Sierra Leone

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INFORMATION

Capital: Freetown

Government: Unitary Presidential Constitutional Republic

Current President: Ernest Bai Koroma

Economy:

  • While Sierra Leone possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, its physical and social infrastructure has yet to recover from the civil war, and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development.
  • Nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture.

Population: 7,075,641 (2015)

Land Size: 71,740 sq km (27,669 sq miles)

Major Ethic Groups:

  • Temne: 35%
  • Mende: 31%
  • Limba: 8%
  • Kono: 5%
  • Kriole: 2% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century; also known as Krio)
  • Mandingo: 2%
  • Loko: 2%
  • Other: 15% (includes refugees from Liberia’s recent civil war, and small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians)
Religions:

  • Muslim: 60%
  • Christian: 10%
  • Indigenous African Religions: 30%

Language(s):

  • English (official, regular use limited to literate minority)
  • Mende (principle vernacular in the south)
  • Temne (principle 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%)

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