History of Gbarpolu County, Liberia's Youngest County
Gbarpolu County was created in 2001 after splitting from Lofa County; it is Liberia’s youngest county. The County is located in the northern portion of Liberia, bordering Grande Cape Mount to the west, Bomi County to the southwest and Bong County to the east and north. It also shares border with the Republic of Sierra Leone to the northwest; this border is straddles by the Gola Forest, home to the Gola National Forest. Gbarpolu is not only the youngest of Liberia’s fifteen counties, it is also the seventh most populous county with populations of 83,758 (2008 Census). There are many ethnic groups residing in Gbarpolu, including Dei, Gola, Lorma, Vai, Kpelle, etc.
Before separating from Lofa, Gbarpolu consisted of two districts, Districts of Gbarma composed Gbarma and Kongba, and Districts of Bopolu composed Bopolu, Belle and Bokomu. After separating and gaining county status, Gbarma, Kongba, Bopolu, Belle and Bokomu all became administrative districts. Gonuwolaila was recently created as administrative districts, bringing the total of six administrative districts in Gbarpolu. Bopulu, capital of Gbarpolu, is the administrative seat of the county. It was once the center of the Kondo Confederation, which included the Dei, Gola, Lorma, and Vai tribes. The senator currently serving in Gbarpolu is Senator, Mr. Armah Zolusiafa Jallah; the current County Superintendent is Mr. Edwin Korpolu.
The majority of Gbarpolu County is made of forest which is great because Liberian population’s dependency on forest resources is very high. Forest is use for farming, hunting, wood-fuel, charcoal production, etc. Gbarpolu is largely concentrated in the commerce of gold, diamond and timbers. Before the Liberian Civil war, mining was Gbarpolu’s primary economic activity, in addition to farming. Unfortunately all sectors of the county were devastated during the war and these two were no exception. Currently Gbarpolu has several mining companies govern by traditions of the land. These traditions state that investors must follow traditional terms, which sometimes involve buying several items from locals to shows their desire in establishing partnership with the community.
Gbarpolu is a great place to consider for business, especially if you’re an investors interested in mining, agriculture, hunting etc. The county currently has several mining companies because of the large productions of gold, diamonds and timbers. It also has a large untapped forest; although majority of this forest is protected and should not be trespassed or exploited.