Sierra Leone (GPS: 8 30 N, 11 30 W) located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia. The country’s area measurements are total: 71,740 sq km; land: 71,620 sq km, water: 120 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than South Carolina. The total irrigated land is 300 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Sierra Leone: Rainfall along the coast can reach 495 cm (195 inches) a year, making it one of the wettest places along coastal, western Africa.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Freetown’s GPS coordinates are 8 29 N 13 14 W. Freetown’s local time is 5 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC 0.
The British set up a trading post near present-day Freetown in the 17th century. Originally, the trade involved timber and ivory, but later it expanded to slaves. Following the American Revolution, a colony was established in 1787 and Sierra Leone became a destination for resettling black loyalists who had originally been resettled in Nova Scotia. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, British crews delivered thousands of Africans liberated from illegal slave ships to Sierra Leone, particularly Freetown. The colony gradually expanded inland during the course of the 19th century; Independence was attained in 1961.
Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war (1991-2002) that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about one-third of the population). The military, which took over full responsibility for security following the departure of UN peacekeepers at the end of 2005, has developed as a guarantor of the country’s stability; The armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007, 2012, and 2018 national elections. In March 2014, the closure of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone marked the end of more than 15 years of peacekeeping and political operations in Sierra Leone. The government’s stated priorities include free primary and secondary education, economic growth, accountable governance, health, and infrastructure.
Sierra Leone’s names conventional long form: Republic of Sierra Leone, traditional short form: Sierra Leone, local long way: the Republic of Sierra Leone, local short state: Sierra Leone, etymology: the Portuguese explorer Pedro de SINTRA named the country “Serra Leoa” (Lion Mountains) for the impressive mountains he saw while sailing the West African coast in 1462. The Portuguese explorer Pedro de SINTRA named the country “Serra Leoa” (Lion Mountains) for the impressive mountains he saw while sailing the West African coast in 1462.
Sierra Leone’s terrain is typically coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east. The country’s mean elevation: 279 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m, highest point: Loma Mansa 1,948 m.
The general climate in the country; tropical: hot, humid: summer rainy season (May to December): winter dry season (December to April).
The total number of border countries is 2, Guinea 794 km, Liberia 299 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Sierra Leone’s coastline is 402 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200 nautical miles. Waterways: 800 km (600 km navigable year-round) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 56.2%; arable land 23.4%; permanent crops 2.3%; permanent pasture 30.5%; forest: 37.5%; other: 6.3% (2011 estimate).
The population in Sierra Leone 6,312,212 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 39.9% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: FREETOWN (capital) 1.007 million (2015), while Sierra Leone has N/A. Their spoken languages are: English (official language, 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%). Main religions in Sierra Leone are Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%. The nation uses mixed legal system of English common law and customary law. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 27 April (1961).
Economic overview for the country: Sierra Leone is extremely poor and nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. The country possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, but it is still recovering from a civil war that destroyed most institutions before ending in the early 2000s. In recent years, economic growth has been driven by mining – particularly iron ore.
The country’s principal exports are iron ore, diamonds, and rutile, and the economy is vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices. Until 2014, the government had relied on external assistance to support its budget, but it was gradually becoming more independent. The Ebola outbreak of 2014 and 2015, combined with falling global commodities prices, caused a significant contraction of economic activity in all areas. While the World Health Organization declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in November 2015, low commodity prices in 2015-2016 contributed to its most significant fiscal shortfall since 2001. In 2017, increased iron ore exports, together with the end of the Ebola epidemic, supported a resumption of economic growth.
Continued economic growth will depend on rising commodities prices and increased efforts to diversify the sources of growth. Non-mining activities will remain constrained by inadequate infrastructure, such as power and roads, even though power sector projects may provide some additional electricity capacity in the near term. Pervasive corruption and undeveloped human capital will continue to deter foreign investors. Sustained international donor support in the near future will partially offset these fiscal constraints.
Natural resources of Sierra Leone: diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite.
Main export partners for Sierra Leone, Africa are China 31.3%, Belgium 27.8%, Romania 11.3%, US 7.3%, India 4% (2015) for Iron ore, diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish, while the main import partners for the country are: China 23%, India 7.9%, US 6.4%, Netherlands 5.1% (2015) for foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Sierra Leone: Dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February), sandstorms, dust storms, while infectious diseases are degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever water contact disease: schistosomiasisanimal contact disease: rabiesaerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2016). Also, note that Sierra Leone faces the following environmental issues: Rapid population growth pressuring the environment, Overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing, and slash-and-burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation, soil exhaustion, and flooding, loss of biodiversity, Air pollution, water pollution, Overfishing.
You may also be interested in the countries next to Sierra Leone around its total: 1,093 km border, like Guinea, Liberia.