SIERRA-LEONE

Information about travelling to Sierra-Leone

Sierra-Leone is located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia

Facts about Sierra-Leone
Population6,294,774 (July 2008 est.
CapitalFreetown
Time zoneUTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Location Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia

General info about Sierra-Leone
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 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, is increasingly developing as a guarantor of the country's stability. The armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 presidential election, but still look to the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) - 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.
Disease threats
degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepat
Languages spoken
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 Free
Ethnic division
20 African ethnic groups 90% (Temne 30%, Mende 30%, other 30%), Creole (Krio) 10% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century), refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, small numbers of Europeans,
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
7% (2001 est.)
Climate
tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)
Resources
diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite
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 is not well developed, 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 has completed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program that helped stabilize economic growth and reduce inflation. A recent increase in political stability has led to a revival of economic activity such as the rehabilitation of bauxite and rutile mining.
Environment
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

Cities in Sierra-Leone



Airports in Sierra-Leone
BontheBTE
DaruDSL
Lungi InternationalFNA
GbangbatokGBK
HastingsHGS
Mammy Yoko HeliportJMY
KabalaKBA
BoKBS
KenemaKEN
YengemaWYE


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