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The 2016 Independence Message from the Ambassador to the United States

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Welcome to the official website of the Embassy of the Republic of Liberia to the United States in Washington, D.C. The Embassy website is intended to serve as a source of information on the Embassy and the Republic of Liberia as a whole. It provides critical information on the country and how we may bring service to you.

Liberia shares a very special historical relationship with the United States of America  (USA), dating back to the founding of Liberia in 1822 by former slaves and free-born Blacks from the United States, under the auspices of the American Colonization Society (ACS). Established on December 24, 1816, the ACS was a philanthropic organization, chartered to find a new home in Africa for freed men and women of color in the U.S. Among the founders of the ACS were many prominent early American leaders, including Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Daniel Webster, Francis Scott Key, and Bushrod Washington, an associate justice of the Supreme Court and nephew of George Washington. Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, is named after James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States.

On July 26, 1847, Liberia declared her independence, and became Africa’s first republic. Liberia’s declaration of independence was spearheaded by Joseph Jenkins Roberts, born in Norfolk, VA, who became the first President of the country. Ten of Liberia’s 23 presidents were American born.

Liberia championed the cause of the liberation of the entire African Continent from colonial rule to self-determination. A founding member of the United Nations (UN), Liberia played a pivotal leadership role in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now the Africa Union (AU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), among others.

Once one of the most stable countries in Africa, Liberia’s progress was interrupted by decades of civil upheaval, which began in the late 1970s. However, the country embarked upon a course of peace in 2003.

Thanks to the Almighty God, the resilience of the Liberia people along with very strong international support, our country has re-emerged on the international stage as a post-conflict success. With its nascent multi-party democracy thriving, Liberians are enjoying an unprecedented level of freedom.

Liberia, under the Government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has continued on a course of progress in all aspects of national endeavors. From infrastructural development, such as rehabilitation and construction of roads, medical and educational facilities, provision of electricity and pipe-borne water, to the institution of policies and programs in order to strengthen state institutions, there has been sustainable progress.

The Embassy of Liberia near Washington notes with satisfaction the elevated levels of cooperation attained in U.S.-Liberia relations since the end of the civil crisis, most especially during the Administration of President Sirleaf. U.S. support for Liberia include

being the largest single donor for the United Nations operations in Liberia, cancellation of Liberia’s US $4.9 billion debt under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, as well as support to reform Liberia’s security sector, governance and the rule of law.

On January 15, 2013, President Sirleaf and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a high-level U.S.-Liberia Partnership Dialogue, which reaffirmed United States strong commitment to supporting Liberia in the areas of Agriculture and Food Security,
Energy and Power Infrastructure, and Human Development. The Partnership Dialogue was inaugurated on May 7, 2013 to concretize and further institutionalize the bilateral relations through the signing of a Joint Statement.

With a population estimated to be 4.1 million, Liberia, which covers a territorial area of 43,000 square miles, including 350 miles of Atlantic coastline of white sandy beaches, is endowed with abundant natural resources. Because of major reforms to improve the economy, Liberia has attracted billions of dollars in foreign direct investment
in the reactivation of the mining, agriculture and forestry sectors.

Oil exploration has become a new potential in the country’s private sector development.
Liberia is home to 40 percent of the remaining rainforests in the West African sub-region, one of the most important remaining biodiversity areas in the world, with unique plant and animal species, such as the pygmy hippo. With lakes and waterfalls in various parts of the country, Liberia has huge tourism potential, as efforts are directed
toward developing the tourism industry.

The Government of Liberia, in recognition of the importance of Liberians in the Diaspora, is also taking measures that would harmonize the Constitution and laws of Liberia to legalize dual citizenship.

We wish to assure that the Embassy will continue to be actively engaged with the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) and all well-meaning Liberian organizations in the United States on matters that would benefit Diaspora Liberians and our country.

The Embassy will also continue to be fully engaged with Liberia’s partners in the United States, Canada and Mexico to ensure that our country benefits from the goodwill of our international partners. Welcome!

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