Whoever comes out ahead in Liberia's final vote count will face a major challenge
in rebuilding the country's political and physical infrastructure.
was once a West African success story. Founded in the early 1800s by emancipated
slaves from the United States, Liberia became a main exporter of rubber and other
The country also played a critical role in many of America's
conflicts and was a staging point for supplying troops during World War II and
for the prevention of communism in Africa in the 1980s.
But years of civil
war have left the capital city Monrovia in ruins, the city has no running water
or electricity and many Liberians are homeless.
Creating stability and fighting
poverty will be the keys to success, many say.
"Our country has gotten
demonstrably poorer in the last generation," Liberian analyst Francis Nyepon
wrote in an editorial in Liberia's Daily Observer.
"Unemployment currently stands at 85 percent, while hundreds of thousands
of Liberian refugees still call displacement camps homes, and more than 100,000
ex-combatants, the majority of them children, need to be reintegrated into society,"
"With no electricity or safe drinking water for more
than a decade, rebuilding our country's shattered infrastructure must be the priority."
Compiled by Kristina Nwazota for NewsHour Extra