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Sierra Leone, See : Flags, Maps

Sierra Leone (Africa)

Introduction ::Sierra Leone

Background:

Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war from 1991 to 2002 that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about one-third of the population). The military, which took over full responsibility for security following the departure of UN peacekeepers at the end of 2005, is increasingly developing as a guarantor of the country's stability. The armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 presidential election, but still look to the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) - a civilian UN mission - to support efforts to consolidate peace. The new government's priorities include furthering development, creating jobs, and stamping out endemic corruption.

Geography ::Sierra Leone


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Location:

Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia

Geographic coordinates:
8 30 N, 11 30 W

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 71,740 sq km country comparison to the world: 118 land: 71,620 sq km

water: 120 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries:

total: 958 km

border countries: Guinea 652 km, Liberia 306 km

Sierra Leone  - Postcard 1980

Coastline:

402 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm

Climate:

tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)

Terrain:

coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east

SIERRA LEONE ELECTION DAY

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m

Natural resources:

diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite

Land use:

arable land: 7.95%

permanent crops: 1.05%

other: 91% (2005)

Irrigated land:

300 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

160 cu km (1987)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.38 cu km/yr (5%/3%/92%)

per capita: 69 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms

Environment - current issues:

rapid population growth pressuring the environment; overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing, and slash-and-burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation and soil exhaustion; civil war depleted natural resources; overfishing

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea,
Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Geography - note:

rainfall along the coast can reach 495 cm (195 inches) a year, making it one of the wettest places along coastal, western Africa

People ::Sierra Leone

Population:

5,245,695 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

Age structure:

0-14 years: 41.7% (male 1,060,463/female 1,081,333)

15-64 years: 54.7% (male 1,344,650/female 1,461,203)

65 years and over: 3.6% (male 83,595/female 100,894) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 19 years

male: 18.6 years

female: 19.5 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.216% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Birth rate:

38.79 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 15

Death rate:

11.97 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 31

Net migration rate:

-4.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 198 note: refugees currently in surrounding countries are slowly returning (2010 est.)

Urbanization:

urban population: 38% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 80.16 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 13 male: 89.06 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 70.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 55.69 years country comparison to the world: 197 male: 53.27 years

female: 58.18 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.97 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 24

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

1.7% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 37

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

55,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 62

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

3,300 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 54

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever

water contact disease: schistosomiasis

aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Sierra Leonean(s)

adjective: Sierra Leonean

Ethnic groups:

Temne 35%, Mende 31%, Limba 8%, Kono 5%, Kriole 2% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century; also known as Krio), Mandingo 2%, Loko 2%, other 15% (includes refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, and small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians) (2008 census)

Religions:

Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%

Languages:

English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic

total population: 35.1%

male: 46.9%

female: 24.4% (2004 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 7 years

male: 9 years

female: 6 years (2001)

Education expenditures:

3.8% of GDP (2005) country comparison to the world: 114

Government ::Sierra Leone

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Sierra Leone

conventional short form: Sierra Leone

local long form: Republic of Sierra Leone

local short form: Sierra Leone

Government type:

constitutional democracy

Capital:

name: Freetown

geographic coordinates: 8 30 N, 13 15 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

3 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western*

Independence:

27 April 1961 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 27 April (1961)

Constitution:

1 October 1991; amended several times

Legal system:

based on English law and customary laws indigenous to local tribes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Ernest Bai KOROMA (since 17 September 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Ernest Bai KOROMA (since 17 September 2007)

cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president with the approval of the House of Representatives; the cabinet is responsible to the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 August 2007 and 8 September 2007 (next to be held in 2012)

election results: second round results; percent of vote - Ernest Bai KOROMA 54.6%, Solomon BEREWA 45.4%

Legislative branch:

unicameral Parliament (124 seats; 112 members elected by popular vote, 12 filled by paramount chiefs elected in separate elections; members to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 11 August 2007 (next to be held in 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APC 59, SLPP 43, PMDC 10

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Appeals Court; High Court

Political parties and leaders:

All People's Congress or APC [Ernest Bai KOROMA]; Peace and
Liberation Party or PLP [Darlington MORRISON]; People's Movement for
Democratic Change or PMDC [Charles MARGAI]; Sierra Leone People's
Party or SLPP [Solomon BEREWA]; numerous others

Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: student unions; trade unions

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM,
IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU,
ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU,
WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Bockari Kortu STEVENS

chancery: 1701 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 939-9261 through 9263
FAX: [1] (202) 483-1793

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Glenn FEDZER

embassy: Southridge-Hill Station, Freetown

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [232] (22) 515 000 or (76) 515 000
FAX: [232] (22) 515 355

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and blue; green symbolizes agriculture, mountains, and natural resources, white represents unity and justice, and blue the sea and the natural harbor in Freetown

National anthem:

name: "High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free"

lyrics/music: Clifford Nelson FYLE/John Joseph AKA

note: adopted 1961

Economy ::Sierra Leone

Economy - overview:

