The Economy of Sierra Leone

The Economy of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leonean Economy

Economy - overview: Sierra Leone is an extremely poor nation with tremendous inequality in income distribution. While it possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, its physical and social infrastructure is not well developed, and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development. Nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. Manufacturing consists mainly of the processing of raw materials and of light manufacturing for the domestic market. Alluvial diamond mining remains the major source of hard currency earnings accounting for nearly half of Sierra Leone's exports. The fate of the economy depends upon the maintenance of domestic peace and the continued receipt of substantial aid from abroad, which is essential to offset the severe trade imbalance and supplement government revenues. The IMF has completed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility program that helped stabilize economic growth and reduce inflation. A recent increase in political stability has led to a revival of economic activity such as the rehabilitation of bauxite and rutile mining.


GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2008 est.) 6.4% (2007 est.) 7.4% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 49% industry: 31% services: 21% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 0.5% highest 10%: 43.6% (1989)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 62.9 (1989)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 1.369 million (1981 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $96 million expenditures: $351 million (2000 est.)

Industries: diamond mining; small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining, small commercial ship repair

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 250 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 232.5 million kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 0.7008 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - consumption: 8,430 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 432.3 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - imports: 8,271 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Agriculture - products: rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish

Exports: $216 million f.o.b. (2006)

Exports - commodities: diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish

Exports - partners: Belgium 49.3%, US 20.5%, Netherlands 4.5%, Canada 4.1% (2007)

Imports: $560 million f.o.b. (2006)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals

Imports - partners: Cote d'Ivoire 10%, China 10%, US 9.5%, UK 6.2%, Netherlands 5.1%, India 4.7% (2007)

Debt - external: $1.61 billion (2003 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: leones (SLL) per US dollar - NA (2007), 2,961.7 (2006), 2,889.6 (2005), 2,701.3 (2004), 2,347.9 (2003)

Fiscal year:

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