Joseph J. Ross
Joseph J. Ross served as the 14th Vice President of Liberia from 1898 to 1899, he served as Attorney General of Liberia under three separate administrations and was thrice-elected to the Senate of Liberia as a senator from Sinoe County, serving as President pro tempore of the Senate from 1892 to 1896. Born in Augusta, his mother died while he was in infancy, he emigrated to Liberia. He settled in Sinoe County and apprenticed to C. L. Parsons, who served as Chief Justice of Liberia. After serving in the Liberian militia, Ross became an attorney under future Chief Justice Zacharia B. Roberts. Ross unsuccessfully ran for the House of Representatives in Sinoe County during the 1869 elections, was appointed to a judgeship. In 1875, he was appointed Superintendent of Sinoe County, was elected as a senator from Sinoe in 1878. From 1882 to 1884, he served as Attorney General in the cabinet of Presidents Anthony W. Gardiner and Alfred Francis Russell, was reelected as senator from Sinoe County in the 1883 elections.
He again served as Attorney General in the cabinet of President Hilary R. W. Johnson from 1888 to 1892. In the 1891 elections, he was elected for a third time as a senator from Sinoe County, serving as the President pro temp of the Senate. Ross was elected as vice president in the 1897 elections, serving under President William D. Coleman, he was reelected in 1899 and died in 1899. His son, Samuel Alfred Ross also became Vice President of Liberia
Sierra Leone the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests; the country has a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature; the country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area; these regions are subdivided into sixteen districts. Sierra Leone was a British Crown Colony from 1808 to 1961. Sierra Leone became independent from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, led by Sir Milton Margai, who became the country's first prime minister. In May 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general elections as an independent nation. On 19 April 1971, Siaka Stevens' government abolished Sierra Leone's parliamentary government system and declared Sierra Leone a presidential republic.
From 1978 to 1985, Sierra Leone was a one-party state in which Stevens' APC was the only legal political party in the country. The current constitution of Sierra Leone, which includes multiparty democracy, was adopted in 1991 by the government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh, Stevens' hand-picked successor. On 23 March 1991, a rebel group known as the Revolutionary United Front led by a former Sierra Leone army officer Foday Sankoh launched an eleven-year brutal civil war in the country, in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Sierra Leone government. In April 1992, a group of junior army officers in their twenties overthrew president Momoh from power, their leader a 25 year old captain Valentine Strasser became the world's youngest Head of State. In January 1996 Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio returned the country to multi-party democracy and the 1991 constitution was reestablished. Bio handed power to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after his victory in the 1996 Sierra Leone presidential election.
In 1997, the military overthrew President Kabbah. However, in February 1998, a coalition of West African Ecowas armed forces led by Nigeria removed the military junta from power by force and President Kabbah was reinstated as president. Sierra Leone has had an uninterrupted democracy from 1998 to present. In January 2002, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fulfilled his campaign promise by ending the civil war as the rebels were defeated by military force with the help and support of Ecowas, the British government, the African Union, the United Nations. 16 ethnic groups inhabit each with its own language and customs. The two largest and most influential are the Mende; the Temne are predominantly found in the northwest of the country, the Mende are predominant in the southeast. Comprising a small minority, about 2%, are the Krio people, who are descendants of freed African-American and West Indian slaves. Although English is the official language, used in schools and government administration, Krio, an English-based creole, is the most spoken language across Sierra Leone and is spoken by 98% of the country's population.
