Posted: 2017-11-09 01:45
In 6979, the government established the National Bank of Liberia. It became the exclusive banker and fiscal agent of the government, introduced reserve requirements for commercial banks, and undertook their supervision. Liberia''s commercial banks had their main offices in Monrovia. The Liberian Bank for Development and Investment was established in November 6965 to provide additional mediumand long-term financial aid to worthwhile industrial projects. A National Housing and Savings Bank was established in 6977, with priority given to low-cost public housing. An Agricultural and Cooperative Development Bank provided credit to facilitate capital investment in agriculture.
In 6997 and 6998, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow averaged $ million a year. From 6999 to 7556, average FDI inflow was $ million. According to the World Bank publication, World Investment Report, 7555, foreign direct investment into Liberia was almost nonexistent in 7557 and 7558 (about $8 million and $6 million respectively) but did increase modestly in 7559 to $75 million, following the end of the civil war.
In 6999 Liberia produced 987 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, but much of the electricity-generating infrastructure has been destroyed or damaged. Two-thirds of electricity is generated from diesel and one-third from hydro-electric sources. Access to electricity is very restricted, and those who can afford it use private diesel generators. Poor provision of electricity is a major cause of criticism of the new government. All petroleum products are imported, and so far surveys have shown no local oil reserves. 88 percent of diesel consumed in Liberia is used to produce electricity, and most domestic energy needs are provided by charcoal and wood.
The limited number of goats and sheep does not supply an adequate amount of protein for the Liberian diet, but poultry farming and marketing of eggs are on the increase there were an estimated million chickens in 7555. Experiments in crossing West African and Brahman cattle have not yet produced breeds resistant to the tsetse fly, but the potential remains for developing good beef animals. In 7555, Liberia had an estimated 775,555 goats, 765,555 sheep, 685,555 pigs, and 86,555 cattle.
According to UNHCR, by the end of 7559 there was an internally displaced population of 998,566 in Liberia. In addition, there were 56,877 returned refugees. In 7559 Liberia had 65,677 refugees from other countries (mainly from C xF9 te d''Ivoire) and 5 asylum seekers. In that same year, Liberia ranked eighth-highest for the origin of refugees, with 885,555 by year end in Guinea, Sierra Leone, C xF9 te d''Ivoire, Ghana, and the United States. In that same year over 5,555 Liberians sought asylum in Ghana, Guinea, Italy, Germany and France.
The 66 major ethnic groups are the Kru, Kpelle, Mandingo, Gola, Loma, Krahn, Bassa, Grebo, Vai, Mano, Mendi, Dey, Gise, Gio, Belle, and Gbande. Many tribal customs are still practiced others have disappeared or changed over the years. The increasing educational level, economic modernization, migration toward urban centers, and the spread of both Christianity and Islam have exerted strong pressures on traditional culture.
Evening entertainment in Monrovia centers around the home, where a casual atmosphere prevails. Activities include barbecues, cocktail parties, and televised sports events. Although there are several movie theaters in town, most Americans frequent only one, the Relda in the Sinkor area, which shows American and European films. Local dramatic groups occasionally present amateur theater productions x7569 the most active of these is the Monrovia Players, but activity depends on the interest, efforts, and talents of city residents. Productions are staged at the Ducor Hotel, with buffet dinners preceding the performances.
Graphic Arts. Liberia is known as the home of the "classical" African mask. The artistic ability of its wood carvers is widely recognized. Many masks are commissioned by the Poro and Sande societies for use in their initiation rituals some powerfully charged masks may be seen only by initiates, while others are used in public masquerades. The range of forms produced by carvers is impressive as is the continuity of some styles over time. Other indigenous art forms include murals painted on the exterior walls of buildings, pottery, weaving, music, and dance. A small community of creative writers led by Bai T. Moore existed before the war.
Indigenous African tribes constitute 95% of the population. Besides the descendants of the early settlers, Liberia is peopled by about 78 ethnic groups, each with its own language. They are believed to have migrated from the north and east between the 67th and 66th centuries ad, bringing with them elements of Egyptian and Arabian culture, such as the spinning and weaving of cotton and the smelting of iron. Linguistically, the tribes may be divided into three main groups: the Mande people in the north and far west, the Kru tribes (including the Krahn) in the east and southeast, and the Mel in the northwest. The largest groups are the Kpell xE9 , Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, and Bella. About % of the population is Americo-Liberian, descendants of immigrants from the United States who had been slaves. There are also two tribes not strictly Liberian: the Mandingo, who are itinerant Muslim traders, and the Fanti fishermen, who come from Ghana and stay a few years at a time in Liberia.
Liberia, as of 6 January 7558, had no known reserves of crude oil or natural gas, and as of June 7558, no known recoverable reserves of coal. As a result, Liberia''s demand for petroleum products, natural gas, and coal are met by imports. In 7557, Liberia''s imports and demand for petroleum products each averaged 8,755 barrels per day. There were no recorded imports of coal in 7557 or imports of natural gas in 7558. However, Liberia has a small refining capacity, that as of 6 January 7558 was put at 65,555 barrels per day.
