Africa :: Sierra Leone
  • Introduction :: Sierra Leone
  • Background:
    The British set up a trading post near present-day Freetown in the 17th century. Originally the trade involved timber and ivory, but later it expanded into slaves. Following the American Revolution, a colony was established in 1787 and Sierra Leone became a destination for resettling black loyalists who had originally been resettled in Nova Scotia. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, British crews delivered thousands of Africans liberated from illegal slave ships to Sierra Leone, particularly Freetown. The colony gradually expanded inland during the course of the 19th century; independence was attained in 1961. Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war (1991-2002) 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, has developed as a guarantor of the country's stability; the armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 and 2012 national elections. In March 2014, the closure of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone marked the end of more than 15 years of peacekeeping and political operations in Sierra Leone. The government's stated priorities include furthering development - including recovering from the Ebola epidemic - creating jobs, and stamping out endemic corruption.
  • Geography :: Sierra Leone
  • 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
    land: 71,620 sq km
    water: 120 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 120
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than South Carolina
    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,093 km
    border countries (2): Guinea 794 km, Liberia 299 km
    Coastline:
    402 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 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
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 279 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Atlantic Ocean
    1948 highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani)
    Natural resources:
    diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 56.2% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 23.4% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 2.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 30.5% (2011 est.)
    forest: 37.5% (2011 est.)
    other: 6.3% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    300 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    population clusters are found in the lower elevations of the south and west; the northern third of the country is less populated
    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, soil exhaustion, and flooding; loss of biodiversity; air pollution; water pollution
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, 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 and Society :: Sierra Leone
  • Population:
    6,312,212 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Nationality:
    noun: Sierra Leonean(s)
    adjective: Sierra Leonean
    Ethnic groups:
    Temne 35.5%, Mende 33.2%, Limba 6.4%, Kono 4.4%, Fullah 3.4%, Loko 2.9%, Koranko 2.8%, Sherbro 2.6%, Mandingo 2.4%, Creole 1.2% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century; also known as Krio), other Sierra Leone 4.7%, other foreign 0.3% (includes refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, and small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians), unspecified 0.2% (2013 est.)
    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%)
    Religions:
    Muslim 78.6%, Christian 20.8%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.2% (2013 est.)
    Demographic profile:

    Sierra Leone’s youthful and growing population is driven by its high total fertility rate (TFR) of almost 5 children per woman, which has declined little over the last two decades. Its elevated TFR is sustained by the continued desire for large families, the low level of contraceptive use, and the early start of childbearing. Despite its high TFR, Sierra Leone’s population growth is somewhat tempered by high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates that are among the world’s highest and are a result of poverty, a lack of potable water and sanitation, poor nutrition, limited access to quality health care services, and the prevalence of female genital cutting.

    Sierra Leone’s large youth cohort – about 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – continues to struggle with high levels of unemployment, which was one of the major causes of the country’s 1991-2002 civil war and remains a threat to stability today. Its estimated 60% youth unemployment rate is attributed to high levels of illiteracy and unskilled labor, a lack of private sector jobs, and low pay.

    Sierra Leone has been a source of and destination for refugees. Sierra Leone’s civil war internally displaced as many as 2 million people, or almost half the population, and forced almost another half million to seek refuge in neighboring countries (370,000 Sierra Leoneans fled to Guinea and 120,000 to Liberia). The UNHCR has helped almost 180,000 Sierra Leoneans to return home, while more than 90,000 others have repatriated on their own. Of the more than 65,000 Liberians who took refuge in Sierra Leone during their country’s civil war (1989-2003), about 50,000 have been voluntarily repatriated by the UNHCR and others have returned home independently. As of 2015, less than 1,000 Liberians still reside in Sierra Leone.

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 41.71% (male 1,314,905 /female 1,317,921)
    15-24 years: 18.6% (male 572,274 /female 602,105)
    25-54 years: 32.23% (male 973,698 /female 1,060,688)
    55-64 years: 3.7% (male 110,176 /female 123,268)
    65 years and over: 3.76% (male 97,922 /female 139,255) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 82.6 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 78 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.6 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 21.9 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 19.1 years
    male: 18.4 years
    female: 19.7 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Population growth rate:
    2.4% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Birth rate:
    36 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Death rate:
    10.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Net migration rate:
    -2.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Population distribution:
    population clusters are found in the lower elevations of the south and west; the northern third of the country is less populated
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 42.1% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 3.12% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    1.136 million FREETOWN (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 0.94 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    19.2 years (2013 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate:
    1,360 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 66.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 74.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 58.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 59 years (2018 est.)
    male: 56.4 years (2018 est.)
    female: 61.7 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Total fertility rate:
    4.69 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    16.6% (2013)
    Health expenditures:
    11.1% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Physicians density:
    0.02 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 84.9% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 47.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 62.6% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 15.1% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 52.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 37.4% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 22.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 6.9% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 13.3% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 77.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 93.1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 86.7% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    1.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    61,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    2,600 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: very high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever (2016)
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2016)
    animal contact diseases: rabies (2016)
    aerosolized dust or soil contact diseases: Lassa fever (2016)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    8.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    18.1% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Education expenditures:
    2.9% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic (2015 est.)
    total population: 48.1% (2015 est.)
    male: 58.7% (2015 est.)
    female: 37.7% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 9.4% (2014 est.)
    male: 14.8% (2014 est.)
    female: 6.1% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
  • 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
    etymology: the Portuguese explorer Pedro de SINTRA named the country "Serra Leoa" (Lion Mountains) for the impressive mountains he saw while sailing the West African coast in 1462
    Government type:
    presidential republic
    Capital:
    name: Freetown
    geographic coordinates: 8 29 N, 13 14 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    4 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern, Northern, North Western, Southern, Western*
    Independence:
    27 April 1961 (from the UK)
    National holiday:
    Independence Day, 27 April (1961)
    Constitution:
    history: several previous; latest effective 1 October 1991 (2017)
    amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage of amendments requires at least two-thirds majority vote of Parliament in two successive readings and assent by the president of the republic; passage of amendments affecting fundamental rights and freedoms and many other constitutional sections also requires approval in a referendum with participation of at least one-half of qualified voters and at least two-thirds of votes cast; amended several times, last in 2013 (2017)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent or grandparent must be a citizen of Sierra Leone
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Julius Maada BIO (since 4 April 2018); Vice President Mohamed Juldeh JALLOH (since 4 April 2018) ; note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Julius Maada BIO (since 4 April 2018); Vice President Mohamed Juldeh JALLOH (since 4 April 2018)
    cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president, approved by Parliament; the cabinet is responsible to the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 4 April 2018 (next to be in March 2023)
    election results: Julius Maada BIO elected president in second round; percent of vote - Julius Maada BIO (SLPP) 51.8%, Samura KAMARA (APC) 48.2%
    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral Parliament (146 seats; 132 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 14 seats filled in separate elections by non-partisan members of Parliament called "paramount chiefs;" members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 7 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2023)
    election results: percent of vote by party - n/a; seats by party - APC 68, SLPP 49, C4C 8, other 7
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Superior Court of Judicature (consists of the Supreme Court - at the apex - with the chief justice and 4 other judges, the Court of Appeal with the chief justice and 7 other judges, and the High Court of Justice with the chief justice and 9 other judges; note – the Judicature has jurisdiction in all civil, criminal, and constitutional matters
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice and other judges of the Judicature appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (a 7-member independent body of judges, presidential appointees, and the Commission chairman) and are subject to the approval of Parliament; all Judicature judges appointed until retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; District Appeals Court; local courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    All People's Congress or APC [Ernest Bai KOROMA]
    Coalition for Change or C4C [Tamba R. SANDY]
    Sierra Leone People's Party or SLPP [Dr. Prince HARDING]
    numerous other parties
    International organization participation:
    ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Bockari Kortu STEVENS (since 4 April 2008)
    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 Maria E. BREWER (since 20 December 2017)
    embassy: Southridge-Hill Station, Freetown
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [232] 99 105 000
    FAX: [232] 99 515 355
    Flag description:
    three equal horizontal bands of light green (top), white, and light blue; green symbolizes agriculture, mountains, and natural resources, white represents unity and justice, and blue the sea and the natural harbor in Freetown
    National symbol(s):
    lion; national colors: green, white, blue
    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 extremely poor and nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. The country possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, but it is still recovering from a civil war that destroyed most institutions before ending in the early 2000s.

    In recent years, economic growth has been driven by mining - particularly iron ore. The country’s principal exports are iron ore, diamonds, and rutile, and the economy is vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices. Until 2014, the government had relied on external assistance to support its budget, but it was gradually becoming more independent. The Ebola outbreak of 2014 and 2015, combined with falling global commodities prices, caused a significant contraction of economic activity in all areas. While the World Health Organization declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in November 2015, low commodity prices in 2015-2016 contributed to the country’s biggest fiscal shortfall since 2001. In 2017, increased iron ore exports, together with the end of the Ebola epidemic, supported a resumption of economic growth.