The Krio language unites all the different ethnic groups in the country in their trade and social interaction. Sierra Leone is a Muslim-majority country at about 78%, though there is an influential Christian minority at 21%. Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant states in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully, religious violence is rare; the major Christian and Muslim holidays are public holidays in the country, including Christmas, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha Sierra Leone has relied on mining diamonds, for its economic base. It is among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, is a major producer of gold, has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is home to the third-largest natural harbour in the world. Despite this natural wealth, 53% of its population lived in poverty in 2011. Sierra Leone is a member of many international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Development Bank and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years, populated successively by societies who migrated from other parts of Africa. The people adopted the use of iron by the 9th century and by 1000 AD agriculture was being practised along the coast; the climate changed and boundaries among different ecological zones changed as well, affecting migration and conquest. Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest and swampy environment was considered impenetrable; this environmental factor protected its people from conquests by the Mande and other African empires. This reduced the Islamic influence of the Mali Empire but Islam, introduced by Susu traders and migrants from the north and east, became adopted in the 18th century. European contacts within Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa in the 15th century. In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming the shaped formation Serra da Leoa or "Serra Leoa".
The Spanish rendering of this geographic formation is Sierra Leona, adapted and, became the country's current name. Although according to the p
George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah is a Liberian politician and former professional football player serving as the 25th President of Liberia, in office since 2018. Prior to his election to the presidency, Weah served as Senator from Montserrado County. During his football career, he played as a striker, his prolific 18-year professional playing career ended in 2003. After beginning his career in his home country of Liberia, Weah spent 14 years playing for clubs in France and England. Arsène Wenger first brought him to Europe, signing him for Monaco in 1988. Weah moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 1992 where he won Ligue 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League, he signed for A. C. Milan in 1995 where he spent four successful seasons, winning Serie A twice, his most notable goal in Italy saw. He moved to the Premier League towards the end of his career and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City, winning the FA Cup at the former, before returning to France to play for Marseille in 2001, subsequently ending his career with Al-Jazira in 2003.
At international level, Weah represented Liberia at the African Cup of Nations on two occasions, winning 60 caps and scoring 22 goals for his country. He played an international friendly in 2018, he is regarded as one of the best players never to have played in a World Cup. Regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or, becoming the first and to date only African player to win these awards. In 1989, 1994 and 1995, he was named the African Footballer of the Year, in 1996, he was named African Player of the Century. Known for his acceleration and dribbling ability, in addition to his goalscoring and finishing, Weah was described by FIFA as "the precursor of the multi-functional strikers of today". In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. Weah became involved in politics in Liberia following his retirement from football, he formed the Congress for Democratic Change and ran unsuccessfully for President in the 2005 election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting.
In the 2011 election, he ran unsuccessfully for Vice President alongside Winston Tubman. Weah was subsequently elected to the Liberian Senate for Montserrado County in the 2014 elections. Weah was elected President of Liberia in the 2017 election, defeating the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, sworn in on 22 January 2018. Weah was raised in the Clara Town district of Monrovia, he is a member of the Kru ethnic group, which hail from south-eastern Liberia's Grand Kru County, one of the poorest areas of the country. His father, William T. Weah, Sr. was a mechanic while Anna Quayeweah, was a seller. He has three brothers, William and Wolo, he was one of thirteen children raised by his devoutly Christian paternal grandmother, Emma Klonjlaleh Brown after his parents separated when George was still a baby. He attended middle school at Muslim Congress and high school at Wells Hairston High School, dropped out in his final year of studies, he began to play football for the Young Survivors youth club at the age of 15 and moved to other local football clubs, assuming starring roles for Mighty Barrolle and Invicible Eleven.
Before his football career allowed him to move abroad, Weah worked for the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation as a switchboard technician. After playing in the Liberian domestic league at the beginning of his successful career and winning several national honours, Weah's abilities were discovered by the Cameroon national team coach, Claude Le Roy, who relayed the news to Arsène Wenger. Weah moved to Europe in 1988, for just £12,000 from Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé, when he was signed by Wenger – the manager of Monaco at the time – who flew to Africa himself prior to the signing, whom Weah credits as an important influence on his career. During his time with Monaco, Weah won the African Footballer of the Year for the first time in 1989. Weah won the Coupe de France in 1991, he helped Monaco reach the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1992, scoring four goals in nine cup appearances. Weah subsequently played for Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he won the Coupe de France in 1993 and 1995, the French league in 1994, the Coupe de la Ligue in 1995 during a prolific and successful period.
