Welcome SIERRA LEONE – 204th Country to visit out BLOG!


 Background
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
Rainfall along the coast can reach 495 cm (195 inches) a year, making it one of the wettest places along coastal, western Africa
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia
Geographic coordinates: 8 30 N, 11 30 W
Area: total: 71,740 sq km land: 71,620 sq km water: 120 sq kmSize comparison: slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land Boundaries: total: 958 km border countries: Guinea 652 km, Liberia 306 km
Coastline: 402 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm contiguous zone: 24 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 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 extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m
Natural resources: diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite
Land use: arable land: 7.95% permanent crops: 1.05% other: 91% (2005)
Irrigated land: 300 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms
Current Environment Issues: 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 depleted natural resources; overfishing
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
^Back to Top
 People
Population: 5,612,685 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 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.) population pyramid:
Median age: total: 19.1 years male: 18.6 years female: 19.6 years (2012 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.277% (2012 est.)
Birth rate: 38.12 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate: 11.49 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population note: refugees currently in surrounding countries are slowly returning (2012 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 76.64 deaths/1,000 live births male: 85.37 deaths/1,000 live births female: 67.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 56.55 years male: 54.08 years female: 59.11 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.87 children born/woman (2013 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 1.6% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 49,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 2,800 (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun: Sierra Leonean(s) adjective: Sierra Leonean
Ethnic groups: 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)
Religions: Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%
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%)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic total population: 35.1% male: 46.9% female: 24.4% (2004 est.)
^Back to Top
 Government
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
Government type: constitutional democracy
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: 3 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western*
Independence: 27 April 1961 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 April (1961)
Constitution: 1 October 1991; amended several times
Legal system: mixed legal system of English common law and customary law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: 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 ) 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%
Legislative branch: 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
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Appeals Court; High Court
Political parties and leaders: 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
Political pressure groups and leaders: other: student unions; trade unions
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: 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
Diplomatic representation from the US: 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
^Back to Top
 Economy
Sierra Leone is an extremely poor nation with tremendous inequality in income distribution. While it possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, its physical and social infrastructure has yet to recover from the civil war, and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development. Nearly half 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. Alluvial diamond mining remains the major source of hard currency earnings, accounting for nearly half of Sierra Leone’s exports. 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 supplement government revenues. The IMF completed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program that helped stabilize economic growth and reduce inflation and in 2010 approved a new program worth $45 million over three years. Political stability has led to a revival of economic activity such as the rehabilitation of bauxite and rutile mining, which are set to benefit from planned tax incentives. A number of offshore oil discoveries were announced in 2009 and 2010. The development on these reserves, which could be significant, is still several years away, however, growth skyrocketed to more than 20% in 2012, as exploitation activities began.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $8.376 billion (2012 est.) $6.906 billion (2011 est.) $6.514 billion (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $3.824 billion (2012 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 21.3% (2012 est.) 6% (2011 est.) 5.3% (2010 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP): $1,400 (2012 est.) $1,200 (2011 est.) $1,100 (2010 est.) note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 43.2% industry: 37.4% services: 19.3% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 2.207 million (2007 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: 70.2% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6% highest 10%: 33.6% (2003)
Distribution of family income – Gini index: 62.9 (1989)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 12.6% (2012 est.) 16.2% (2011 est.)
Budget: revenues: $527.5 million expenditures: $685.7 million (2012 est.)
Public debt: 60.8% of GDP (2012 est.) 80.8% of GDP (2011 est.)
Agriculture – products: rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish
Industries: diamond mining; small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining, small commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity – production: 120 million kWh (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 192
Electricity – consumption: 111.6 million kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity – imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Natural gas – production: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Current account balance: -$969.9 million (2012 est.) -$1.153 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $1.168 billion (2012 est.) $426.9 million (2011 est.)
Exports – commodities: diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish
Exports – partners: Belgium 28.8%, Romania 12.5%, Netherlands 9.2%, China 7.3%, US 6.9%, Turkey 6%, UK 5.8% (2011)
Imports: $1.675 billion (2012 est.) $1.571 billion (2011 est.)
Imports – commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals
Imports – partners: China 16%, South Africa 11.1%, US 7.3%, UK 7.1%, India 5.7%, Malaysia 4.3% (2011)
Debt – external: $827.6 million (31 December 2012 est.) $829.9 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $477.1 million (31 December 2012 est.) $366.1 million (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: leones (SLL) per US dollar – 4,370.3 (2012 est.) 4,336.1 (2011 est.) 3,978.1 (2010 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
^Back to Top
 Communications
Telephones in use: 14,000 (2010) country comparison to the world: 197
Cellular Phones in use: 2.137 million (2011)
Telephone system: 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)
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code: .sl
Internet hosts: 282 (2012)
Internet users: 14,900 (2009)
^Back to Top
 Transportation
Airports: 8 (2012) country comparison to the world: 164
Airports (paved runways): total: 1 over 3,047 m: 1 (2012)
Airports (unpaved runways): total: 7 914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2012)
Heliports: 2 (2012)
Roadways: total: 11,300 km paved: 904 km unpaved: 10,396 km (2002)
Waterways: 800 km (600 km navigable year round) (2011)
Merchant marine: total: 215 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)
Ports and terminals: Freetown, Pepel, Sherbro Islands
^Back to Top
 Military
Military branches: Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF): Army (includes Maritime Wing and Air Wing) (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years 6 months of age for male and female voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription; candidates must be HIV negative (2009)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 1,183,093 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 731,898 females age 16-49: 838,032 (2010 est.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: