Liberian independence - 169 years on

Liberia is a little state in West Africa that borders (with) Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast and the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded by the American Colonial Settler (ACS) as a former U.S. colony. Signs of it can be seen in the flag, the Liberian Constitution and the official language which is English.

Liberia has a very interesting and peculiar history in Africa since it is the oldest country to have achieved formal independence from her colonial power without bloodshed. Another peculiar aspect is that it was created to repatriate free-born Black Americans and freed slaves and was also the land chosen by Marcus Garvey for the initial return of people of African descent who were shipped away during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

But there's a question that still remains. After 169 years, is Liberia really free and independent?

The United States didn't immediately recognise Liberian independence and the initial clashes between the indigenous people of the land and the Black settlers who wanted to impose their “American” and “Caribbean” way of life didn't provide Liberia with the tools and the climate to claim freedom.

Liberia was a fairly stable country, but in recent years it has seen political and economic instability. Even more so after the Ebola outbreak.

The appearance of the deadly disease gave many Western countries, and in particular the United States of America, the excuse to deploy their army in order to help the local populations.

Now, many people are still yet to understand what soldiers have to do in a country ravaged by a disease and not by war. But this is precisely what neo-colonialism is all about. It's a more subtle and indirect way to keep former colonies in check.

Other factors that determine a country's independenceare language, economics, politics, education, the legacy of colonialism and the impacts it has had on the country and its people.

Although the oldest African nation to have achieved freedom and independence, with the exception of Ethiopia which didn't succumb to any colonial power, Liberia cannot be said to be really free.

A country is supposedly independent when there is no interference be it political or economic.

When we look at how much the West still influences and is still present, directly and indirectly, in many spheres of African life, it's hard to believe that colonialism is really over.