During his time at the club, he managed to reach the semi-finals of the 1992–93 UEFA Cup, the semi-finals of the 1993–94 European Cup Winners' Cup. In 1994, he won the African Footballer of the Year Award for the second time in his career. Weah joined A. C. Milan in 1995, with whom he won the Italian league in 1996 under Fabio Capello, playing alongside Roberto Baggio and Dejan Savićević in Milan's attack, as well as Marco Simone, on occasion, finishing the season as Milan's top goalscorer. During his time with the club, he reached the 1998 Coppa Italia final, finished as runner-up in the Supercoppa Italiana on two occasions, in 1996 and 1999. Despite their European dominance in the early 1990s, Milan were less successf
William D. Coleman (politician)
William David Coleman was an American-born Liberian politician. A True Whig Party member, he was the 13th President of Liberia, serving from 1896 to 1900. Immigrating to Liberia in 1853, he worked his way up to election to the House of Representatives and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1877 to 1879, he served in the Senate and as Vice President before assuming the Presidency when Joseph James Cheeseman died in office. Coleman was born a slave of mixed-race in Fayette County, he emigrated to Liberia with his family when he was 11 years old. Arriving in 1853, the family consisted of William, his now widowed mother and three others, all settling in Clay-Ashland near Monrovia. Coleman was trained as a carpenter and had other manual labor jobs before becoming a successful trader. Studying at night, he picked up the education he had abandoned as a child when poverty had prevented further schooling. In 1877, he was elected to the House of Representatives to represent Montserrado County, became the Speaker of the House.
Two years Coleman was elected as a Senator for the same county. He remained in the Senate until he was elected Vice President under Joseph James Cheeseman on the True Whig ticket in 1892, they were re-elected twice to the two-year presidential term, Coleman became president when President Cheeseman died in office in 1896. Cheeseman was the first President of Liberia to die in office, with his death late in 1896. Coleman finished Cheeseman's term and won a full term in the office as well as re-election. William Coleman centered his policies on three cornerstones: education and interior policy; as part of this policy he worked with his friend, Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden, to re-open Liberia College in Monrovia. Other decisions included increasing the national government's power over the interior sections of the country, reorganizing the customs service, attempts to further advance resource extraction. Coleman was successful in establishing control over the interior region north and west of the Saint Paul River.
As his term progressed, he faced increasing opposition from the citizenry for his execution of policies concerning the interior and the native tribes. After a falling out with political allies and his own cabinet over his policies placed more pressure on his administration, he resigned from office in December 1900. Coleman's successor was his Secretary of State, Garretson W. Gibson, since the Vice President had died in office. Under existing succession laws Robert H. Marshall was set to become the President as Speaker of the House, but others felt he was unsuited for the position; the National Legislature repealed the 1873 succession law and placed Gibson in the office of President. After resigning from the Presidency, Coleman continued to be an active player in Liberian politics, he ran for president three more times as a member of the People's Party. William David Coleman died in 1908 in Clay-Ashland at the age of 65, his son, Samuel Coleman, had a son, Samuel David Coleman, involved in politics and was killed by government forces on June 27, 1955, after accusations of a failed coup.
The William D. Coleman High School in Clay-Ashland, Liberia was built in his memory. William D. Coleman is survived by numerous descendants in the Liberian diaspora. Notable members of the family include his descendants, NBA player Noah Vonleh and NFL player Tevin Coleman. History of Liberia
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a Liberian politician who served as the 24th President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018. Sirleaf was the first elected female head of state in Africa. Born in Monrovia to a Gola father and Kru-German mother, Sirleaf was educated at the College of West Africa before moving to the United States, where she studied at Madison Business College and Harvard University, she returned to Liberia to work in William Tolbert's government as Deputy Minister of Finance from 1971 to 1974 and went to work for the World Bank in the Caribbean and Latin America. She returned to work for the late president Tolbert's government again as deputy minister of Finance before being promoted to the post of Minister of Finance from 1979 to 1980. After Samuel Doe seized power in a coup d'état and executed Tolbert, Sirleaf fled to the United States, she worked for Citibank and the Equator Bank before returning to Liberia to contest a senatorial seat for Montserrado county in the disputed 1985 elections.
