Liberia. In February, the state and the business community launched a joint forum to build Liberia and create jobs. Seven years after the end of the civil war, 85 percent of Liberians reported missing real jobs. According to COUNTRYAAH, Liberia has a population of 4.819 million (2018). The international steel group ArcelorMittal, which hopes to do good business on Liberia’s large iron deposits, undertook to invest approximately SEK 10 billion in, among other things, a railway, a new port and other infrastructure.
In October, a whole package of new laws aimed at modernizing and regulating business was adopted to give investors greater confidence in the country and strengthen the economy. The legislative changes had been preceded by consultations with both the local business community and the World Bank. The package includes the establishment of a special court for business disputes.
That the work of building up such a fundamentally devastated country as Liberia takes time, which proved time and again. 100,000 people are still estimated to be homeless since the war. Remaining major shortcomings within the police and judiciary slow down the recovery, Human Rights Watch reported in September, and corruption has taken a deep root in the administration. The state has found it difficult to convict the members of the interim government in 2003–05 accused of extensive corruption. All charges against interim president Gyude Bryant were dropped during the year.
In June, however, the current Minister of Information was forced to repay the equivalent of approximately SEK 1.7 million, which he incurred by taking care of the salaries of the Ministry’s many “ghost employees”, ie staff who did not exist other than on paper.
According to softwareleverage, The Paris Club, an association of donors, donated $ 1.2 billion of Liberia’s foreign debt, citing the country’s ambitious economic policies. However, the state budget was delayed by several months because Parliament was crippled by a protracted boycott. The protests concerned a review of constituencies ahead of the 2011 general elections, when the distribution of mandates between provinces may change.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the two letter abbreviation of LR stands for the country of Liberia in geography.
A UN report described Liberia as a “fragile building” and warned of the risk of unrest in the elections. In November, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf began preparing his own reelection campaign by dismissing the entire government except his coordination minister. In the late autumn, she slowly began to resume the ministerial posts.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
In 1998, according to one estimate, the population of Liberia amounted to 2. 666. 000 residents, With an increase of over 500,000 residents compared to the last census (1984). However, it should be noted that, in more recent years, the population growth rate has come to a halt, as a result of the civil war that has plagued the country since the end of 1989. In 1996 it was estimated that 750. 000 Liberians have fled to neighboring states, and another 700. 000 they were forced to leave their places of residence, while remaining in the country. According to international estimates, in the period 1990 – 97 the annual growth rate was 24 ‰, compared to values referring to the previous period which were around 35 ‰.
In conjunction with the initial phase of the conflict also the Liberian economy suffered a real collapse, estimated at an average annual GDP decline of 12, 3 % during the three years 1990 – 92. The prospects for the reconstruction of the economy are conditioned by the maintenance of civil order in the country.
Rural areas were the most devastated by the fighting, and agricultural production – in particular those destined for subsistence – suffered marked contractions: rice production (95,000 t in 1997), albeit in sharp recovery compared to 1995, when they were produced 56. 200 t, is equivalent to just 54 % of the 1988 production. Also the production of cassava (213. 300 t in 1996) still appears halved compared to 1988. Overall agricultural production, according to the FAO, has experienced an average annual decline of 9, 6 % in the period 1989 – 95, and only in the last year has it shown signs of recovery. Despite this, international aid appears destined to play an essential role until the emergency is overcome.
Traditional exports of commercial crops (rubber, coffee, cocoa, coconut palm) and timber continued, albeit to a lesser extent, during the civil war, while the production and export of minerals suffered a drastic reduction: in following the occupation of the mining regions by the rebel forces, in fact, the extraction of iron minerals was suspended, and exports, already greatly reduced due to the fall in world demand, were reduced to insignificant values (1, 1 million t in 1992), while in 1989 they accounted for 51% of the total export value. Manufacturing industries have little relevance and are limited to the processing of local products, and services in terms of employment the sector appears high incidence (29, 2 % of the labor force in 1994) and contributed to the formation of GDP (41 % in 1989).