Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected to office in 2006 in a country ravaged by nearly three decades of military coups and civil war.
The Today programme's Even Davis met President Sirleaf in the capital, Monrovia and spoke to her about Liberia's prospects for the future.
"Changing the minds and attitudes of Liberian people: that's our biggest challenge," she said.
"The fundamentals are in place," she explained, "we have to be free from dependency, dishonesty and laziness."
"Liberians have to empower themselves."
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