Sierra Leone is an extremely poor nation with tremendous inequality in income distribution.
The Creoles of the colony, who had been largely excluded from higher government posts in favor of the British, sought a larger voice in the affairs of Sierra Leone.
A group of freed slaves arrived in Sierra Leone in 1787 to form a settlement.
The UN Mission in Sierra Leone operates radio services, broadcasting news of UN activities and human rights information, as well as music and news.
Several Hollywood films have been produced that relate to Sierra Leone.
mi (71,740 sq km), Sierra Leone is bordered by Guinea to the north and northeast, Liberia to the south and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
The national capital Freetown sits on a coastal peninsula, situated next to Sierra Leone Harbor, the world's third largest natural harbor.
The name Sierra Leone was adapted from the Portuguese name for the country: Serra Leoa.
The country, which is still recovering from war, ranks second to the last on the UN Human Development Index, just above Niger—a desert country with far fewer resources than diamond- and gold-rich Sierra Leone.
In 1978, a new constitution was adopted, creating a one-party state; the 1978 constitution made the APC the only legal political party in Sierra Leone.
The Krios (descendants of freed slaves who came to Freetown from the West Indies, North America, and Britain) make up 3 percent of the population, but their language is spoken throughout Sierra Leone.
Radio Sierra Leone, the oldest broadcasting service in English-speaking West Africa, broadcasts mainly in English, with regular news and discussion programs on several topics.
Starting in the west, Sierra Leone has some 250 miles (400 km) of coastline, giving it both bountiful marine resources and attractive tourist potential.
Despite its successes and development, the Sierra Leone economy still faces some significant challenges.
Sierra Leone is a major producer of gem-quality diamonds.
Education in Sierra Leone is offered in private schools and government-sponsored public schools.
The Republic of Sierra Leone is composed of three provinces and one area; the provinces are further divided into twelve districts.
Sierra Leone has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile.
In 1863, an advisory legislative council was established in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the United Nations; the African Union (AU); and the Organization of Islamic Conference.
Archaeological findings show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited for thousands of years.
The Sierra Leone constitution provides freedom of religion and the government generally protects this right and does not tolerate its abuse.
The Sierra Leone judicial system consists of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, High Court of Justice, and magistrate courts.
Inaugurated in 1963, The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service is the government-run station in charge of television and radio broadcasting in the country.
The average life expectancy at birth of a Sierra Leonean is 38 years for males and 43 years for females.
Portuguese explorer Pedro de Cintra, who visited in 1460, gave the name Serra Lyoa (Lioness Mountains), later changed to Sierra Leone by the British.
During the periods of 1821 to 1827, 1843 to 1850, and 1866 to 1874, British holdings on the Gold Coast (now Ghana) were placed under the governor of Sierra Leone.
On April 19, 1971, Parliament declared Sierra Leone to be a republic.
Sierra Leone, along with Liberia and Guinea, formed the Manor River Union (MRU).
On April 27, 1961, Sir Milton Margai led Sierra Leone to independence from the United Kingdom and became the first prime minister.
Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature.
Siaka Stevens, who had been president of Sierra Leone for 18 years, retired from that position in November 1985, although he continued his role as chairman of the ruling APC party.
Until 2002, Sierra Leone lacked a forest management system due to a brutal civil war that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.
Promises of a return to civilian rule were fulfilled by Bio, who handed power over to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, of the Sierra Leone People's Party, after presidential elections in early 1996.
During the 1700s Sierra Leone was an important center of the transatlantic slave trade.
On January 16, 2002, the UN and the government of Sierra Leone signed an agreement establishing the court.
Mineral exports remain Sierra Leone's principal foreign exchange earner.
A renewed attempt at settlement was made in 1792, when about 1,100 freed slaves landed on the Sierra Leone peninsula and founded Freetown.
President Kabbah was reelected, gaining 70 percent of the vote, and his Sierra Leone People's Party won a majority of the parliamentary seats.
Alluvial (surface) diamond mining remains the major source of hard currency earnings, accounting for nearly half of Sierra Leone's exports.
Sierra Leone also maintains diplomatic relations with China, Libya, Iran, and Cuba.
Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa, north of the equator.
The new colony was controlled by the Sierra Leone Company, which forcefully held off the Temne while the settlers supported themselves by farming.
Sierra Leone has an estimated population of just over six million people, the majority being children and youth.
Soccer is by far the most popular sport in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone has maintained cordial relations with the West, in particular with former rulers, the United Kingdom.
Logging, mining, and slash and burn, deforestation for alternative land use—such as cattle grazing—have produced a dramatic decrease of forested land in Sierra Leone since the 1980s.
Much of Sierra Leone’s formal economy was destroyed in the country’s civil war.
Within a month they had driven the RUF back to enclaves along Sierra Leone’s borders.
The Bank of Sierra Leone is a 100 percent state-owned corporate body.
On paper, 55 protected areas covered 4.5 percent of Sierra Leone as of 2003.
Edward Zwick’s film Blood Diamond (2006) is about diamonds mined in Sierra Leone, Angola, and Congo, and sold in major diamond cutting centers to finance (and prolong) armed conflicts in Africa.
Sierra Leone has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, nearly 200 times higher than in developed countries, according to the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.
The central bank of the country is the Bank of Sierra Leone, which is located in the capital, Freetown.
Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa.
Charles Taylor, the then-leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), reportedly helped form the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) under a former Sierra Leone army corporal, Foday Sankoh.
About 2 percent of Sierra Leoneans are of Nigerian or Lebanese descent; the ancestors of the latter fled Lebanon in the late nineteenth century.
Corruption within the government and mismanagement of diamond and mineral resources were the main reasons civil war broke out in Sierra Leone.