The Development Of Sierre Leone. Essay

795 words - 3 pages

Sierra Leone was a British colony to which freed slaves returned in the late 1700's. They formed a social class which hardly mixed with the indigenous people.After Independence in 1961 government was corrupt and controlled the trade in diamonds and the profits. Little of the profit was shared out to the rest of the population.Since 1991 there has been a civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), who were dissatisfied with the government. It has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and over 2 million people being left homeless, many fleeing to neighboring countries. The UN became involved to try and bring peace, but progress has been slow. Poverty, war and violence has become such a big problem in Sierra Leone that living there is very hard and hopeless.In July 1999 all parties agreed to a cease-fire. But still less than a quarter of the militants have surrendered and few of the 10,000 children who were abducted during the war have been released. Sierra Leone is still a very dangerous place to live.(3)Population5,732,681Population growth rate2.94%ReligionsMuslim 60% Indigenous beliefs 30% Christian 10%LanguagesEnglish, Mende, Temne, KrioInfant mortality rate146.86 deaths/1000 live birthsLife expectancy at birth37.4 yearsHIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate7%People living with HIV/AIDS170,000Literacyfemale: 18.2%male: 45.4%total population: 31.4%Population under poverty line68%Currencyleone (SLL)GNP Per Capita(US$, 1997)$140Primary and Secondary Gross Enrolment Ratio (per 100, 1990-99)Female 29Male 43GDP per sectorAgriculture 49%Industry 31%Services 21%Child Malnutrition (% of children under 5)27%Population with access to safe water 34%Population per doctor20,000Population with access to sanitization11%The major exports are Diamonds, Rutile, Cocoa, Coffee and Fish. The main industries are Agriculture and Diamonds, although much of the potential wealth to be made from diamonds is taken away from the people of Sierra Leone due to illegal mining and smuggling.The major imports are food (live meat etc), machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants and chemicals.The main thing that is stopping development is the 11 year long civil war. The Lome peace agreement, signed in July '99, has ended fighting in most areas. A government of national unity was formed in October '99, and a programme of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) was started. The government has set a target to eliminate hunger by 2007. Their main policy is to do with food security. This means raising...

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