Liberia is Africa’s first nation. The small sub-Saharan nation is about the size of Tennessee and was founded in 1822 as a result of the American Colonization Society to settle freed American slaves in West Africa. Liberia was once revered as “Little America”, because of its advancements and comforts; it was paradise. It was Africa’s most advanced nation, but there was always a cultural struggle between the indigenous Africans and the Americo-Liberians, which led to the country’s brutal from 1989-2003. The war undid all of Liberia’s progress, but in 2005 Liberia made history once more, electing Madam Ellen Johnson as the first female president of Liberia and the first female president in Africa as well.
Today, Liberia is slowly recovering from the psychological, social, economic, political and structural damage of the civil war. The traumatic Ebola epidemic was a major setback that put a spotlight on the many places in the country that need restructuring, specifically healthcare, education, and women’s/girls’ rights.