Gotta admire the resilience of Liberians!
Odd statistic that gets cited a lot: the rate of unemployment is said to hover around 80-85%. I couldn’t find the sources of the figure, but 80% seems hard to swallow. In this town, if you don’t work to scrap some living, there are few safety nets to fall back on – you will go hungry. The rate of formal employment is definitely low (around 15-20%) and that of underemployment definitely high – but until the census data (collected in 2009) is made public (ehem, LISGIS?), the numbers remain speculative.
Meanwhile, Monrovia bustles with a sense of optimistic chaos created by all the micro-businesses that line up the narrow bumpy streets – some with colorful, self-aggrandizing banners. Never a dull moment walking through this city!
*Small-small is Liberian English for “a little bit”. Check this fun entry by my roommate on other local expressions.
Small Entrepreneurs will really be the wave that gets Africa moving out of poverty. Just look at how many IT and internet solutions startups have come about in Nairobi since the underwater fiber-optic cable was installed. There’s so much potential with this that it’s exciting to watch!