Capital City: Freetown
Government: Constitutional Democracy
Population: approx; 6.1 million (2013 estimate – official projection)
GDP (2012): $ 5.022 billion
Area: 71,740sq km (27,699 sq miles)
Currency: Leone (SLL)
Major Languages: Enlish, Krio and a range of tribal languages
Life Expentancy: 41 years (Men), 44 years (Women)
The Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea in the north-east, Liberia in the south-east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the south-west. Sierra Leone has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests. Sierra Leone has a total area of 71, 740 km2 (27,699 square miles) and an estimated population of 6 million (2011 United Nations estimate). Freetown the capital, is the largest city, and the country’s economic and political centre. Bo is the second largest city and second major economic center in the country. The country has four geographical regions, namely: the Northern Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area, which are further divided into fourteen districts.
About sixteen ethnic groups inhabit Sierra Leone, each with their own language and custom. The two largest and most influential are the Temne and the Mende people. The Temne are predominantly found in the north of the country, while the Mende are predominant in the south-east. Although English is the official language spoken at schools and government administration, the Krio language is the most widely spoken language in the country and unites all the different ethnic groups in the country, especially in their trade and social interaction with each other.
Sierra Leone is a predominantly Muslim country, but with an influential Christian minority. Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant nations in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully. Religious violence is very rare in the country.
Sierra Leone has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base. It is also among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, a major producer of gold, and has one of the world’s largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is home to the third-largest natural harbour in the world. Despite exploitation of this natural wealth, 70% of its people live in poverty.
The recent 2014 Ebola outbreak threatens to lead the country into a humanitarian crisis situation and a negative spiral of weaker economic growth. However, with the combined efforts of the government and partners the country will soon return to its recent economic growth path.