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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Sierra Leone

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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. (from the CIA)


Economic 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.

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

Government Type

Constitutional democracy


6,294,774 (july 2008 est.)


Western africa, bordering the north atlantic ocean, between guinea and liberia


Total: 71,740 sq km land: 71,620 sq km water: 120 sq km

Slightly smaller than south carolina

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of sierra leone conventional short form: sierra leone local long form: republic of sierra leone local short form: sierra leone


Name: freetown geographic coordinates: 8 30 n, 13 15 w time difference: utc 0 (5 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2008)

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 abate, the number of refugees in border areas has begun to slowly dwindle; un mission in sierra leone (unamsil) has maintained over 4,000 peacekeepers in sierra leone since 1999; 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

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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