Sierra Leone, is a country in West
is bordered by Guinea to
the northeast, Liberia to
the southeast, and the Atlantic
Ocean to the
southwest. Sierra Leone has a tropical
climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savannah to rainforests.
The country covers a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and
is divided into four geographical regions:
Area; which are subdivided into fourteen
districts. The districts have their own directly
council, headed by a council chairman.
Freetown, located in the Western
Area of the
country, is the capital,
largest city as well as its economic, commercial and
political centre. Bo,
located in theSouthern
the country, is the country's second largest city and the
second major economic and commercial centre. The country is
with an estimated population of 6 million (2011 United
Sierra Leone has relied on mining,
for its economic base. The country is among the largest
producers of titanium and bauxite,
and a major producer of gold.
The country has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile.
Sierra Leone is also home to the third largest natural
harbour in the world, where shipping from all over the globe
berth at Freetown's famous Queen
Elizabeth II Quay. Despite this natural wealth, 70% of
its people live in poverty.
Sierra Leone is a predominantly Muslim country, though
with an influential Christian minority.
Sierra Leone is ranked as one of the most religiously
tolerant nations in the world.People
are often married across ethnic and religious boundaries.
Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each
other peacefully . Religious
very rare in the country.
The population of Sierra Leone comprises about sixteen ethnic
groups, each with its own language and costume. The two
largest and most influential are theTemne and
Although English is
the language of instruction in schools and the official
government administration, the Krio
from English and several indigenous African languages) is
the primary language of communication among Sierra Leone's
different ethnic groups, and is spoken by 90% of the
country's population. The
Krio Language unites all the differentethnic
groups, especially in their trade and interaction with
In 1462, the area that is now Sierra Leone was visited by
the Portuguese explorer Pedro
de Sintra, who named it Serra Leoa, meaning "Lioness
Leone later became an important centre of the transatlantic
trade in slaves until
11 March 1792 when Freetown was founded by theSierra
Leone Company as
a home for former enslavedfrom
(or freed by) the British
1808, Freetown became a British Crown
Colony, and in 1896, the interior of the country became
Between 1991 and 2002 the Sierra
Leone Civil War devastated the country leaving more than
50,000 people dead, much of the country's infrastructure destroyed,
and over two million people displaced in neighbouring
countries as refugees;
mainly to Guinea,
which was home to over 600,000 Sierra Leonean refugees.
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