The government of Liberia through its bi-centennial committee has officially launched activities leading to the celebration of Liberia 200 years which is expected to be held early next year. The bi-centennial which is expected to begin January 1 to December 10, 2022, will be held under the theme: “Liberia the land of the return”.
The bicentennial celebration will witness cultural activities and speeches that will address Liberia’s problem including economic hardship.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information Culture Arts and Tourism in Monrovia on Thursday, December 2, 2021, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill called on all Liberians including opposition leaders and civil society organizations to de-politicize the pending Bi-centennial celebration.
He described the Bi-centennial celebration as a new beginning for Liberia which he said is intended to seek to memorialize Black Freedom, nationhood, and the determination for safe governance.
The founding of Liberia in the 18 century was motivated by the domestic politics of slavery and race in the United States as well as by U.S. foreign policy interests.
In 1816, a group of white Americans founded the American Colonization Society (ACS) to deal with the issue of the growing number of free Blacks in the United States by relocating them to Africa.
Land for settlements of the African Americans was difficult to obtain as the indigenous population was unwilling to share part of their lands.
The United Kingdom, London was the first to extend recognition to the new republic, signing a treaty of commerce and friendship with Monrovia in 1848 after Liberia’s independence. Because of fears of the impact, this might have on the issue of slavery in the United States, Washington did not recognize the nation it had played a role in creating.
The United States later established diplomatic relations with Liberia in 1862 and continues to maintain strong ties with the West African nation despite significant strains during Liberia’s civil wars. In recent years, congressional interest partly has centered on the immigration status of over 80,000 Liberian nationals resident in the United States.
Minister McGill at the same time criticized the recent protest involving traditional zoes who demanded the certification of Lofa Senator-elect Brownie Samuaki. According to him, Liberia is a democratic nation as such if citizens are disenchanted over the government’s action should go through the proper channel for redress instead, of taking the country’s culture for a mare use. He also did the official launch of the Bi-Centennial on behalf of President Weah.