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Location of Monrovia in Liberia
Monrovia, population 572,000 ( 2003 census), is the capital city of Liberia. It lies on a peninsula, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mesurado River and is a major port. Monrovia is located at 6°19′N 10°48′W. [1]The area was already inhabited when it was named Cape Mesurado by Portuguese sailors in the 1560s, but the city was not established until April 1822, when Providence Island (now linked to the city centre by a bridge) was first settled by the American Colonization Society as a haven for freed slaves from the United States and the British West Indies, as well as many of the famous Maroon freedom fighters, and was named after James Monroe, then President of the United States. It is the only foreign capital city named after a U.S. President.Monrovia is Liberia's largest city and its administrative, commercial, and financial center. The city's economy is dominated by its harbor, which was substantially expanded by U.S. forces during World War II. The main exports are latex and iron ore. The harbor also has extensive storage and ship repair facilities. Manufactures include cement, refined petroleum, food products, bricks and tiles, furniture, and chemicals.Monrovia is listed as the home port by between ten and fifteen percent of the world's merchant shipping, registered in Liberia under Flag of Convenience arrangements. This has not been associated with the development of an offshore services centre for the marine industry, nor is it a significant source of revenue for the city, as there is no formal residency or inspection requirement associated with a Liberian registration.Attractions in Monrovia include the Liberian National Museum, the now ruined Masonic Temple, the Waterside Market, (currently closed) cultural centre on Providence Island and several beaches. It is also home to a zoo, the University of Liberia and Cuttington College and Divinity School (Episcopal).Boats link the city with Greenville and Harper, but the nearest airport is Roberts International Airport, 60 km (40 mi) away at Robertsfield.


The 2003 siege of Monrovia - Contents

The city was severely damaged in the Liberian Civil War, with many buildings gutted. Major battles occurred between Samuel Doe's government and Prince Johnson's forces in 1990 and with the NPFL's assault on the city in 1992. A legacy of the war is a large population of homeless children and youths, either having been involved in the fighting or denied an education by it.


Sister Cities - Contents

  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Dayton, Ohio, USA
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