African Dream Academy

Empowering African Children Through Education

Liberia — Country Profile

Liberia's history began in 1822 as a place founded for free American and Caribbean slaves to settle by the American Colonization Society. The country was later officially established in 1847 has African's oldest republic, and took the name "Liberia" from the origins of the word, 'liber' means free, to emphasis the importance of freedom in the country. Liberia is mostly made up of indigenous Africans, with the slaves' descendants comprising 5% of the population.

Recent History to Present Day

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

United States educated, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2006 won the Liberian presidential election as the first woman to be head of state in Africa. Later in 2011, she subsequently won reelection and will serve out her term until after the October 2017 elections. Following in the heels of Liberia's 14-year civil war and Ebola outbreak crisis from 2013–2015, President Johnson Sirleaf has remained challenged to rebuild Liberia's economic and political structure.

Liberia's "Iron Lady"
Born in 1938, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a widowed mother-of-four and is known today in Liberia as the "Iron Lady". President Johnson Sirleaf drew much of her support from women voters, and from Liberia's small, educated elite. Today she faces the twin challenges of trying to rebuild the country and of fostering reconciliation. One of her priorities has been to reintegrate into society former child soldiers and to rid the country of corruption, which is a formidable challenge. Before her election as Liberia's president, Mrs. Johnson Sileaf served as Finance Minister under President William Tolbert in the late 1970s and fled the country after the Tolbert government was overthrown. She subsequently worked for the UN and the World Bank. Some of the opposition President Johnson Sirleaf has faced stems from her one-time association with former Liberian leader Charles Taylor. At the time, she briefly supported the warlord in his quest to overthrow military leader Samuel Doe.

"The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough." — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf



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