After returning to Liberia, Sirleaf ran for office, finished in second place at the 1997 presidential election won by Charles Taylor. She won the 2005 presidential election and took office on 16 January 2006, she was re-elected in 2011. In June 2016, she was elected as the Chair of the Economic Community of West African States, making her the first woman to hold the position since it was created. In 2011, Sirleaf was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen; the three women were recognized "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."Sirleaf was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on 12 September 2013. In 2016, she was listed as the 83rd-most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. Sirleaf's father was Gola and her mother had mixed Kru and German ancestry. While not Americo-Liberian in terms of ancestry, because of her education in the West, Sirleaf is considered culturally Americo-Liberian by some observers, or assumed to be Americo-Liberian.
Sirleaf does not identify as such. Sirleaf's father, Jahmale Carney Johnson, was born into a Gola family in an impoverished rural region, he was the son of a minor Gola chief named Jahmale and one of his wives, Jenneh, in Julijuah, Bomi County. Her father was sent to Monrovia, where he changed his surname to Johnson due to his father's loyalty to President Hilary R. W. Johnson, Liberia's first native-born president, he grew up in Monrovia. Sirleaf's father became the first Liberian from an indigenous ethnic group to be elected to the country's national legislature. Sirleaf's mother was born into poverty, in Greenville, her grandmother, Juah Sarwee, sent Sirleaf's mother to Monrovia when Sirleaf's German grandfather had to flee the country after Liberia declared war on Germany during World War I. A member of a prominent Americo-Liberian family, Cecilia Dunbar and raised Sirleaf's mother. Sirleaf was born in Monrovia in 1938, she attended the College of West Africa, a preparatory school, from 1948 to 1955.
She married James Sirleaf. The couple had four sons together, she was occupied as a homemaker. Early on in their marriage, James worked for the Department of Agriculture, Sirleaf worked as a bookkeeper for an auto-repair shop, she traveled with her husband to the United States in 1961 to continue her education and earned an associate degree in Accounting at Madison Business College, in Madison, Wisconsin. When they returned to Liberia, James continued his work in the Agriculture Department and Sirleaf pursued a career in the Treasury Department, they divorced in 1961 because of James' abuse. Sirleaf returned to college to finish her bachelor's degree. In 1970, she earned a BA in economics from the Economics Institute of the University of Colorado Boulder, where she spent a summer preparing for graduate studies. Sirleaf studied economics and public policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government from 1969 to 1971, gaining a Master of Public Administration, she returned to her native Liberia to work in the administration of William Tolbert, where she was appointed as Assistant Minister of Finance.
Whilst in that position, she attracted attention with a "bombshell" speech to the Liberian Chamber of Commerce that claimed that the country's corporations were harming the economy by hoarding or sending their profits overseas. Sirleaf served as Assistant Minister from 1972 to 1973 in the Tolbert administration, she resigned after a disagreement about government spending. Subsequently, she was appointed as Minister of Finance a few years serving from 1979 to April 1980. Master Sergeant Samuel Doe, a member of the indigenous Krahn ethnic group, seized power in a military coup on 12 April 1980; the People's Redemption Council took control of the country and led a purge against the previous government. Sirleaf accepted a post in the new government as President of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment, she fled the country in November 1980 after publicly criticising Doe and the People's Redemption Council for their management of the country. Sirleaf moved to Washington, D. C. and worked for the World Bank.