Sierra Leone is an extremely poor nation with tremendous inequality in income distribution. While it possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, its physical and social infrastructure has yet to recover from the civil war, and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development. Nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. Manufacturing consists mainly of the processing of raw materials and of light manufacturing for the domestic market. Alluvial diamond mining remains the major source of hard currency earnings accounting for nearly half of Sierra Leone's exports. The fate of the economy depends upon the maintenance of domestic peace and the continued receipt of substantial aid from abroad, which is essential to offset the severe trade imbalance and supplement government revenues. The IMF has completed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program that helped stabilize economic growth and reduce inflation and in 2010 approved a new program worth $45 million over three years. Political stability has led to a revival of economic activity such as the rehabilitation of bauxite and rutile mining, which are set to benefit from planned tax incentives. A number of offshore oil discoveries were announced in 2009 and 2010. The development on these reserves, which could be significant, is still several years away.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$4.812 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 161 $4.574 billion (2009 est.)

$4.382 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.901 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

5.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 54 4.4% (2009 est.)

5.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$900 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 221 $900 (2009 est.)

$900 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 49%

industry: 31%

services: 21% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

2.207 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 115

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: NA%

Unemployment rate:
NA%

Population below poverty line:

70.2% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 33.6% (2003)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

62.9 (1989) country comparison to the world: 5

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

11.7% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 205

Central bank discount rate:
NA%

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 9 24.5% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$209.4 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 173 $219.1 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of broad money:

$437 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 174 $434.3 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:

$178.4 million (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 175 $140.9 million (31 December 2008)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Agriculture - products:

rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish

Industries:

diamond mining; small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining, small commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Electricity - production:

80 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 194

Electricity - consumption:

74.4 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 194

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

29 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 113

Oil - consumption:

9,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 153

Oil - exports:

502 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 125

Oil - imports:

8,316 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 143

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 123

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 178

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 126

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 132

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 135

Current account balance:

-$63 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 71

Exports:

$216 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 179

Exports - commodities:

diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish

Exports - partners:

Belgium 26.56%, US 11.87%, Netherlands 7.91%, UK 7.4%, India 6.67%,
Cote d'Ivoire 6.13%, Greece 4.05% (2009)

Imports:

$560 million (2006) country comparison to the world: 186

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals

Imports - partners:

South Africa 14.61%, China 7.58%, US 5.87%, Cote d'Ivoire 5.65%, India 5.19%, Malaysia 5.19%, France 5.08%, UK 4.48%, Netherlands 4.06% (2009)

Debt - external:

$1.61 billion (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 142

Exchange rates:

leones (SLL) per US dollar - NA (2007), 2,961.7 (2006), 2,889.6 (2005), 2,701.3 (2004), 2,347.9 (2003)

Communications ::Sierra Leone

Telephones - main lines in use:

32,800 (2009) country comparison to the world: 175

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.16 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 143

Telephone system:

general assessment: marginal telephone service with poor infrastructure

domestic: the national microwave radio relay trunk system connects Freetown to Bo and Kenema; while mobile-cellular service is growing rapidly from a small base, service area coverage remains limited

international: country code - 232; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2008)

Broadcast media:

1 government-owned TV station; 1 private TV station began operating in 2005; a pay-per-view TV service began operations in late 2007; 1 government-owned national radio broadcast station; about two dozen private radio stations primarily clustered in major cities; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:

.sl

Internet hosts:

281 (2010) country comparison to the world: 184

Internet users:

14,900 (2009) country comparison to the world: 198

Transportation ::Sierra Leone

Airports:

9 (2010) country comparison to the world: 159

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 8

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Heliports:

2 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 11,300 km country comparison to the world: 132 paved: 904 km

unpaved: 10,396 km (2002)

Waterways:

800 km (600 km year round) (2007) country comparison to the world: 73

Merchant marine:

total: 189 country comparison to the world: 35 by type: bulk carrier 7, cargo 131, carrier 1, chemical tanker 12, container 3, liquefied gas 3, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 20, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 3, vehicle carrier 1

foreign-owned: 91 (Bangladesh 1, China 12, Cyprus 1, Egypt 2, Estonia 1, Hong Kong 4, Japan 3, Malaysia 1, North Korea 1, Romania 4, Russia 6, Singapore 5, Syria 20, Taiwan 1, Turkey 14, UAE 6, UK 1, Ukraine 5, US 1, Yemen 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Freetown, Pepel, Sherbro Islands

Military ::Sierra Leone

Military branches:

Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF): Army (includes
Maritime Wing and Air Wing) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

17 years 6 months of age for male and female voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription; candidates must be HIV negative (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,156,724 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 713,190

females age 16-49: 813,830 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 53,349

female: 56,307 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

2.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 66

Transnational Issues ::Sierra Leone

Disputes - international:

as domestic fighting among disparate ethnic groups, rebel groups, warlords, and youth gangs in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone gradually abates, the number of refugees in border areas has begun to slowly dwindle; Sierra Leone considers excessive Guinea's definition of the flood plain limits to define the left bank boundary of the Makona and Moa rivers and protests Guinea's continued occupation of these lands including the hamlet of Yenga occupied since 1998

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 27,311 (Liberia) (2007)

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