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Republic of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone location

Official language – English
Capital – Freetown
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 Mountains". Sierra Leone later became an important centre of the transatlantic trade in slaves until 11 March 1792 when Freetown was founded by the Sierra Leone Company as a home for former slaves enslaved from (or freed by) the British Empire. In 1808, Freetown became a British Crown Colony, and in 1896, the interior of the country became a British Protectorate. 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
National holiday – Independence Day, 27 April (1961) (from the United Kingdom)
Government type – Presidential republic

Bordered countries: Guinea (in the northeast), Liberia (in the southeast). It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest.

Area – 71,740 sq km
Natural resources: diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite

Population – 8 mln (2020, UNCTAD)
The demographics of Sierra Leone is made up of an indigenous population from 18 ethnic groups.
The Temne in the north and the Mende in the South are the largest.
About 60,000 are Krio, the descendants of freed slaves who returned to Sierra Leone from Great Britain, North America and slave ships captured on the high seas.
In addition, about 5,000 Lebanese, 1000 Indians, and 5,000 Europeans reside in the country.

In the past, Sierra Leoneans were noted for their educational achievements, trading activity, entrepreneurial skills, and arts and crafts work, particularly woodcarving. Many are part of larger ethnic networks extending into several countries, which link West African states in the area. However, the level of education and infrastructure has declined sharply over the last 30 years.
Temne 35%, Mende 31%, Limba 8%, Kono 5%, Kriole 2% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century; also known as Krio), Mandingo 2%, Loko 2%, other 15% (includes refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, and small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians) (2008 census)

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%)

Although English is the official language, spoken at schools, government administration and the media, Krio (derived from English and several indigenous African languages, the language of the Sierra Leone Krio people), is the most widely spoken language in virtually all parts of Sierra Leone. The Krio language is spoken by 90% of the country's population and unites all the different ethnic groups, especially in their trade and interaction with each other.

Muslim 60%, Christian 10%, indigenous beliefs 30%
Muslims predominate in all of the country's three provinces and the Western Area, though formerly they were concentrated in the north with the south being mainly Christian.

Calling code: 232