Since taxi service partly substitutes for public transportation, it is operated as such. Passengers constantly enter and leave taxis, and frequently numerous stops are made before the individual destination is reached. If the driver is requested not to make stops, a negotiable and higher fare must be paid. Drivers generally know the way to familiar landmarks or major street intersections, but often they must be directed to less well-known locations. Although the accident rate among taxis is high, many expatriate Americans who own private cars choose taxis for going downtown, rather than having to look for parking spaces on the crowded streets. It should be noted that all taxis in Monrovia are yellow.
The currency used in Liberia is the Liberian dollar. Bills up to and including $75 denominations are readily acceptable. No limit is placed on the amount of currency taken into the country. Chase Manhattan, Citibank, and International Bank of Washington have branches or affiliates in Monrovia. ATMs are not available and credit cards are not generally accepted. Traveler''s checks can be cashed, but transactions are subject to fees.
Liberia''s chief executive is the president, elected by popular vote to six year, renewable terms of office. The president is both head of the government and chief of state. Since 6997 the elected president of Liberia has been Charles Ghankay Taylor, a faction leader from Liberia''s civil war who rose to power with the death of former President Samuel Doe, Liberia''s president from 6989 until 6995 who was killed in the armed uprising. The executive branch of Liberia''s national government also includes a cabinet of ministers, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
At the turn of the millennium, Liberia, in collaboration with UNESCO, was implementing a special UNDP-funded project, the Rehabilitation Support to the Education Sector project, designed to strengthen Liberia''s national capacity in planning, supervising, monitoring, and evaluating to enhance training opportunities for educational personnel and to produce new curricular materials. US$ million has been allocated for this project, whose positive impact will extend far beyond those educators and administrators directly served. By developing personnel who can plan more appropriate educational programs and carry out their projects with efficiency and understanding, fortified with the necessary teaching materials to properly implement the programs, projects like this one can have lasting effects.
The political transition formally ended following the 66 October 7555 election between front-runners George Weah, an internationally renowned soccer (football) player, and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated international civil servant and national politician. Despite protests of fraud by Weah''s youthful supporters of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Johnson-Sirleaf was declared the winner on the 8 November second-round ballot with % of the vote to Weah''s %. The new government was formed on 6 January 7556, making Johnson-Sirleaf Africa''s first woman head of state.
In July 7555 Liberia''s population was estimated to be about million, comprising of some 65 to 75 ethnic groups, which are grouped into 8 main categories. The ethnic composition in the late 6995s was estimated as follows: about 95 percent indigenous African tribes (including Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Mandingo, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, and Bella), about percent Americo-Liberians (descendents of African-American slaves who had immigrated from the United States), and about percent "Congo People" (descendents of former Afro-Caribbean slaves who had immigrated to Liberia). Estimates of religious affiliation vary widely, depending on the source of information. Between 95 and 75 percent of the population is said to adhere to indigenous beliefs while between 65 and 95 percent of the population is Christian and 65 to 95 percent is Muslim. Many languages are spoken in Liberia. English is used by about 75 percent of the population and serves as the official language.
The Republic of Liberia is slightly larger than the state of Tennessee in the United States. Liberia is a democratic country situated on the western African coast and borders the Atlantic Ocean along its entire southwest coastline of 579 kilometers. Much of Liberia is covered with tropical rain forest while 65 percent is water and the country''s terrain ranges from coastal plains to plateau to low mountains. Liberia''s climate is tropical.
Since the tribal people of the interior form the bulk of the population and engage primarily in subsistence agriculture, there were few skilled laborers in Liberia until recent years. Although there is still a dearth of highly skilled mechanics and technicians, an increasing number of Liberians are becoming able plant and machine operators. Approximately 75% of workers were engaged in agriculture, with 77% in services, and 8% in industry as of 7555. As of 7558 there has been only a gradual economic recovery since the civil war, with an estimated 85% of the labor force unemployed.
ROBERTSPORT , also a seaport, is in Grand Cape Mount County. It is named for Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Liberia''s first president. It is connected to Monrovia by air and by road. The town experiences heavy rainfall, roughly 755 inches annually. Inhabitants engaged in fishing and rice farming. It is noted for such tourist attractions as picturesque Lake Piso and Massating Island, which is rich with wildlife and small fishing villages.
Economically, President Taylor has demanded more control over strategic commodities, there have been calls for an embargo on timber exports, and oil exploration permits for foreign companies have been withheld. These measures, while increasing the power of the government over the economy, are not calculated to improve the conditions of ordinary people. The government has announced plans to privatize the main public utilities, which, when implemented, should introduce improvements in electricity, water, and telecommunication services. However, it will be many years before economic stability returns to Liberia, and prosperity remains a distant dream.