Because of you…

The Youth for Christ team in Sierra Leone wants to be a catalyst in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with every young person in the country. Current ministries include:

  • evangelism
  • Worth the Wait abstinence campaigns
  • a hair-design training school
  • Operation Hannah prayer movement
  • serving deprived slum communities
  • ministry to physically challenged youth
  • street kids outreach
  • juvenile justice

Prayer Needs

  • Continued guidance for ministry programs.
  • Increased number of volunteers and participants in the Operation Hannah prayer movement.
  • Financial provision for operations and salaries and outreaches.
  • Peace and stability in Sierra Leone.
  • Unity among Christian leaders.

About Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Location of Sierra Leone

Introduction

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.

Geography

Location

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia
Geographic Coordinates: 8 30 N, 11 30 W

Area

Total Area: 71,740 sq km Rank: 118
Land Area: 71,620 sq km
Water Area: 120 sq km
Comparison: slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land Boundaries: 958 km
Bordering Countries: Guinea 652 km, Liberia 306 km
Coastline: 402 km

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)

Terrain

coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east

Elevations

Lowest Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest Point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m

Natural Resources

diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite

Land Use

Arable land: 7.95%
Permanent Crops: 1.05%
Other: 91% (2005)
Irrigated Land: 300 sq km (2003)
Renewable Water Resources: 160 cu km (1987)
Total Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): 0.38 cu km/yr (5%/3%/92%)
Freshwater Withdrawal Per Capita: 69 cu m/yr (2000)

Environment

Natural Hazards: dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms
Environmental Issues: 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
Environmental Agreements: Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

Geography Notes

rainfall along the coast can reach 495 cm (195 inches) a year, making it one of the wettest places along coastal, western Africa

People

Population: 5,132,138 (July 2010 est.) Rank: 113

Age Structure

0-14 years: 41.7% (male 1,060,463/female 1,081,333)
15-64 years: 54.7% (male 1,344,650/female 1,461,203)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 83,595/female 100,894) (2010 est.)
Median Age: 18.6 years

Population Growth

Growth Rate: 2.179% (2010 est.) Rank: 43
Birth Rate: 39.08 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) Rank: 18
Death Rate: 12.22 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) Rank: 32
Net Migration Rate: -5.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population Rank: 161
Note: refugees currently in surrounding countries are slowly returning (2010 est.)

Urbanization

Urban Population: 38% of total population (2008)
Rate of Urbanization: 2.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Life and Death

Infant Mortality Rate: 81.86 deaths/1,000 live births Rank: 15
Life Expectancy at Birth: 55.25 years Rank: 196
Fertility Rate: 4.97 children born/woman (2010 est.) Rank: 28

Health and Disease

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate: 1.7% (2007 est.) Rank: 37
People living with HIV/AIDS: 55,000 (2007 est.) Rank: 62
HIV/AIDS Deaths: 3,300 (2007 est.) Rank: 54
Degree of Risk for Major Infectious Diseases: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne Diseases: malaria and yellow fever
Water Contact Diseases: schistosomiasis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2009)

Nationality and Culture

Noun: Sierra Leonean(s)
Adjective: Sierra Leonean
Ethnic Groups: 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, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians
Religion: Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%
Languages: 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 Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)

Education

Literacy: 35.1%
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): 7 years Male: 8 years Female: 6 years (2001)
Education expenditures: 3.8% of GDP (2005) Rank: 114

Government

Country Name

Conventional Long Form: Republic of Sierra Leone
Conventional Short Form: Sierra Leone
Local Long Form: Republic of Sierra Leone
Local Short Form: Sierra Leone
Government Type: constitutional democracy
Capital: Freetown Geographic Coordinates: 8 30 N, 13 15 W

Administrative divisions

3 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western*
Independence: 27 April 1961 (from the UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 April (1961)
Constitution: 1 October 1991; amended several times
Legal system: based on English law and customary laws indigenous to local tribes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch

Chief of State: President Ernest Bai KOROMA (since 17 September 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of Government: President Ernest Bai KOROMA (since 17 September 2007)
Cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president with the approval of the House of Representatives; the cabinet is responsible to the president
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 August 2007 and 8 September 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
Election Results: second round results; percent of vote - Ernest Bai KOROMA 54.6%, Solomon BEREWA 45.4%

Legislative Branch

unicameral Parliament (124 seats; 112 members elected by popular vote, 12 filled by paramount chiefs elected in separate elections; members to serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held on 11 August 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
Election Results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APC 59, SLPP 43, PMDC 10

Judicial branch

Supreme Court; Appeals Court; High Court

Politics

Political Parties and Leaders: All People's Congress or APC [Ernest Bai KOROMA]; Peace and Liberation Party or PLP [Darlington MORRISON]; People's Movement for Democratic Change or PMDC [Charles MARGAI]; Sierra Leone People's Party or SLPP [Solomon BEREWA]; numerous others
Political pressure groups and leaders: student unions; trade unions
International Organization Participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag Description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and blue; green symbolizes agriculture, mountains, and natural resources, white represents unity and justice, and blue the sea and the natural harbor in Freetown

Economy

Economy Overview: 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.

Gross Domestic Product

GDP (purchasing power parity): $4.585 billion (2009 est.) Rank: 162
GDP - real growth rate: 4% (2009 est.) Rank: 46
GDP - per capita (PPP): $900 (2009 est.) Rank: 218
GDP - Composition by Sector: Agriculture: 49% Industry: 31% Services: 21% (2005 est.)

Labor Force

Labor Force: 2.207 million (2007 est.) Rank: 115
Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture: NA Industry: NA Services: NA
Unemployment Rate: NA

Poverty

Population below poverty line: 70.2% (2004)

Transnational Issues

International Disputes: as domestic fighting among disparate ethnic groups, rebel groups, warlords, and youth gangs in Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone gradually abates, the number of refugees in border areas has begun to slowly dwindle; Sierra Leone considers excessive Guinea's definition of the flood plain limits to define the left bank boundary of the Makona and Moa rivers and protests Guinea's continued occupation of these lands including the hamlet of Yenga occupied since 1998
Refugees and internally displaced persons - refugees (country of origin): 27,311 (Liberia) (2007)

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