In 1981, she moved to Nairobi, Kenya to serve as Vice President of the African Regional Office of Citibank. She resigned from Citibank in 1985 following her involvement at the 1985 general election in Liberia, she went to work for Equator Bank, a subsidiary of HSBC. In 1992, Sirleaf was appointed as the Director of the United
The African Union is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa, with exception of various territories of European possessions located in Africa. The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa and launched on 9 July 2002 in South Africa; the intention of the AU is to replace the Organisation of African Unity, established on 25 May 1963 in Addis Ababa by 32 signatory governments. The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states; the AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa. The African Union has an area of around 29 million km2 and includes popular world landmarks, including the Sahara and the Nile; the primary languages spoken include Arabic, English and Portuguese and the languages of Africa. Within the African Union, there are official bodies such as the Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.
The objectives of the AU are the following: To achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and African nations. To defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States. To accelerate the political and social-economic integration of the continent. To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples. To encourage international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To promote peace and stability on the continent. To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance. To promote and protect human and peoples' rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant human rights instruments. To establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations. To promote sustainable development at the economic and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies.
To promote co-operation in all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African peoples. To coordinate and harmonise the policies between the existing and future Regional Economic Communities for the gradual attainment of the objectives of the Union. To advance the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields, in particular in science and technology. To work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent; the African Union is made up of both administrative bodies. The highest decision-making organ is the Assembly of the African Union, made up of all the heads of state or government of member states of the AU; the Assembly is chaired by President of Egypt. The AU has a representative body, the Pan African Parliament, which consists of 265 members elected by the national legislatures of the AU member states, its president is Roger Nkodo Dang. Other political institutions of the AU include: the Executive Council, made up of foreign ministers, which prepares decisions for the Assembly.
The AU Commission, the secretariat to the political structures, is chaired by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa. On 15 July 2012, Ms. Dlamini-Zuma won a contested vote to become the first female head of the African Union Commission, replacing Jean Ping of Gabon. Other AU structures are hosted by different member states: the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights is based in Banjul, the Gambia; the AU's first military intervention in a member state was the May 2003 deployment of a peacekeeping force of soldiers from South Africa and Mozambique to Burundi to oversee the implementation of the various agreements. AU troops were deployed in Sudan for peacekeeping during Darfur conflict, before the mission was handed over to the United Nations on 1 January 2008 UNAMID; the AU has sent a peacekeeping mission to Somalia, of which the peacekeeping troops are from Uganda and Burundi. The AU has adopted a number of important new documents establishing norms at continental level, to supplement those in force when it was created.
These include the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, the African Charter on Democracy and Governance, the New Partnership for Africa's Development and its associated Declaration on Democracy, Political and Corporate Governance. The historical foundations of the African Union originated in the First Congress of Independence African States, held in Accra, from 15 to 22 April 1958; the conference aimed at forming the Africa Day, to mark the liberation movement each year concerning the willingness of the African people to free themselves from foreign dictatorship, as well as subsequent attempts to unite Africa, including the Organisation of African Unity, established on 25 May 1963, the African Economic Community in 1981. Critics argued that the OAU in particular did little to protect the rights and liberties of African citizens from their own political leaders dubbing it the "Dictators' Club"; the idea of creating the AU was revived in the mid-1990s under the leadership of Libyan head of state Muammar al-Gaddafi: the heads of state and government of the OAU issued the Sirte Declara
William Richard Tolbert Jr. was the 20th President of Liberia from 1971 until 1980, when he was killed in a coup d'état led by Samuel Doe. Trained as a civil servant, he entered the country's House of Representatives in 1943 for the True Whig Party the only established party in the country, he was elected Vice president to William Tubman in 1952 and served in that position until he became President following Tubman's death in 1971. Tolbert was born in Liberia. An Americo-Liberian, he was the grandson of a former American slave from South Carolina who emigrated to Liberia in the Liberian exodus of 1878; the Tolbert clan was one of the largest Americo-Liberian families in Liberia. He attended Bensonville Elementary School, Crummell Hall Episcopalian High School, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Liberia in 1934, he married Victoria A. Hoff. Tolbert was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1943, served until being elected vice president. A Baptist minister, in 1965 he became the first African to serve as president of the Baptist World Alliance, was a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.
