Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone ALERT: Newspaper ...

Sierra Leone ALERT: Newspaper editor physically assaulted

David Jabati, editor of  the Exclusive, a Freetown-based independent newspaper was on March 13, 2008 violently assaulted by angry supporters of the ...
SIERRA LEONE: Diamond miners c...

SIERRA LEONE: Diamond miners choose cassava over carats

In Sierra Leone plummeting diamond prices, dwindling reserves, consistently poor working conditions and a lack of regulation are driving diamond...
SIERRA LEONE: Women access pow...

SIERRA LEONE: Women access power, vote by vote

In Kailahun, Sierra Leone, the poorest region in the world's poorest country, women are trying to effect change on the issues that matter to them –...
SIERRA LEONE: “Forced marriage...

SIERRA LEONE: “Forced marriage” conviction a first

The Special Court for Sierra Leone on 25 February convicted three former leaders of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), marking the first time a...
SIERRA LEONE: Communities take...

SIERRA LEONE: Communities take charge, one latrine at a time

Kadiatou Samura proudly showed her pristine new toilet to her Member of Parliament, the leader of her chiefdom and the head of the UN Children’s...
Sierra Leone ALERT: Female jou...

Sierra Leone ALERT: Female journalists taken hostage over reports on FGM

Four journalists in Kanema, a town of about 200km from Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, were on February 7, 2009 taken hostage by members of Bondo...

Official Name: Republic of Sierra Leone


Capital: Freetown
Major Towns: Freetown, Lungi, Makeni, Kenema,Shenge
Location (geographical coordinates/latitude and longitude): Freetown: 8°31'N, 13°15'W
Time Zone: GMT (UTC+0)
Size (Land and Sea): 71,740 km²; Water: 1%
Borders with Guinea, Liberia and the Atlantic Ocean
Elevation extremes: Highest points) Mount Bintumani: 1,948 meters

Head of State: President: Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
Form of Government: Republic
Independancy (from the UK): April 27, 1961
Currency: Leone (SLL)

Main industries: Mining sector in general, and diamonds in particular; agriculture; of the world's largest deposits of rutile, a titanium ore used as paint pigment and welding rod coatings
Other industries: Small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining, small commercial ship repair.
Natural resources: diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite
Agriculture: rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish
Population and People  

Population: 6,144,562 (July 2007 est); 5,426,618 (2000)
Population density per sq mi: 222
Growth rate:  3.2% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 44.58 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Total fertility rate: 6.01 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 158.3/1000
Religion: 60% Muslims, 30% Christians, 10% ethno-cultural religions and faiths
Languages: English, Krio, Mende, Kisii, Pidgin English
Ethnic groups / Tribes: about sixteen ethnic groups; each with its own language, e.g.  Mende and Temne, Krios, A small number of Sierra Leoneans are of Nigerian, or Lebanese descent
Age structure: 0-14 years: 44.8% (male 1,349,878/female 1,400,297); 15-64 years: 52% (male 1,531,763/female 1,664,996); 65 years and over: 3.2% (male 92,360/female 105,268) (2007 est.)
Life expectancy: 40.6
Literacy: Total population: 31.4%: male 45%, female: 18%