49 Facts About Sierra Leone

1. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a unicameral parliament and a directly elected president serving a five-year term with a maximum of two terms.

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2. Sierra Leone is a secular nation with the constitution providing for the separation of state and religion and freedom of conscience.

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3. Sierra Leone gained independence from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, and became a Commonwealth realm on the same day; the country's name changed to the Dominion of Sierra Leone.

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4. Sierra Leone was reinstated after nine months through military intervention by ECOMOG.

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5. Sierra Leone is rich in natural resources, especially diamond, gold, bauxite and aluminium.

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6. Sierra Leone is home to Sub-Saharan Africa's first Western-style university: Fourah Bay College.

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7. European contacts within Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa during the 15th century.

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8. Black settlers in Sierra Leone enjoyed much more autonomy than their white equivalent in European countries.

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9. Sierra Leone developed as the educational centre of British West Africa.

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10. Sierra Leone's employed her capacity for friendly communications to persuade the British to give her control of the Kpaa Mende chiefdom.

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11. Sierra Leone's used diplomacy to communicate with many local chiefs who did not trust her friendship with the British.

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12. In 1953, Sierra Leone was granted local ministerial powers and Margai was elected Chief Minister of Sierra Leone.

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13. In May 1957, Sierra Leone held its first parliamentary election.

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14. In May 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general election as an independent nation.

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15. Sierra Leone based the government on the rule of law and the separation of powers, with multiparty political institutions and fairly viable representative structures.

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16. Sierra Leone appointed government officials to represent various ethnic groups.

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17. Sierra Leone was a close ally of Albert Margai, who had appointed him to the position in 1964.

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18. Sierra Leone cancelled Juxon-Smith's construction of a church and mosque on the grounds of Victoria Park.

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19. Sierra Leone created several government institutions that are still in use today.

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20. NPRC Junta maintained relations with ECOWAS and strengthened support for Sierra Leone-based ECOMOG troops fighting in the Liberian war.

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21. In 2014, an Ebola virus epidemic in Sierra Leone began that widely affected the country, including forcing Sierra Leone to declare a state of emergency.

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22. In early August 2014 Sierra Leone cancelled league football matches because of the Ebola epidemic.

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23. Sierra Leone is located on the southwest coast of West Africa, lying mostly between latitudes 7° and 10°N, and longitudes 10° and 14°W.

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24. The current system of the Government of Sierra Leone is based on the 1991 Sierra Leone Constitution.

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25. The executive branch of the Government of Sierra Leone, headed by the president of Sierra Leone has extensive powers and influences.

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26. Supreme executive authority rests in the president and members of his cabinet and judicial power with the judiciary of which the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone is the head.

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27. Current president of Sierra Leone is former military junta leader Julius Maada Bio.

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28. Current members of the Parliament of Sierra Leone were elected in the 2012 Sierra Leone parliamentary election.

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29. The current acting chief justice of Sierra Leone is Desmond Babatunde Edwards.

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30. Sierra Leone is a member of the United Nations and its specialised agencies, the African Union, the African Development Bank, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

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31. President of Sierra Leone is the Commander in Chief of the military, with the Minister of Defence responsible for defence policy and the formulation of the armed forces.

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32. Law enforcement in Sierra Leone is primarily the responsibility of the Sierra Leone Police, which is accountable to the Minister of Internal Affairs (appointed by the president).

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33. Republic of Sierra Leone is composed of five regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Southern Province, the Eastern Province, and the Western Area.

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34. Since the end of hostilities in January 2002, massive infusions of outside assistance have helped Sierra Leone begin to recover.

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35. Two-thirds of the population of Sierra Leone are directly involved in subsistence agriculture.

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36. Sierra Leone is known for its blood diamonds that were mined and sold to diamond conglomerates during the civil war, to buy the weapons that fuelled its atrocities.

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37. The Lungi International Airport located in the coastal town of Lungi in Northern Sierra Leone is the primary airport for domestic and international travel to or from Sierra Leone.

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38. Sierra Leone appears on the EU list of prohibited countries with regard to the certification of airlines.

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39. The constitution of Sierra Leone provides for freedom of religion and the Sierra Leone Government generally protects it.

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40. Surveys of the religious make up of Sierra Leone vary widely, though Muslims make up the majority of the population.

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41. Loko in the north are native people of Sierra Leone, believed to have lived in Sierra Leone since the time of European encounter.

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42. Education in Sierra Leone is legally required for all children for six years at primary level and three years in junior secondary education, but a shortage of schools and teachers has made implementation impossible.

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43. CIA estimated that the average life expectancy in Sierra Leone was 57.39 years.

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44. AWC- Aberdeen Women's Centre in Freetown, the second busiest hospital in Sierra Leone, delivering up to 3000 babies each year.

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45. Water supply in Sierra Leone is characterised by limited access to safe drinking water.

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46. Stations mainly consist of local commercial stations with a limited broadcast range, combined with a few stations with national coverage – Capital Radio Sierra Leone being the largest of the commercial stations.

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47. United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone ran one of the most popular stations in the country, broadcasting programs in a range of languages.

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48. Arts in Sierra Leone are a mixture of tradition and hybrid African and western styles.

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49. Sierra Leone is the first African country to join the International Floorball Federation.

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