Sierra Leone is a country located along the Atlantic Ocean in West Africa with its capital city in Freetown. It borders Guinea in the North East, Liberia in the South East and the Atlantic Ocean in the South West. The country covers a total surface area of 71,740km2.
Where is Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Population
Sierra Leone consists of 16 districts and 3 provinces. These are the Northern, Eastern and Southern provinces, and the Western area which hosts Freetown, the largest city and capital of the country. The population in the country is growing steadily over the decades. Census in the country takes place every 10 years. According to the last census which was held in 2015, the different provinces have different sizes in terms of area covered and the population. As of 2021, the country’s population is about 8,141,000 people, which is a 2.12% increase from 2020. It is projected that the population will increase by 2.10% by the end of 2022 bringing the total number to 8,306,436 people which includes 4,064,000 males (48.9%) and 4,077,000 females (51.1%). Furthermore, the country hosts more than 16 ethnic groups and different religious affiliations, predominantly Islam and christianity.
Activities that contribute to the economy in the country include agriculture, mining industry, tourism industry, transport industry among others. Agriculture is the major contributor to the economy as it contributes 58% to the GDP. This sector also provides the highest source of employment, as the entire population practices it. Crops such as cocoa, coffee, and rice are the main subsistence crops cultivated, with rice farming taking 80% of the entire workforce. With 80% of the entire country’s population practicing agriculture, the rate of unemployment in the country was 4.4% in 2019 but rose to 4.6% in 2020 and 2021. It is projected that this rate will lower to 4.4% in 2022 as most countries continue to work on measures to solve the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country is also known for mining of rutile and famously, diamond. Despite the sector being prestigious for any country, Sierra Leone struggles with exploitation and poor management of the sector which leaves a huge blow to the economy. However, the country is also known for its beautiful sandy beaches, natural reserves and mountains, and hence tourism contributes 4.9% to the country’s GDP.
Despite the country’s resources, 80% of the population still live below the full poverty line. Poor management of the country as well as the civil war that happened in the country, are the major factors that have contributed to destruction of the economy. Efforts however, are being made to revive the country with support from various humanitarian organizations.
Education in Sierra Leone
The government of Sierra Leone and the concerned stakeholders are still working to revive the educational system within the country. Currently, the country uses the 6-3-3-4 system, that is, 6 years in primary school, 3 years in the junior secondary, 3 years in the senior secondary school or technical vocational centers and 4 years at the university or tertiary institutions. National examinations are taken for admissions into secondary schools, senior secondary schools and universities.
Nonetheless, there are factors that derail the education sector in the country. This includes the allocation of fewer resources to the sector, shortage of facilities( such as labs) and cultural beliefs in the country that have affected the girl-child education. Furthermore, the illetratcy and poverty rates in the country have also led to the spread of child labor with 40% of children aged between 5 to 17 years doing hard labor jobs, mostly in the rural areas. With the government introducing free basic education to the students, it becomes more challenging for the parents to afford other expenses such as school uniforms, school materials and the transportation to the centers.
Technology Education Sierra Leone
Healthcare in Sierra Leone
Due to the poverty rates in the country, the majority of the people are unable to meet the medical care costs. Other major problems faced in the sector are lack of health facilities, inadequate skilled staff, lack of equipment and medicine, lack of resources to run the facilities among others.