is named after a fish
The longest river in Liberia is named after a fish called the Cavalla. It is a kind of horse mackerel.
The Cavalla River emerges from the North of Mount Nimba in Guinea through Cote d’Ivoire to Zwedru in Liberia. Similarly, it forms part of the Liberia-Cote d’Ivoire border and is 515 km long. It flows back to the Cote d’Ivoire border and ends in the Gulf of Guinea. Its other names are Cavally, the Youbou, and the Diougou.
6. Houses are usually built from sun-dried local clay bricks and an iron roof
Houses in Liberia are usually built from sun-dried local clay bricks coated with plaster. A galvanized corrugated iron roof is commonly used. The clay houses are usually square shaped and not circular. Furthermore, the roof is designed to keep water out during the torrential rain. It is slanted to drain the rainwater easily.
Previously, the roof was made of grass to cool the interiors of a home. However, the iron roof has long since taken its place.
5. The original name of Liberia’s capital Monrovia, was Christianopolis
The original name of Monrovia, capital of Liberia, was Christianopolis. The city’s name was changed to Monrovia after James Monroe, a former president of United States. Liberia has historical ties with the United States and there is clear resemblance of the Liberian flag to the American flag.
Monroe was a supporter of freed slaves returning to Africa. The capital has a population of over one million people. Historically, It was founded on April 25, 1822
4. Liberia has over 700 bird species, it is a bird-haven!
The country is literally a bird-haven. Even more, Liberia has 700 bird species which include a bird that is a slightly larger than a honey bee. More specifically, Liberia is home to the bee warbler.
Many of the birds are there all year around whilst some travel to find more favourable weather conditions.
3. Oprah Winfrey traced her ancestry to Liberia
The one and only, Oprah Winfrey had traced her ancestors back to Liberia. Her hometown is the Liberian region of Kpelle. The people live near Gbarnga in central Liberia.
2. Liberia was the world’s second Black Republic
After Haiti, Liberia is the world’s second Black Republic. Within the early 1940s, Liberia formally declared warfare on Japan and Germany. Consequently, they later declared independence by the legislature in July 26, 1847. As a result, Liberia became the first African republic to proclaim its independence. Without a doubt, it is Africa’s first and oldest modern republic.
1. Liberia was the first black African country to be elected to the Security Council of the United Nations.
Liberia in 1960 was elected to the Security Council of the United Nations. It is the first black African country ever to occupy a seat in this body. The Security Council was created after the World War II. Its primary purpose is to maintain world peace. It consists of fifteen members, where five are permanent and ten non-permanent members. There is elections every two-years to replace the non-permanent members
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