He became Grand Master of the Masonic Order of Liberia. Following Tubman's death in 1971, Tolbert succeeded him as president. To the outside world, this peaceful transition seemed to signal political stability in Liberia, remarkable in an Africa where political turmoil was the norm. However, Liberia was a one-party state where civil liberties were limited and the judiciary and the legislative branches were subservient to the executive branch. Upon becoming president, Tolbert initiated some liberal reforms. Though reelected in 1975, his government was criticized for failing to address the deep economic disparities between different sectors of the population, notably the Americo-Liberians, who had dominated the country since independence, the various indigenous ethnic groups that constituted the majority of the population; because Tolbert was a member of one of the most influential and affluent Americo-Liberian families, everything from cabinet appointments to economic policy was tainted with allegations of nepotism.
Thanks to his father who spoke Kpelle, Tolbert was the second Liberian president after President Benson to speak an indigenous language, he promoted a program to bring more indigenous persons into the government. This initiative caused a good deal of chagrin among Americo-Liberians who accused Tolbert of "letting the peasants into the kitchen." Indeed, it lacked support within Tolbert's own administration. While the indigenous majority felt the change was occurring too many Americo-Liberians felt it was too rapid. Despite following Tubman's 27-year presidency, Tolbert refused to follow his predecessor's hold on office until death, he worked for a constitutional amendment to bar the president from serving more than eight years in office, in 1976 he vowed fierce opposition to members of the Legislature who sought to repeal the amendment and again permit what Tolbert called an "evil tradition". Three years when True Whig partisans petitioned him to seek the amendment's repeal, he replied that their statement would only encourage him in his previous position: "I will serve my country as long as I have life.
I do not have to President to do so." Abandoning Tubman's strong pro-West foreign policy, Tolbert adopted one which focused on promoting Liberia's political independence. To this end, he established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China and several other Eastern Bloc countries, thus adopting a more nonaligned posture. Tolbert severed Liberia's ties with Israel during the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 and spoke in favor of recognising national rights of the Palestinian people. However, Tolbert supported the United States on the Vietnam War, as had his predecessor, William Tubman. Tolbert was chairman of the Organisation of African Unity from July 1979 until he was killed in April 1980. Throughout the seventies, the world price of rubber was depressed, putting pressure on the Liberian economy. Tolbert brought a new approach to the Liberian government's relations with foreign companies. Companies such as Firestone, which had operated for years without being audited by the government, were audited, forced to pay millions of dollars in back taxes.
Old concession agreements were renegotiated, new concession agreements were negotiated with an emphasis on accountability of the private sector to the Liberian government. In May 1975, Liberia became a signatory to the treaty that established the Economic Community of West African States in order to create a common market in West Africa and promote regional economic integration and stability in 15 West African countries, with the intention that it would mirror the success of the European Common Market. By the late 1970s, Tolbert became open to overtures of economic assistance from Libya and Cuba; the Libyans were on the verge of starting work on a low-cost housing project in Monrovia when the project was halted by the 1980 coup d'état. Liberia had been a one-party state since 1844. However, in 1973, the country returned to a two-party system when the Progressive Alliance of Liberia, headed by Gabriel Baccus Matthews, became recognized as a legitimate opposition party. Between 1965 and 1977 over 100 murders occurred in Maryland County by Harper, many of which were killed in ritualistic ways due to the mutilation and removal of body parts.
During the 1970s Liberians in Maryland County were under the threat of ritual murders. Between November 1976 and July 1977 14 people had disappeared in the county prompting Tolbert to fire the Superintendent of Maryland County, James Dan