SL is the abbreviation for Sierra Leone, the 117th largest country in the world. Officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone is a country located in West Africa, bordering 2 countries – Guinea and Liberia. Freetown is the capital city of Sierra Leone. Major cities include Freetown (population: 802,628), Bo (population: 174,343), Kenema (population: 143,126), Koidu (population: 87,989), Makeni (population: 87,668), Lunsar (population: 22,450), Port Loko (population: 21,297), Waterloo (population: 19,739), Kabala (population: 17,937), and Segbwema (population: 16,521).
- Capital: Freetown
- Language: English
- Area: 71,740 km2
- Population: 7,075,630
- Currency: Leone (SLL)
- Time zone: UTC+0
- Calling code: 232
- ISO 2-Letter Abbreviation: SL
- UN 3-Letter Abbreviation: SLE
- Internet TLD: .sl
- State Government Website: http://statehouse.gov.sl
List of Sierra Leone Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Sierra Leone are SL which stands for Sierra Leone and SLL which means Leone (Sierra Leone currency). In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Sierra Leone, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.
Located on the Atlantic coast, Sierra Leone has a long and low coastline with many lagoons, swamps and wide estuaries. In the south are low wooded hills and hills. In the east lies the Lombard Mountains, with the country’s highest peak, Loma Mensa, at 1945 m. Between the coast and the mountains we find grasslands, savannas and gently sloping hills, and through the land a number of rivers flow into the Atlantic. The climate is tropical hot and humid all year round. The country is West Africa’s wettest, and most of the rainfall falls during the rainy season between May and November. The driest months are from December to May.
The biggest environmental challenges in Sierra Leone are related to deforestation and harvesting of the rainforest. Since the 1980s, large areas of the original rainforest have been cut down to make way for pasture or for the sale of timber. Deforestation leads to extensive soil erosion, leaching of fertile soil, and increased pollution of water and rivers. The country’s savannah areas suffer from extensive overgrazing and poor sustainable agriculture. In addition, the fish stocks in the country have fallen sharply due to extensive and uncontrolled overfishing.
In ancient Sierra Leone the area consisted of several small kingdoms. The colonial power of Portugal came in the 14th century, and beyond the 1600s, the kingdoms became important markets for the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal’s slave trade across the Atlantic. When slavery was banned in the 19th century, Britain bought part of the coast and created a sanctuary for freed slaves. The area was named “Freetown” (the free city) and is still the nation’s capital. The free slaves came back from North America and came from all over West Africa. The language and culture that emerged in the free colony was a mixture of American, British and all the different cultures and languages the freed slaves originated from.
After World War I, a political movement emerged among the mixed population, and in 1961 the country became independent from the United Kingdom. After independence, the country was characterized by political turmoil, coup and dictatorship. The situation gradually worsened until the 1990s, when a civil war broke out. The Civil War became a humanitarian crisis, and lasted until 2001, when the United Nations, the United Kingdom, the West African Economic Community and the African Unity Organization (later the African Union) managed to force a ceasefire.
Society and politics
After the civil war, in which over 50,000 were killed, a court was established with the support of the UN, which conducted a judicial settlement. There, key members of the former regime were accused of serious war crimes, crimes against humanity, murder and recruitment of child soldiers. The election held in 2002 was the first free elections in Sierra Leone since independence.
Today, the country is a republic where the president is both head of state and government, and the military commander-in-chief. The president is elected every five years and can only be re-elected once. The government is appointed by the president. The legislative power lies with a parliament. Parliament is elected every five years and consists of 112 elected representatives, and 12 governors from the districts.
After several years of political stability and progress, a major outbreak of Ebola disease in 2014 led to new disorders, death and instability. Nearly 4,000 people died and more than 12,000 were infected with the disease. Child mortality is high, life expectancy is low, and health services are few and poorly developed. Women are often oppressed in society, and the widespread poverty strikes women and children especially hard.
Economics and Commerce
Sierra Leone could be a rich country because of many natural resources. However, widespread poverty, war, poor economic governance and the eruption of the Ebola have made the country one of Africa’s least economically developed. During the 1990s, the country was ranked as the world’s least socially and economically developed. After the war, the economy had grown, before the Ebola outbreak in 2014 led to a new decline. Today, agriculture is the mainstay of the population’s economy. Mainly, agriculture is run for its own consumption and contributes little to the state’s economy. The largest revenue for the state comes from mineral extraction and exports. Diamonds, gold, iron ore, titanium, aluminum and salt are the most important export goods.
Today, more than 50 percent of the population lives in absolute poverty. Many of the resources are mined and exported illegally, or smuggled out of the country without providing any revenue to the state. The income from the legally exported resources is also vulnerable to fluctuations in mineral prices on the world market. In addition, corruption, poor infrastructure and a lack of financial control will prevent stable economic growth.