A Note on Liberia - Introduction to Economic Development

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Transcript A Note on Liberia - Introduction to Economic Development

Liberia
ECON 3508, 2015
Some History
First Habitation, going back to “Stone Age”;
various peoples settle at different times
1461 to late 17th century: Portuguese, Dutch
and British traders had contacts and built
trading posts;
No colonial power claimed it;
1822: the American Colonization Society,
established Liberia to "repatriate" black
Americans to greater freedom in Africa
• Afro-American immigrants viewed Africa as a
"Promised Land," but they did not integrate
into African society, considering themselves
to be Americans.
• Colonization, 1821–1847
• Independence:
On July 26, 1847, Americo-Liberian
settlers declared independence;
for the Republic of Liberia.
Joseph Jenkins Roberts,
First President of Liberia.
Americo-Liberian Rule (1847–1980)
– Americo-Liberian domination over indigenous
population
– government, modeled after that of the U.S.,
democratic in structure, if not in substance
Retained its independence during the Scramble for
Africa, but lost its claim to territories that had been
annexed by Britain and France.
Weak isolated economy
• April 12, 1980, a s military coup by a group of
noncommissioned army officers led by Master Sergeant
Samuel Doe.
– The soldiers were a mixture of the various ethnic groups that
claimed marginalization at the hands of the minority AmericoLiberian settlers.
• Samuel Doe ruled with the People’s Redemption Council
(1980–1989)
President Samuel K.
Doe with members of
his "Peoples
Redemption Council”
• First Liberian Civil War (1989–1996)
Dictatorial atmosphere that gripped the country was due
largely to Samuel Doe's rule.
Americo-Liberian Charles Taylor, invaded
• Second Liberian Civil War (1997–2003)
Bloody, confused, child soldiers, atrocities
Ended with intervention by ECOWAS and 1000 Nigerian troops
plus 100 US Marines (and potential of 2000 more)
Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, mobilize for action
and were able to achieve peace in Liberia after a 14-year civil
war
Charles Taylor, now conconvicted for war crimes at The Hague.
• Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf elected president (2005)
Stability, democracy and economic improvement 2005-2015
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Economy:
- Subsistence agricultural based
Grinding sugar cane manually
Rubber Plantation
Palm Oil Plantation
Iron Ore Mining; Arcelor Mittal
A Statistical Snap-shot of Liberia (2012)
Population
Life Expectancy
GDP per capita (PPP)
GDP Rank
Population living in “the UNDP’s
“Multiple Dimension Poverty”
GDP Growth, 1990-2000
GDP Growth, 2000-2012
Human Development Index
UNDP HDR 2013; African Statistical Yearbook,
2014
+/- 4,290,000
60.6 years
$US 506
#183 of 186
83.9%
- 5.0% per annum
+ 7.3 to 13.5% p.a.
0.329
#174 of 186
Liberia: Basic Demographic Indicators
Population (million)
Population Growth Rates(%)
Fertility Rates (births per woman)
Urban Population (%)
Dependency Ratios
1990
2012
2.2
-2.2%
4.3
+2.4%
6.4
40.9
92.7
4.8
51.1
85.6
17.5
18.5
Children and seniors as % of adults, 15-25
Median Age
UNDP, HDR, 2010
Liberia: Structure of Employment
Category
Number
Total Employment 1,278,477
Open
Unemplment
83,323
(5.7%)
Formal Sector
231,584
(15.8%)
34,949
9,026
141,639
43,162
Agriculture
Industry
Services
Other
Category
Number
Informal Sector 1.146.893
(78.5)
Agriculture
642,260
Industry
16.460
Services
114.689
Other
367.006
World Bank, Liberia: Employment and Pro-Poor Growth, November 19, 2010
– Firestone rubber plantations since the 1930s
– Liberia has one of the world's largest national
registries of ships, due to its status as a "flag of
convenience“ (1,700 vessels registered )
– Major iron ore producer
– Informal sector alluvial diamond production