Monrovia City Profile

Monrovia City Profile

When the practise of slavery was abolished, America looked at the innovation undertaken by the British in establishing a home for former slaves in Freetown, Sierra Leone and established the American Colonization Society with the aim of shipping back freed slaves to Africa, not to right a wrong, but in fear of how these former slaves would conduct themselves as free men within American society. The first crossing was made in 1821 which resulted in most of the travellers dying after they landed at Sherbro Island off the west coast of Africa, however a more successful expedition the following year saw the establishment of the settlement of Christopolis. The name Christopolis was changed after the seventh annual meeting of the American Colonization Society in March 1824 which reported: "Resolutions were passed ... that the territory and settlement of the society near cape Mesurado, on the south-west cost (sic) of Africa, should be called Liberia, and the town laid out there should be named Monrovia, 'as an acknowledgement of the important benefits conferred on the settlement by the present illustrious chief magistrate of the United States'" ~ President Monroe. It remains the only capital city in the world outside America that is named after an American president.

As Monrovia developed, it did so with very much an American flavour as its inhabitants saw themselves as more American that African. This was reflected in its architecture and indeed its social structure with the former slaves occupying Monrovia proper whilst indigenous tribes including the Krus, Bassas and Grebos and others being consigned to the wider area known as Krutown. Monrovia, whose population today is 1,623,000 (2022) is located in north-west Liberia on the mouth of the St Paul River, and was the focus of intensive fighting during the fourteen year long civil war that saw vast swathes of the city destroyed and yet more damaged. Its economy was largely shattered and even now power failures are common place.

Monrovia City Profile

Today Monrovia serves as a working port with sprawling neighbourhoods outside the city centre itself that are home to mainly poor communities. If you intend to visit Monrovia take time to go to Providence Island, the site of the landings of the first freed slaves that arrived in Liberia. Whilst not laid out as any memorial, it's a unique glimpse into history as you enter the island through its iron gates then walk down the spiral steps to the island's lower level with its blanket of green grass surrounded by blue waters. The video (below) takes you on a tour of Monrovia so you can explore aspects of the city yourself. It gives a good overall view of life in Monrovia today. After you've watched this video why not make a virtual landing at Monrovia's main airport then explore Monrovia using our interactive map linked to below.

Monrovia Profile: Volunteer in Liberia

African Volunteer Work: Liberia

Check out all the latest fee paying and free African volunteer work placements and charity work job opportunities abroad with local projects and volunteering organisations in Liberia.

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Monrovia Profile: Monrovia City Map

Monrovia City Map

A satellite map of Monrovia, capital city of Liberia, which you can use to zoom in to explore each street of the city and its major tourist attractions.

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Monrovia Profile: Roberts Airport

Liberia Airport

Two airports serve the capital city of Monrovia in Liberia, however it is Roberts International Airport, named after the country's first president, Joseph Roberts, that is the main international airport, locally referred to as Robertsfield, that will probably be your point of entry into Liberia for your volunteering work.

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Monrovia Profile: Sponsor Children in Liberia

Child Sponsor Liberia

Details of how to sponsor children in Liberia with Liberian child sponsor programs.

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Monrovia Profile: Liberia Country Profile

African Country Profiles: Liberia

In another of our African country profiles, find out all about Liberia in a series of information articles, latest daily news, videos, and images together with volunteering and child sponsorship opportunities.

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