Sierra Leone Culture

Sierra Leone Economy and Culture

The Republic of Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa. It limits to the north with Guinea, to the southeast with Liberia and to the southwest with the Atlantic Ocean. Her name is an adaptation of the Portuguese version: Sera Lyoa, whose meaning was “Sierra / Montaña Leone”. During the 18th century it was an important slave trade center, inhabited by about six million residents. It is a country in which harsh conditions have been for many years one of the main problems when it comes to development. Freetown is the capital city of Sierra Leone according to allpubliclibraries.


Sierra Leone is the second poorest country in the world and also has a fairly uneven distribution of wealth. It has important mineral and fishing resources and agriculture to promote. However, the social and economic infrastructure is not highly developed, and various social problems continue to hamper economic development, after a 9-year civil war. About two-thirds of the working-age population lives from subsistence agriculture. The industry is reduced to the processing of raw materials and light industry aimed at the domestic market. The issuance of postage stamps, mainly intended for philatelic collecting, is also an important source of income for its economy.

There are plans to reopen the bauxite and rutile mines closed during the conflict. The largest source of foreign exchange for the country is the extraction of diamonds. In addition, as of August 2003, the country’s territorial waters, divided into seven blocks, were opened to hydrocarbon exploration. The future of the economy depends to a large extent on the success of these works, the maintenance of internal peace and the continued receipt of considerable foreign aid, which cannot be extended indefinitely.

In the primary sector, subsistence crops are distinguished, such as rice, cassava or corn; of those dedicated to export, coffee and cocoa stand out. Forest resources are large, allowing Sierra Leone to export high-quality timber. Livestock is scarce, unlike fishing, which occupies a large part of the population. The industry is based on the factories for the transformation of agricultural and forestry products, although there are also factories related to the resources of the subsoil, among which the iron and bauxite deposits stand out, and above all, those of diamonds and rutile (it is a titanium ore), of which Sierra Leone is the world’s leading producer.

The trade abroad is carried out with Western countries, especially the European Union, and has an unfavorable balance because of the need for food import, machinery and equipment, whose value can not be offset by the sale of coffee, wood, bauxite and diamonds. The national currency is the leone, whose contribution is approximately 40 per dollar in US. Communications are based on the 1,150 km of paved roads, of the more than 5,000 km that the road network has, and on the 600 km of navigable rivers throughout the year. There is an international airport in Freetown, which is also the main national seaport.


The culture of Sierra Leone has a mixture of African and English elements. The designation “Sierra Leone” dates back to 1462, when the Portuguese explorer Pedro da Cintra, sailing along the west coast of Africa, observed the prominent mountains that rose in what is now the Freetown Peninsula and the named “Serra Lyoa”. Later visits by English sailors and the English colonization changed the name to “Sierra Leone.” Despite a number of regional variations in language and traditions, current Sierra Leoneans are united by a number of factors, such as their lingua franca, Krio., the membership of men and women to various associations and societies and the practice of team sports.


Followers of Islam are estimated to comprise 77% of Sierra Leone’s population, according to UNHCR, “Report on International Religious Freedom in Sierra Leone.” These are the most recent data adopted by UNHCR. The Pew Research Center however estimates the population at 71.3%. Muslims predominate in all three provinces of the country and the western area, although formerly they were concentrated in the north with the south being mainly Christian. About 21% of the total population are followers of Christianity, and 2% of the population practice indigenous animistic beliefs. The Constitution of Sierra Leone is freedom of religion and the government generally protects this right and did not tolerate its abuse.

Ethnic group

The government of Sierra Leone officially recognizes the fourteen ethnic groups, each with its own language and customs. Unlike most African countries, Sierra Leone has no serious ethnic divisions and no serious religious divisions. People often married across tribal and religious boundaries. The largest and most dominant groups is the temne in 35% and 31% in Mende. The Temne predominate in the northern province and the western area. The Mende also predominate in the South-East provinces. The Mende, who are believed to be descendants of the mane, were originally found in the interior of Liberia. They began to move in Sierra Leone, little by little and peacefully in the 18th century.. The temne is believed to have come from Futa Jallon, which is located in present-day Guinea. Sierra Leone’s national centers, the politics of competition between the north-west of the country, dominated by the temne, and the south-east of the country dominated by the Mende.

The third largest ethnic group are the Limba at 8.5% of the population. The Limba are the natives of Sierra Leone. They do not have a tradition of origin and they have always lived in Sierra Leone since it was discovered. The Limba They are found mainly in northern Sierra Leone and are a close ally of the temne. First from Sierra Leone, President Siaka Stevens and the country under second President Joseph Saidu Momoh are from the Limba ethnic group. The fourth largest ethnic group are the Fula around the population, living mainly in the northeast and western part of Sierra Leone. The Fula are primarily merchants and many live in middle-class households. Due to their trade, Fulas are found practically everywhere in the country. Some notable ethnic Fula include the current president of Sierra Leone, Justice Umu Hawa Tejan Jalloh

The fifth largest ethnic group are the Mandingo at 7%. The Mandinga are found mainly in the east and north of the country, and are the largest resident of the big cities, especially Kabal and Falaba in Koinadugu District in the North District and Yengema, Kono in the east of the country. Some notable Mandinga include Sierra Leonean third, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, former Sierra Leonean Vice President Sorie Ibrahim Koroma and current Sierra Leonean Minister of Natural Resources Minkailu Mansaray. After the Mandingo, they are the Kono, who live mainly in the Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone. The Kono are descendants of Guinea. The Kono are mainly farmers and diamond miners.

Some notable Kono ethnicities include current Sierra Leonean vice president Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana and the first course Sierra Leonean lady Sia Koroma Nyama. Behind the Kono, are the Creoles found mainly in the capital city of Freetown and its western environs. Creole culture is different from that of other ethnic groups in Sierra Leone, and is typical of Western culture and ideals. Much smaller ethnic groups are the Kuranko, who are related to the Mandingo. The Kuranko are believed to have started arriving in Sierra Leone from Guinea around 1600. and settle in the north. The Loko in the north are native to Sierra Leone and have lived in Sierra Leone since it was discovered. The Susu and Yalunka in the far north, in the Kambia district around the border with Guinea are people, although they are both descendants of Guinea.

The Kissi and the much smaller Vai group are further inland in the Kailahun district in the East next to the Liberian border. On the coast of Bonthe District in the south are the Sherbro, who are native to Sierra Leone and have settled on Sherbro Island since its founding. In the past, Sierra Leoneans were noted for their educational achievements, business activity, entrepreneurial skills, and arts and crafts, particularly wood carving. Many are part of the large ethnic networks extending to several countries, linking West African states in the area. But the level of education and infrastructure has dropped dramatically in the last 30 years.


It is currently in the reconstruction phase, after the end of a decade-long Civil War in 2002, one more in Africa, a continent punished by inequality and wars that is beginning to enjoy a situation of peace that does not last long. little by little by all their countries. This country was born from the seed of freed slaves from African colonies that in the 18th century settled after their freedom here, not in vain the name of its capital is Freetown, which was born as a free city, although it soon became a colony British until 1961 when it achieved its independence.

Sierra Leone Culture