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Latest Local and World News in Liberia
Shipping flag of convenience
Due to its status as a flag of convenience, Liberia has the second-largest maritime registry in the world behind Panama. It has 3,500 vessels registered under its flag, accounting for 11% of ships worldwide.
Agriculture in Liberia is a major sector of the country’s economy worth 38.8% of GDP, employing more than 70% of the population and providing a valuable export for one of the world’s least developed countries (as defined by the UN). Liberia has a climate favourable to farming, vast forests, and an abundance of water, yet low yields mean that over half of foodstuffs are imported, with net agricultural trade at -$73.12 million in 2010.
The major crops are natural rubber, rice, cassava, bananas and palm oil.Timber is also a major export at $100 million annually, although much of this is the product of unsustainable habitat destruction, with Asian corporations criticised for their role. Although agricultural activity occurs in most rural locations, it is particularly concentrated in coastal plains (subsistence crops) and tropical forest (cash crops). The sector is very important for women as they are widely employed in it in comparison to the economy as a whole.
The mining industry of Liberia has witnessed a revival after the civil war which ended in 2003. Gold, diamonds, and iron ore form the core minerals of the mining sector with a new Mineral Development Policy and Mining Code being put in place to attract foreign investments. In 2013, the mineral sector accounted for 11% of GDP in the country and the World Bank projected a further increase in the sector by 2017.
Mining sector is considered the prime mover for the economic growth of the country and its exploitation has to be appropriately balanced with sustainable environmental preservation of its rich biodiversity. Apart from iron ore extractions, cement, diamond, gold, and petroleum resources have also been given due importance to enrich the economy of the country.
Communications in Liberia
There are six major newspapers in Liberia, and 65%of the population has a mobile phone service. Much of Liberia’s communications infrastructure was destroyed or plundered during the two civil wars (1989–1996 and 1999–2003). With low rates of adult literacy and high poverty rates, television and newspaper use is limited, leaving radio as the predominant means of communicating with the public.
Transport in Liberia
Transport in Liberia consist of 429 km of railways, 10,600 km of highways (657 km paved), seaports, 29 airports (2 paved) and 4 km of pipeline for oil transportation. Busses and taxis are the main forms of ground transportation in and around Monrovia. Charter boats are also available.
Public electricity services are provided solely by the state-owned Liberia Electricity Corporation, which operates a small grid almost exclusively in the Greater Monrovia District. The vast majority of electric energy services is provided by small, privately owned generators. At $0.54 per kWh, the cost of electricity in Liberia is among the highest in the world. Total capacity in 2013 was 20 MW, a sharp decline from a peak of 191 MW in 1989 before the wars.
The repair and expansion of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Project, with a maximum capacity of 80 MW, was completed in 2018.[Construction of three new heavy fuel oil power plants is expected to boost electrical capacity by 38 MW. In 2013, Liberia began importing power from neighboring Ivory Coast and Guinea through the West African Power Pool.
Liberia has begun exploration for offshore oil; unproven oil reserves may be in excess of one billion barrels. The government divided its offshore waters into 17 blocks and began auctioning off exploration licenses for the blocks in 2004, with further auctions in 2007 and 2009. An additional 13 ultra-deep offshore blocks were demarcated in 2011 and planned for auction. Among the companies to have won licenses are Repsol YPF, Chevron Corporation, and Woodside Petroleum.