Our Liberia

The Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) launched in 2018 is currently Liberia’s 5-Year National Development Plan. It is consistent with the Liberia Vision 2030 Framework and follows the 2012-2017 Agenda for Transformation (AfT). The PAPD is about the people, how to strengthen their capacity to thrive, and how to draw all Liberians living at home and abroad into the national development process. It addresses the basic needs
of Liberians for income security, better access to basic services, and greater opportunities for self-improvement in an enabling environment that is inclusive and stable. The plan aims to gradually raise per capita income levels and economic status towards Liberia becoming a middle-income country by 2030.
To make progress towards achieving the PAPD objectives and eventually Vision 2030 Goals, the strategies, and interventions are built around four (4) pillars:

To empower Liberians with the tools to gain control of their lives through more equitable provision of opportunities in education, health, youth development, and social protection.

Economic stability and job creation through effective resource mobilization and prudent management of economic inclusion.

Promoting a cohesive society for sustainable development

An inclusive and accountable public sector, for shared prosperity and sustainable development.

When asked what they think about the country, anyone who has lived, visited, or worked in Liberia will always use one or a combination of these descriptions: Africa’s oldest republic; fun-loving and hospitable; naturally beautiful and scenic; natural-resource rich; determined and resilient people; and a pillar of strength during Africa’s formative years.
This is our Liberia and the Liberia that we are welcoming you to explore as an investor. Liberian art and culture, expressed in beautiful ornate sculptures depicting faces, people, and everyday living are inspired by ancient history that predates what is modern Liberia today. Rural life is at the core of artists’ renderings and a showcase of hundreds of years of the country’s indigenous history.

In 1821, freed slaves and freeborn black Americans arrived on Providence Island, declaring it home. With 16 languages spoken across 15 counties, Africa’s oldest republic debuted on the scene in 1847 as its first independent nation. Since then the country has enjoyed many ‘firsts’ on the continent.
This African American heritage is intricately woven into our indigenous and proud history. The music, the dancing, and the laughter are all part of our rich heritage. Liberia was a pillar of strength between the 50s and 70s when many African countries were moving away from colonialism toward independence. The country became a beacon of hope during these formative years as many African leaders sought the advice of Liberian leaders in the establishment of their countries.

In July 1959, a meeting among Liberia, Guinea, and Ghana was held in Sanniquellie, Liberia, laying the foundation of what is today the African Union, originally termed the Community of Independent African States.
In the 60s and 70s Liberia experienced an economic growth rate second only to Japan, brought on by President Tubman’s “Open Door Policy.” The open arms that so many experienced then are still extended today to all that enter Liberia’s shores.

Historical Highlights

Indigenous Africans migrated from the Songhai Kingdom to present-day Liberia between the 12th and 16th centuries A.D. The first settlers arrived in 1821 on Providence Island from New York. The number of immigrants that arrived from 1821 to 1843 was 4,571. These immigrants were free slaves sponsored by the American Colonization Society (ACS). In 1847, Liberia declared independence and retained it throughout the scramble for Africa by European colonial powers. During this period, Liberia remained in the American “sphere of influence”.  The Capital City, Monrovia, is named after the 5th President of the United States, Mr. James Monroe.

Liberia was a beacon of hope for other African colonies and territories desirous of achieving independence. Many heroes of African independence visited Liberia during this period and were encouraged to move forward towards independence. Among leaders that visited Liberia were Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Sekou Toure, Nnmadi Azikwe, Sam Njoma, and Nelson Mandela. Other liberation figures that once lived in Liberia included the late Mariam Makeba and Hugh Masekela.

Liberia was instrumental in the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU). A meeting held in Sanniquellie, Nimba County in 1959 was a preparatory meeting between then Presidents William V. S. Tubman of Liberia, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

In 1944 President William Tubman enunciated an “Open Door Policy” which sought to attract foreign investments. The policy contained a mixture of political and economic tools: political stability, tax holidays, cheap labor, and free repatriation of profits. The outcomes were phenomenal: between 1944 and 1970, the value of foreign investments increased by 200 percent; economic growth doubled; employment rose, and Liberia became Africa’s first and the world’s third exporter of iron ore and a major producer and exporter of rubber. Within a period of twenty-five (25) years, Liberia had attracted foreign investments exceeding US$ 1 Billion. Among these were American, Swedish, and German investments.

  Economic Outlook

Both the World Bank and IMF have certified that Liberia’s macro-economic fundamentals are in the right direction. Liberia has enhanced the autonomy of the Central Bank by amending the Act to strengthen its regulatory role. Under the program with the Fund, the country has met benchmarks to improve United States Dollar liquidity and bring stability to the banking sector. The Fund views the debt burden as being sustainable. The World Bank views the country’s performance as supportive of market improvements, laying the groundwork for anticipated economic recovery.

 

On the fiscal front, domestic sources for revenues have been broadened and revenue collection efforts strengthened by consolidating all collections under the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA). Additionally, the government is ensuring that public sector institution expenditures fall within approved budgets and that they utilize the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) to record and report financial transactions.

The experience of and lessons learned from the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic have assisted the country’s response to and reduce the impact of Covid-19. With international financial assistance, vulnerable groups and households have been supported with survival relief packages.

Despite the challenges imposed by the global impact of COVID-19, Liberia remains optimistic that the economy will turn around soonest. Growth in the non-mining sector is expected to rebound the economy reflecting an improvement of 2.4 percentage points. The focus of economic activity will be productivity-driven growth and diversification under an Inclusive Growth Development Operations program with the World Bank. Those who would benefit from engagement with Liberia in the medium-term would act smart now by commencing engagement with Liberia.

The Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) launched in 2018 is currently Liberia’s 5-Year National Development Plan. It is consistent with the Liberia Vision 2030 Framework and follows the Agenda for Transformation 2012-2017 (AfT).

The PAPD is about the people, how to strengthen their capacity to thrive; and how to draw all Liberians living at home and abroad into the national development process. It addresses the basic needs of Liberians for income security, better access to basic services, and greater opportunities for self-improvement in an enabling environment that is inclusive and stable. The plan aims to gradually raise per capita income levels and economic status towards Liberia becoming a middle-income country by 2030.

To make progress towards achieving the PAPD objectives and eventually Vision 2030 Goals, the strategies and interventions are built around four (4) pillars:

Pillar 1: Power to the People: To empower Liberians with the tools to gain control of their lives through more equitable provision of opportunities in education, health, youth development, and social protection.

Pillar 2: The Economy and Jobs: Economic stability and job creation through effective resource mobilization and prudent management of economic inclusion.

Pillar 3: Sustaining the Peace: Promoting a cohesive society for sustainable development.

Pillar 4: Governance and Transparency: An inclusive and accountable public sector, for shared prosperity and sustainable development.

 

 

Geography

Liberia is located along the coast of West Africa.  It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the southwest, Sierra Lone to the west, Guinea to the north, and Cote d’Ivoire to the east. Liberia is made up of fifteen political subdivisions called counties. Montserrado is the most populated county and hosts Monrovia, the capital city and largest commercial hub.

Liberia has a total land area of approximately 111,000 square kilometers and a coastline of 580 km. Of the total land area, roughly 96,000 square kilometers is land mass and the remainder is composed of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Geographic features along the coastline include mangrove swamps, lagoons, and sandbars. Beyond the coastal plains are rolling hills and valleys in the northeast portion of the country which are covered mostly by rainforests.

Liberia has two seasons: the dry season, which generally runs from October to March and a rainy season, which runs from March to October. The dry season comes with warm temperatures and