Liberia Economy

Liberia Economy and Culture


The economy of Liberia is characterized by factors of foreign dependence (in particular the US) of particular gravity: based on a colonial system often still managed by foreign companies, it cultivates and exports rubber, coffee, cocoa, coconut palm and owes a large part of the its income from mining. The first fundamental sale of Liberian resources dates back to 1926, when the Firestone Plantation Company, a US company active in the field of tires, rented a very fertile coastal strip, from Montserrado to Grand Bassa; the company, interested in increasing the production of cauciù, set up a colossal plantation of Hevea there. Again with regard to the cultivation of Hevea important concessions were then made to the BF Goodrich Company, the Uniroyal Liberian Agricultural Company and other companies, particularly Japanese. In the 1950s, the “open door” policy began, which was based on freedom of enterprise and openness to foreign investments. Thus began a phase of economic development for Liberia. Check PAULSOURCING for import regulations of Liberia.

In the seventies of the century. XX also began the exploitation of mineral deposits by US, Swedish and German companies and the country became one of the first world exporters of iron ores. Tax and regulatory facilitations guaranteed by the state then allowed the birth of the so-called “ghost fleet”: one of the largest boats in the world was progressively registered in the naval registers. The following two decades saw the economy enter a phase of crisis mainly due to the great corruption in the administration and the civil war that bloodied the country from 1990 to 1997 and that caused expatriation, mainly to Guinea and the Costa d ‘ Ivory, of a quarter of the population. Since 1998 a vast renewal program, supported by international organizations and bilateral donors, promoted the reconstruction of infrastructures, houses and schools and the liberalization of the economy: this program was however interrupted by the resumption of clashes throughout 2002 and 2003 and by the the UN accuses Liberia of favoring the illegal arms and diamonds market. The country’s economic difficulties meant that the GDP in 2008 stood at US $ 836 million and GDP per capita on US $ 212. However, Liberia has huge natural resources, a great water potential, riches in the subsoil, a forest heritage and a humid climate favorable to agriculture and its economy, devastated by the absence of peace on its territory, is ready to overcome the great difficulties. economic and social conditions once political stability has been achieved: the election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (2005), in fact, allowed a 13% growth in GDP in just two years. A step along this path was taken by the UN which in 2007 lifted the embargo on the Liberian diamond trade to help the country’s economic reconstruction.

Liberia Economy


The bloody interlude of the civil war has abruptly interrupted the progress of the country, which after 2003 is slowly resuming daily life, with its habits and rhythms. All ethnicities are patrilineal; the ideology carried by black Americans was distinctly patriarchal, whereby women were assigned household chores and childcare. However, the division of agricultural work on the basis of sexes actually gives women a fair amount of power, although this is not recognized in a formal way. However, women’s fatigue is enhanced, as can be seen from the institution of the dowry that accompanies marriage. Among the so-called ‘civilized’, both indigenous and of American-Liberian descent, the role that women play in managing the home and family is of great value. An educated woman (almost always of American-Liberian origin) who has a job outside the home, for example, cannot take care of the normal activities that are incumbent on women in rural environments (farming, trade, transport of wood and water), without threatening the your position. In traditional culture, male and female roles are clearly divided; the teaching of the rules and customs of the various tribes is handed down through secret societies, which are called Poro for men and Sande for women. Secret societies also have the purpose of sharing power and administering the community, dividing tasks between men and women. At the national level, women can also hold important political positions: before the 1997 elections, the last leader of the transitional government was a woman, the first African head of state, Ruth Sando Perry. The vice-presidential candidate, with Charles Taylor as president, was also a woman. The most popular sport in the country is football; the national champion, George Weah, after receiving the coveted Golden Ball in 1995, returned to his country where, in addition to dealing with football, he also works as an ambassador for peace. The main food is rice, flavored with sauces. Meat or fish serve as a side dish, or are offered at the beginning of the meal, always accompanied by sauces. In rural areas, breakfast consists of a leftover boiled rice or cassava seasoned with the previous day’s sauce. Depending on the season or the time of year, the main meal is eaten at noon or in the evening. Snacks throughout the day are based on fruit, such as bananas, mangoes, cassava, brown sugar, coconut. Rice is also used as an offering to ancestors or recently deceased relatives, as well as an important person from whom a favor is to be asked.