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The World Factbook 2002

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

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Sierra Leone

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Sierra Leone
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Since 1991, civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) has 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. After several setbacks, the end to the eleven-year conflict in Sierra Leone may finally be near at hand. 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. Reestablishment of government authority throughout the country is slowly proceeding and national elections took place in May 2002.
   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
total: 71,740 sq km
water: 120 sq km
land: 71,620 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
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: 7%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 92% (1998 est.)
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, Nuclear Test Ban, 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
   People    Sierra Leone
Population:
Definition Field Listing
5,614,743 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 44.7% (male 1,230,530; female 1,280,084)
15-64 years: 52.1% (male 1,397,070; female 1,528,986)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 87,256; female 90,817) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.21% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
44.58 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
18.83 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: by the end of 1999 refugees from Sierra Leone are assumed to be returning (2002 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: 0.96 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
144.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 45.96 years
female: 49.01 years (2002 est.)
male: 43.01 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.94 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.99% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
68,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
8,200 (1999 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.)
   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 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 [Alhaji Sat KOROMA, interim chairman]; Citizens United for Peace and Progress or CUPP [Alfred Musa CONTEH, interim chairman]; Coalition for Progress Party or CPP [Jeridine WILLIAM-SARHO, interim leader]; Democratic Center Party or DCP [Adu Aiah KOROMA]; Democratic Labor Party or DLP [George E. L. PALMER]; Democratic Party or DP [Henry BALO, acting chairman]; National Alliance Democratic Party or NADP [Mohamed Yahya SILLAH, chairman]; National Democratic Alliance or NDA [Amadu M. B. JALLOH]; National People's Party or NPP [Andrew TURAY]; National Republican Party or NRP [Stephen Sahr MAMBU]; National Unity Movement or NUM [Sam LEIGH, interim chairman]; National Unity Party or NUP [John BENJAMINE, interim leader]; Peace and Liberation Party or PLP [Darlington MORRISON, interim chairman]; People's Democratic Alliance or PDA [Cpl. (Ret.) Abdul Rahman KAMARA, interim chairman]; People's Democratic Party or PDP [Osman KAMARA]; People's National Convention or PNC [Edward John KARGBO]; People's Progressive Party or PPP [Abass Chernok BUNDU, chairman]; Revolutionary United Front Party or RUFP [Foday Saybana SANKOH, chairman]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Andrew Victor LUNGAY]; Sierra Leone People's Party or SLPP [Ahmad Tejan KABBAH, chairman]; United National People's Party or UNPP [John KAREFA-SMART in exile, Raymond KAMARA, acting leader]; Young People's Party or YPP [Cornelius DEVEAUS, interim chairman]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Trade Unions and Student Unions
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador John Ernest LEIGH
FAX: [1] (202) 483-1793
telephone: [1] (202) 939-9261 through 9263
chancery: 1701 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
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
   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 10-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. There are plans 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.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $2.7 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $500 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 43%
industry: 27%
services: 30% (2000)
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
15% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
1.369 million (1981 est.)
note: only about 65,000 wage earners (1985)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $96 million
expenditures: $351 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
mining (diamonds); small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
245 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
227.85 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$65 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
NZ 33.7%, Belgium 32.6%, US 7.4%, France 5.1% (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$145 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Czech Republic 26.7%, UK 26.6%, US 5.1%, Netherlands 4.6% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$1.3 billion (2000)
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 - 2,212.47 (January 2002), 1,985.89 (2001), 2,092.13 (2000), 1,804.20 (1999), 1,563.62 (1998), 981.48 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Sierra Leone
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
25,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
30,000 (2001)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: marginal telephone and telegraph service
domestic: national microwave radio relay trunk system, made unserviceable by military activities, is now operating from Freetown to Bo and Kenema (April 2001)
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1, FM 9, shortwave 1 (1999)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
1.12 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
2 (1999)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
53,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.sl
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
1 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
20,000 (2001)
   Transportation    Sierra Leone
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 84 km
narrow gauge: 84 km 1.067-m gauge
note: Sierra Leone has no common carrier railroads; the existing railroad is private and used on a limited basis while the mine at Marampa is closed (2001)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 11,700 km
paved: 936 km
unpaved: 10,764 km (2002)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
800 km (of which 600 km navigable year round)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bonthe, Freetown, Pepel
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
10 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2001)
914 to 1,523 m: 7
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
2 (2001)
   Military    Sierra Leone
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army (RSLAF)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,203,682 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 583,946 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$10.3 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.5% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Sierra Leone
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
ongoing conflict in Sierra Leone has engendered refugee movements into neighboring Guinea and Liberia

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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