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UNIPSILUnited Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone

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Facts and Figures

President    Sierra Leone Coat of Arms

His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma ( since 2007)

 

Nationality    

Sierra Leonean(s).

 

Land Area    

27,653 sq. mi. (71,740 sq. km);
Total Area 27,699 sq mi (71,740 sq km)

 

Capital and largest city (2010 est.):   

Freetown, 1.2 million 

 
Literacy Rate    

35.1% (2004 est.)

 

Monetary UnitSierra Leone Flag

Leone

 

Population (2012 est.) : 5,485,998 (growth rate: 2.277%);
birth rate: 38.12/1000; infant mortality rate: 76.64/1000;
life expectancy: 56.55; density per sq mi: 205.6

 

Government    

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a State, based on the principles of Freedom, Democracy and Justice. Its sovereignty belongs to the people of Sierra Leone, from whom Government through the Constitution derives all its powers, authority and legitimacy;  The security, peace and welfare of the people of Sierra Leone is the primary purpose and responsibility of Government, and to this end it is the duty of the Armed Forces, the Police, Public Officers and all security agents to protect and safeguard the people of Sierra Leone. The participation of the people in the governance of the State on the other hand is ensured in accordance with the provisions ofSierra Leone State House the Constitution

 

Languages    

English (official), Mende (southern vernacular), Temne (northern vernacular), Krio (lingua franca)

 

Ethnicity/Race    

20 native African tribes 90% (Temne 30%, Mende 30%, other 30%); Creole (Krio) 10%; refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians. Religions: Islam 60%, indigenous 20%, Christian 20%     

 

People    Sierra Leone Parliament

The indigenous population is made up of 18 ethnic groups. The Temne in the north and the Mende in the south are the largest. About 60,000 are Krio, the descendants of freed slaves who returned to Sierra Leone from Great Britain and North America and from slave ships captured on the high seas. In addition, about 4,000 Lebanese, 500 Indians, and 2,000 Europeans reside in the country. In the past, Sierra Leoneans were noted for their educational achievements, trading activity, entrepreneurial skills, and arts and crafts work, particularly woodcarving. Many are part of larger ethnic networks extending into several countries, which link West African states in the area. However, the level of education and infrastructure has declined sharply over the last 30 years.

 

Economic Summary    

GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $5.158 billion per capita $ 900. Law Court
Real growth rate: 5.3%.
Inflation rate: 18%. 

Natural resources: Diamonds, rutile, bauxite, gold, iron ore, ilmenorutile, platinum, chromite, manganese, cassiterite, molybdenite, as well as forests, abundant fresh water, and rich offshore fishing grounds. Agriculture: Products--coffee, cocoa, ginger, palm kernels, cassava, bananas, citrus, peanuts, cashews, plantains, rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables. Land--30% potentially arable, 8% cultivated. Industry: Types--diamonds, bauxite, and rutile mining; forestry; fishing; beverages; cigarettes; flour; cement and other construction goods; plastics; tourism. Trade (Oct. 2007-Dec. 2008): Exports--$182 million: rutile, diamonds, bauxite, coffee, cocoa, fish. Major destinations of exports--Belgium, Germany, U.K., the Netherlands, India, and U.S. Imports--$534 mCotton Treeillion: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuel and lubricants, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, building materials, light consumer goods, used clothing, textiles. Main origins of imports--Germany, Cote d’Ivoire (fuel), U.K., U.S., China (manufactured goods).

 

Major Trading Partners    

Belgium, Germany, U.S., UK, Côte d'Ivoire, China, Netherlands, South Africa, France (2004). Member of Commonwealth of Nations

 

Sources: Infoplease