    Continued economic growth will depend on rising commodities prices and increased efforts to diversify the sources of growth. Non-mining activities will remain constrained by inadequate infrastructure, such as power and roads, even though power sector projects may provide some additional electricity capacity in the near term. Pervasive corruption and undeveloped human capital will continue to deter foreign investors. Sustained international donor support in the near future will partially offset these fiscal constraints.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $11.55 billion (2017 est.)
    $11.14 billion (2016 est.)
    $10.48 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 158
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $3.612 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    3.7% (2017 est.)
    6.3% (2016 est.)
    -20.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $1,600 (2017 est.)
    $1,500 (2016 est.)
    $1,500 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 219
    Gross national saving:
    10% of GDP (2017 est.)
    7.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    -5.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 97.9% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 12.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 18.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.4% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 26.8% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -55.3% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 60.7% (2017 est.)
    industry: 6.5% (2017 est.)
    services: 32.9% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish
    Industries:
    diamond mining; iron ore, rutile and bauxite mining; small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, footwear)
    Industrial production growth rate:
    15.5% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Labor force:
    2.972 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 33.4% (2014 est.)
    industry: 5.5% (2014 est.)
    services: 33.4% (2014 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    15% (2017 est.)
    17.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Population below poverty line:
    70.2% (2004 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 33.6% (2003)
    highest 10%: 33.6% (2003)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    34 (2011)
    62.9 (1989)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Budget:
    revenues: 562 million (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 846.4 million (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    15.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -7.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Public debt:
    63.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    54.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    18.2% (2017 est.)
    10.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    Central bank discount rate:

    NA

    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    17.92% (31 December 2017 est.)
    18.04% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Stock of narrow money:
    $387.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $381.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Stock of broad money:
    $387.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $381.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $572.6 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $527.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Market value of publicly traded shares:

    NA

    Current account balance:
    -$407 million (2017 est.)
    -$88 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Exports:
    $808.4 million (2017 est.)
    $670 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Exports - commodities:
    iron ore, diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish
    Exports - partners:
    Cote dIvoire 37.7%, Belgium 20.5%, US 15.7%, China 10.2%, Netherlands 6.1% (2017)
    Imports:
    $5.217 billion (2017 est.)
    $1.316 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Imports - commodities:
    foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $478 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $497.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Imports - partners:
    China 11.5%, US 9.2%, Belgium 8.8%, UAE 7.7%, India 7.4%, Turkey 5.2%, Senegal 5.1%, Netherlands 4.3% (2017)
    Debt - external:
    $1.615 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.503 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $1.042 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.832 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $56.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $6.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Exchange rates:
    leones (SLL) per US dollar -
    7,396.3 (2017 est.)
    6,289.9 (2016 est.)
    6,289.9 (2015 est.)
    5,080.8 (2014 est.)
    4,524.2 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Sierra Leone
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 5.8 million (2013)
    electrification - total population: 5% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 11% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 1% (2013)
    Electricity - production:
    175 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Electricity - consumption:
    162.8 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Electricity - imports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    81,000 kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    33.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    66.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    7,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    7,354 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
  • Communications :: Sierra Leone
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 17,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 6,279,270 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 102 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: telephone service improving with the expansion of the mobile sector (2016)
    domestic: the national microwave radio relay trunk system connects Freetown to Bo and Kenema; mobile-cellular service has grown rapidly from a small base, overcoming the deficiencies of the fixed-line sector (2016)
    international: country code - 232; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2016)
    Broadcast media:
    1 government-owned TV station; 3 private TV stations; a pay-TV service began operations in late 2007; 1 government-owned national radio station; about two-dozen private radio stations primarily clustered in major cities; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2016)
    Internet country code:
    .sl
    Internet users:
    total: 708,615 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 11.8% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
  • Transportation :: Sierra Leone
  • National air transport system:
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 50,193 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    9L (2016)
    Airports:
    8 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 1 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 7 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)
    Heliports:
    2 (2013)
    Roadways:
    total: 11,300 km (2002)
    paved: 904 km (2002)
    unpaved: 10,396 km (2002)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Waterways:
    800 km (600 km navigable year-round) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Merchant marine:
    total: 451 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 20, container ship 10, general cargo 252, oil tanker 59, other 110 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Freetown, Pepel, Sherbro Islands
  • Military and Security :: Sierra Leone
  • Military expenditures:
    0.81% of GDP (2016)
    0.92% of GDP (2015)
    0.97% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Military branches:
    Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF): Army (includes Maritime Wing and Air Wing) (2013)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); women are eligible to serve; no conscription; candidates must be HIV negative (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: Sierra Leone
  • Disputes - international:
    Sierra Leone opposes Guinean troops' continued occupation of Yenga, a small village on the Makona River that serves as a border with Guinea; Guinea's forces came to Yenga in the mid-1990s to help the Sierra Leonean military to suppress rebels and to secure their common border but have remained there even after both countries signed a 2005 agreement acknowledging that Yenga belonged to Sierra Leone; in 2012, the two sides signed a declaration to demilitarize the area