Sierra Leone Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Freetown
Population 7.97 million
Language English
Religion Muslims 77% Christians 21%
State system Republic
Head of State Julius Maada Bio
Head of government Julius Maada Bio
Currency name Leon

Sierra Leone Basic Information

Travel
Time shift -1h (in summer -2h)
Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 14.6
Economic growth (%) 3
Inflation (%) 11.9
Unemployment (%) ON

Sierra Leone is a tropical country in West Africa, on the Atlantic coast between Guinea and Liberia. Apart from the hilly area of ​​Freetown and the white sand beaches, it consists mainly of swampy coastal plains and plateaus that rise to the highlands in the northeast. Sierra Leone’s economy is dependent on the mining sector and subsistence agriculture. Major exports include rutile, iron, diamonds, bauxite, cocoa and timber. Over-reliance on commodity exports will expose growth to a global split. Public discontent over the effects of the coronavirus pandemic increases the risk of sporadic social unrest. Short-term policy will continue to focus on ensuring the effective launch of the national covid-19 vaccination campaign. The government will also focus on supporting social welfare programs (especially the flagship free education program) and infrastructure development (especially health, energy, transport and communications). Real GDP will rise in 2022 in line with rising commodity prices, strong agricultural growth and growing demand for Sierra Leone’s mineral exports, along with expanding production capacity, with iron ore production at the Tonkolili and Marampa mines gradually resuming from 2021. Growth will then moderate in 2023 with a decline in coffee and rutile production. Fiscal consolidation will be a challenge in 2022-23 and public debt will remain high. Attempts to contain the impact of the pandemic, as well as ongoing infrastructure projects and spending related to the 2023 elections, will keep spending pressures high in 2022-23. Sierra Leone is more politically stable than many of its West African counterparts and performs relatively well in terms of civil liberties and political pluralism. This will instill investor and donor confidence in the country in 2022-23. Downside risks to growth and investment stem from a likely fourth wave of coronavirus infections or the resurgence and spread of Ebola from neighboring Guinea to Sierra Leone.

This Summary Territorial Information is processed for a country that is so-called accredited. The information is provided in a basic scope.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the country: Republic of Sierra Leone

The Government of Sierra Leone is the governing body of the Republic of Sierra Leone as set out in the Constitution of Sierra Leone. The laws of Sierra Leone are modeled after English Common Law. The state’s identity, legal framework and institutional arrangements are based on secular norms and principles. The Constitution provides for the separation of state and religion. The government is divided into three branches: executive, legislative and judicial. The seat of government of Sierra Leone is in the capital, Freetown. The President is elected by popular vote for up to two five-year terms. The country operates a multi-party system and the President of Sierra Leone is both the head of state and head of government. The APC and SLPP are the main political parties in the country, but 17 parties have officially registered for the 2018 elections. The other most popular parties are the People’s Movement for Democratic Change, the National Democratic Alliance and the United Democratic Movement. In the unicameral parliament, 132 deputies are elected by popular vote and 14 seats are reserved for indirectly elected top m bosses. Parliamentary elections are held simultaneously with presidential elections every five years. The elected president and parliament generally determine government policy, but most power rests in the executive branch. The ruling party generally instrumentalises the state’s resources to stay in power. In principle, citizens have the right to establish parties and civil society organizations and hold public assemblies. In practice, however, these rights are repeatedly curtailed. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is appointed by the President with the approval of the Chamber of Deputies; the cabinet is responsible to the president. Sierra Leone is divided into provinces, districts and dominions. Sierra Leone has 3 rural provinces plus an administrative capital province. This is followed by 14 precincts – 12 rural, 2 for the capital Freetown. Sierra Leone is further divided into 149 estates. Chiefs are hereditary tribal units of local government. Check cancermatters to learn more about Sierra Leone political system.

Foreign policy of the country

Sierra Leone’s international relations with its neighbors – Liberia and Guinea – are generally positive. The risk of Ebola spreading from Guinea to Sierra Leone – and triggering a humanitarian crisis – has receded after Guinea declared an end to the four-month-old outbreak in June. Foreign policy continued to be heavily influenced by the need to attract financial assistance from foreign partners and multilateral financial institutions. In March, the IMF approved a disbursement of US$50.4 million under its Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) to help the country finance current account deficits and fiscal deficits. China remained Sierra Leone’s major trading partner, with most of its investment in the mining sector in 2021. Sierra Leone was also among the recipients of Chinese vaccines. Economic ties with the US have deepened – in late July, Sierra Leone and the US International Development Finance Corporation signed a US$217 million debt financing agreement to facilitate the construction of a new power plant in the capital, Freetown. During the reporting period, Sierra Leone concluded an Agreement on Joint Economic Cooperation with Senegal, a Memorandum of Understanding on Education with Hungary, a visa-free agreement on service and diplomatic passports with Russia, which also focuses on other areas of economic and political interest, and a Cooperation Agreement with Turkey in the field of development, production, purchase, maintenance of defense goods and services and the provision of relevant technical and logistical support to the armed forces of SL etc. Check prozipcodes for Sierra Leone defense and foreign policy.

Population

Population: 7.97 million

Average annual population growth: 2.10%

Population structure by age groups: 0-14 years: 41.38% (men 1,369,942/women 1,371,537) 15-24 years: 18.83% (men 610,396/women 636,880) 25-54 years: 32.21% (men 1,020,741/women 1,112,946) 55-64 years: 3.89% (men 121,733/women 135,664) 65 and over: 3.7% (men 100,712/women 144,382) (2020 est.) Median age 19.1 years Structure of ethnic groups: Mende 33.2% Temne 35.5% Limba 6.4% Fula 4.4% Mandingo 6.9% Krio 1.3% Sherbro 1.9% Kono 5.2% Kru 7% Other (Loko, Susu, Kissi, Yalunka, Vai, Kuranko} 1.7% Yes.

Structure of religious groups Muslims 77% Christians 21% Others (traditional African religions, Hinduism, etc.) 2%