Liberia Economic Development

Liberia became the first African republic country after its declaration of independence from the United States in 1847. The country flourished both economically and socially after WWII from massive aid on infrastructure and air transportation from the United States. However, its political downfall during the rule of president William Tolbert that resulted in a military coup d'etat started Liberia's continuous political instability. Two civil wars soon followed, which resulted in damage on infrastructure and large population decline in sum over half a million, posing destructive barriers to Liberia's economic growth.

Streets of Liberia

The UN has imposed sanctions on Liberian diamonds, along with an arms embargo and a travel ban on government officials, for Liberia's support of the rebel insurgency in Sierra Leone.

Eight years of civil strife were brought to a close in 1997 when free and open presidential and legislative elections were held.

Years of fighting, coupled with the flight of most businesses, have disrupted formal economic activity. A still unsettled domestic security situation has slowed the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country.

Renewed rebel activity has further eroded stability and economic activity. An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war and prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague related to his involvement in Sierra Leone's civil war. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 20

However, as Liberia moves into the 1920s, as affected by the deteriorating civil war status, the export sector growth was significantly influenced as the United States withdrew funds to Liberia's wool production, which is a prevalent source of the country's output. The technological advances made by the country in the 1960s also experienced a decline that had disrupted the ongoing growth. Ever since the outbreak of World War II,

"A country of constant conflict, Liberia stands at the turning point for long term and sustainable economic development."

Comparing Liberia

Real GDP pattern over years for Liberia VS. The United States
Life Expectancy Rate of Liberia VS. The United States
Primary Completion Rate and Human Development Index of Liberia VS. United States

Similarities: Liberia and Afghanistan both suffered from a historical past → economy stagnated, suffered in destruction of infrastructure and problems with trade partners, therefore labor force was damaged. Liberia and Myanmar both significantly damaged from wars and many infrastructures were destroyed.

Differences: Myanmar has been having a relatively stable economic environment recently followed by its political reform. However, Liberia’s problem remains as the demand for iron mining falls as a result of the political instability and fluctuating international relationships.

"A reform-minded government has placed Liberia on a path of growth despite numerous challenges. "



Primary and Secondary education for 5-16 year-olds is free and compulsory in Liberia, however, due to ongoing civil disputes, enforcements of such policies have been lax. The average schooling years is 10 years, (11 for boys, 8 for girls). There is also a lack of qualified teachers, education institution.In Liberia's education system, patronage and bribery by administrators, professors, and students are widely reported. Abuse of resources, teacher absenteeism, and sex for grades are common. A culture of silence prevents reporting of problems and hence any constructive reform.


Liberia has 5,000 full-time or part-time health workers and 51 Liberian doctors to cater to a population of 3.8 million, according to the 2006 health survey. That is equivalent to about 76,000 civilians being attended to by 1 doctor. Most of the hospitals, clinics and equipment were destroyed due to its 14 years of civil conflict from 1989 all the way until 2003.[1] The strengthening of the health sector faced financial problems. The government used only 16.8% of the total health expenditure. Liberia has heavily relied on the international community for health infrastructure and aid. International relief organisations assisted the government to rebuild health facilities and provide essential health care for its citizens. The World Health Organization (WHO) donated equipment and helped provide and assist in vaccinating the population to prevent the spreading of many communicable disease


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