I’ve been reading a couple of books relevant to the history of Liberia.  The map in a previous post shows you where it is in West Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone to the West (where we stopped on the plane on the way here) and Cote d’Ivoire to the East.  Liberia is Africa’s oldest republic and was set up at the beginning of the 19th century as a homeland for freed American slaves.  There were 2 violent, devastating civil wars in the late 1990s up until 2003 and reading about them is harrowing stuff.  8% of the population was killed.  As we were driving today I couldn’t help looking at people on the roadside and wondering what part they may have played in those wars.  There were so many different factions, most of which recruited children as young as 7 as child soldiers.  Many will have died of course but what does that kind of trauma do to the survivors who will now be in their 20s?

43% of Liberia’s population is under the age of 15.  I wonder if the big drop down to the 15-44 year olds in the graph below partly reflects the effect of those wars.

Liberia: Age breakdown

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *