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SIERRA LEONEEdit

 
(See reference map VII)

LANDEdit

72,261 km2; 65% arable (6% of total land area under cultivation), 27% pasture, 4% swampland, 4% forested

Land boundaries: 933 km

WATEREdit

Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 200 nm

Coastline: 402 km

PEOPLEEdit

Population: 3,535,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.2%

Nationality: noun—Sierra Leonean(s); adjective—Sierra Leonean

Ethnic divisions: over 99% native African, rest European and Asian; 13 tribes

Religion: 70% animist, 25% Muslim, 5% Christian

Language: English official, but regular use limited to literate minority; principal vernaculars are Mende in south and Temne in north; "Krio," the language of the resettled ex-slave population of the Freetown area, is used as a lingua franca

Literacy: about 10%

Labor force: about 1.5 million; most of population engages in subsistence agriculture; only small minority, some 65,000, earn wages

Organized labor: 35% of wage earners

GOVERNMENTEdit

Official name: Republic of Sierra Leone

Type: republic under presidential regime since April 1971

Capital: Freetown

Political subdivisions: 3 provinces; divided into 12 districts with 146 chiefdoms, where paramount chief and council of elders constitute basic unit of government; plus western area, which comprises Freetown and other coastal areas of the former colony

Legal system: based on English law and customary laws indigenous to local tribes; constitution adopted April 1971; highest court of appeal is the Sierra Leone Court of Appeals; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: National Day, 19 April

Branches: executive authority exercised by President; parliament consists of 104 authorized seats, 85 of which are filled by elected representatives of constituencies and 12 by Paramount Chiefs elected by fellow Paramount Chiefs in each district; President authorized to appoint up to seven members, of which two, currently, are filled by the heads of the Army and the Police; independent judiciary

Government leader: President Siaka P. STEVENS heads government composed of members of his APC political party

Suffrage: universal over age 21

Elections: the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act, 1971, has been replaced by the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1978, which provides for one-party rule; Dr. Siaka Stevens was named as the first Executive President under the one-party constitution; the President's tenure has been extended from five to seven years; next presidential election 1982

Political parties and leaders: All People's Congress (APC), headed by Stevens

Communists: no party, although there are a few Communists and a slightly larger number of sympathizers

Member of: AFDB, AIOEC, Commonwealth, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, 1PU, ISCON, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO

ECONOMYEdit

GDP: $900 million (1980), $265 per capita

Agriculture: main crops—palm kernels, coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, millet, ginger, cassava; much of cultivated land devoted to subsistence farming; food crops insufficient for domestic consumption

Fishing: catch 50,080 metric tons (1978); imports $2.7 million (1974)

Major industries: mining—diamonds, iron ore, bauxite, rutile; manufacturing—beverages, textiles, cigarettes, construction goods; 1 oil refinery

Electric power: 95,000 kW capacity (1980); 213 million kWh produced (1980), 62 kWh per capita

Exports: $230.0 million (f.o.b., 1979); diamonds, iron ore, palm kernels, cocoa, coffee

Imports: $304.2 million (f.o.b., 1979); machinery and transportation equipment, manufactured goods, foodstuffs, petroleum products

Major trade partners: UK, EC, US, Japan, Communist countries

Budget: (1980/81) revenues $229.9 million, current expenditures $221.9 million, development expenditures $73.0 million

Monetary conversion rate: 1 leone=US$0.90 (1980/81)

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June

COMMUNICATIONSEdit

Railroads: about 84 km narrow gauge (1.067 m) privately owned mineral line operated by the Sierra Leone Development Company

Highways: 7,460 km total; 1,225 km bituminous, 490 km laterite (some gravel), and remainder improved earth

Inland waterways: 800 km; 600 km navigable year round

Ports: 1 major (Freetown), 2 minor

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airfields: 16 total, 16 usable; 6 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 5 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: telephone and telegraph are adequate; 16,000 telephones (0.5 per 100 popl.); INTELSAT Atlantic Ocean satellite ground station; 2 AM stations, 1 FM, and 1 TV station

DEFENSE FORCESEdit

Military manpower: males 15-49, 771,000; 373,000 fit for military service; no conscription

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 30 June 1981, $20.2 million; about 7.4% of the central government budget