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  Sierra Leone  
Flag of Sierra Leone
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

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Map of Sierra Leone

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Sierra Leone
Background:
Definition Field Listing
The 1991 to 2002 civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (well over one-third of the population), many of whom are now refugees in neighboring countries. With the support of the UN peacekeeping force and contributions from the World Bank and international community, demobilization and disarmament of the RUF and Civil Defense Forces (CDF) combatants has been completed. National elections were held in May 2002 and the government continues to slowly reestablish its authority. However, the gradual withdrawal of most UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) peacekeepers in 2004 and the tenuous security situation in neighboring Liberia may present challenges to the continuation of Sierra Leone's stability.

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   Geography    Sierra Leone
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
8 30 N, 11 30 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 71,740 sq km
land: 71,620 sq km
water: 120 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 958 km
border countries: Guinea 652 km, Liberia 306 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
402 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 6.98%
permanent crops: 0.89%
other: 92.13% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
290 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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 depleting natural resources; overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
rainfall along the coast can reach 495 cm (195 inches) a year, making it one of the wettest places along coastal, western Africa

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   People    Sierra Leone
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5,883,889 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 44.8% (male 1,291,621; female 1,343,827)
15-64 years: 52% (male 1,458,610; female 1,599,109)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 91,232; female 99,490) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 17.5 years
male: 17.2 years
female: 17.8 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.27% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
43.34 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.62 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: refugees currently in surrounding countries are slowly returning (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 145.24 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 162.64 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 127.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 42.69 years
male: 40.23 years
female: 45.21 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.79 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
170,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11,000 (2001 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Sierra Leonean(s)
adjective: Sierra Leonean
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
20 native African tribes 90% (Temne 30%, Mende 30%, other 30%), Creole (Krio) 10% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century), refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Muslim 60%, indigenous beliefs 30%, Christian 10%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
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 Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic
total population: 31.4%
male: 45.4%
female: 18.2% (1995 est.)

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   Government    Sierra Leone
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
conventional short form: Sierra Leone
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Freetown
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
3 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western*
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
27 April 1961 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 27 April (1961)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
1 October 1991; subsequently amended several times
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on English law and customary laws indigenous to local tribes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Ahmad Tejan KABBAH (since 29 March 1996, reinstated 10 March 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ahmad Tejan KABBAH (since 29 March 1996, reinstated 10 March 1998); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president with the approval of the House of Representatives; the cabinet is responsible to the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 14 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2007); note - president's tenure of office is limited to two five-year terms
election results: Ahmad Tejan KABBAH reelected president; percent of vote - Ahmad Tejan KABBAH (SLPP) 70.6%, Ernest KOROMA (APC) 22.4%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Parliament (124 seats - 112 elected by popular vote, 12 filled by paramount chiefs elected in separate elections; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 14 May 2002 (next to be held NA May 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - SLPP 70.06%, APC 22.35%, PLP 3%, others 4.59%; seats by party - SLPP 83, APC 27, PLP 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court; Appeals Court; High Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
All People's Congress or APC [Ben KANU]; Peace and Liberation Party or PLP [Darlington MORRISON, interim chairman]; Sierra Leone People's Party or SLPP [Sama BANYA]; numerous others
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Trade Unions and Student Unions
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Ibrahim M. KAMARA
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:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Peter Russell CHAVEAS
embassy: Corner of Walpole and Siaka Stevens Streets, Freetown
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [232] (22) 226481 through 226485
FAX: [232] (22) 225471
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of light green (top), white, and light blue

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   Economy    Sierra Leone
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Sierra Leone is an extremely poor African nation with tremendous inequality in income distribution. It does have substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources. However, the economic and social infrastructure is not well developed, and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development, following a 11-year civil war. About two-thirds 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. Plans continue to reopen bauxite and rutile mines shut down during the conflict. The major source of hard currency consists of the mining of diamonds. 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 to supplement government revenues.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $3.057 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.5% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $500 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 49%
industry: 31%
services: 21% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
68% (1989 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 0.5%
highest 10%: 43.6% (1989)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
62.9 (1989)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.369 million (1981 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture NA, industry NA, services NA
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $96 million
expenditures: $351 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2000 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
mining (diamonds); small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
250.1 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
232.6 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,500 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$49 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish (1999)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Belgium 60.7%, Germany 14.1%, UK 4.4%, US 4.4% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$264 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals (1995)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Germany 23.9%, UK 10.1%, Cote d'Ivoire 7.5%, France 7.5%, US 5.4%, Netherlands 5.2% (2003 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.5 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$103 million (2001 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
leone (SLL)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
SLL
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
leones per US dollar - 2,347.94 (2003), 2,099.03 (2002), 1,986.15 (2001), 2,092.12 (2000), 1,804.19 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Sierra Leone
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24,000 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
67,000 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: marginal telephone and telegraph service
domestic: the national microwave radio relay trunk system connects Freetown to Bo and Kenema
international: country code - 232; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 9, shortwave 1 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (1999)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.sl
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
277 (2004)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,000 (2002)

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   Transportation    Sierra Leone
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 11,330 km
paved: 895 km
unpaved: 10,435 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
800 km (of which 600 km is navigable year round)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bonthe, Freetown, Pepel
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 7,435 GRT/8,750 DWT
by type: cargo 2 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
10 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Sierra Leone
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army (RSLAF)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,265,140 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 614,338 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$11.7 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.5% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Sierra Leone
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
domestic fighting among disparate rebel groups, warlords, and youth gangs in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have created insurgencies, street violence, looting, arms trafficking, ethnic conflicts, and refugees in border areas; in 2003, Guinea and Sierra Leone established a boundary commission to resolve a dispute over the town of Yenga

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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