Africa :: Sierra Leone

Introduction ::Sierra Leone

    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 a 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 and 2012 national elections but still look to the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) - 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

People and Society ::Sierra Leone

    noun: Sierra Leonean(s)
    adjective: Sierra Leonean
    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)
    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%)
    Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%
    5,612,685 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    0-14 years: 41.9% (male 1,169,343/female 1,181,669)
    15-24 years: 19% (male 517,107/female 549,500)
    25-54 years: 31.4% (male 847,115/female 914,650)
    55-64 years: 4% (male 101,069/female 124,673)
    65 years and over: 3.7% (male 89,643/female 117,916) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 79.3 %
    youth dependency ratio: 74.5 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.8 %
    potential support ratio: 20.9 (2013)
    total: 19 years
    male: 18.5 years
    female: 19.6 years (2013 est.)
    2.3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    37.77 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    11.26 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    -3.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population
    country comparison to the world: 184
    note: refugees currently in surrounding countries are slowly returning (2013 est.)
    urban population: 39.2% of total population (2011)
    rate of urbanization: 3.04% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    FREETOWN (capital) 875,000 (2009)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.8 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    19 (2008 est.)
    890 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    total: 74.95 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 11
    male: 83.59 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 66.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 56.98 years
    country comparison to the world: 199
    male: 54.47 years
    female: 59.56 years (2013 est.)
    4.87 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    11% (2010)
    13.1% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    0.02 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    0.4 beds/1,000 population (2006)
    urban: 87% of population
    rural: 35% of population
    total: 55% of population
    urban: 13% of population
    rural: 65% of population
    total: 45% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 23% of population
    rural: 6% of population
    total: 13% of population
    urban: 77% of population
    rural: 94% of population
    total: 87% of population (2010 est.)
    1.6% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    49,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    2,800 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    animal contact disease: rabies
    aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2013)
    6.8% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    21.3% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    3.6% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic
    total population: 43.3%
    male: 54.7%
    female: 32.6% (2011 est.)
    total: 12 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 11 years (2007)
    total number: 573,287
    percentage: 48 % (2005 est.)
    total: 5.2%
    country comparison to the world: 132
    male: 7.3%
    female: 3.5% (2004)

Government ::Sierra Leone

    conventional long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
    conventional short form: Sierra Leone
    local long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
    local short form: Sierra Leone
    constitutional democracy
    name: Freetown
    geographic coordinates: 8 29 N, 13 14 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    3 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western*
    27 April 1961 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 27 April (1961)
    1 October 1991; amended several times
    mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    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 Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 November 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
    election results: Ernest Bai KOROMA elected to a second term; percent of vote - Ernest Bai KOROMA 58.7%, Julius Maada BIO 37.4%, other 3.9%
    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 17 November 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APC 69, SLPP 43
    highest court(s): 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 subject to the approval of Parliament; all Judicature judges appointed until retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; District Appeals Court; local courts
    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 [Julius Maada BIO]
    numerous others
    other: student unions; trade unions
    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
    chief of mission: Ambassador Michael S. OWEN
    embassy: Southridge-Hill Station, Freetown
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [232] (76) 515 000 or (76) 515 000
    FAX: [232] (76) 515 355
    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
    name: "High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free"

    lyrics/music: Clifford Nelson FYLE/John Joseph AKA
    note: adopted 1961

Economy ::Sierra Leone

Energy ::Sierra Leone

Communications ::Sierra Leone

    14,000 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    2.137 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    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) (2009)
    1 government-owned TV station; 1 private TV station began operating in 2005; 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 (2007)
    282 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    14,900 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 199

Transportation ::Sierra Leone

    8 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    total: 1
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 7
    914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)
    2 (2013)
    total: 11,300 km
    country comparison to the world: 132
    paved: 904 km
    unpaved: 10,396 km (2002)
    800 km (600 km navigable year round) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    total: 215
    country comparison to the world: 34
    by type: bulk carrier 22, cargo 120, carrier 2, chemical tanker 19, container 6, liquefied gas 3, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 28, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1
    foreign-owned: 98 (Bangladesh 1, China 19, Cyprus 2, Egypt 3, Estonia 2, Hong Kong 7, Japan 4, Lebanon 2, North Korea 2, Romania 2, Russia 7, Singapore 9, Syria 13, Taiwan 7, Turkey 9, UAE 1, UK 1, Ukraine 5, Yemen 2) (2010)
    Freetown, Pepel, Sherbro Islands

Military ::Sierra Leone

Transnational Issues ::Sierra Leone

    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