The Economic Problems of Sierra Leone

Topics: Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, Temne people Pages: 5 (1679 words) Published: August 30, 2010
Sierra Leone or the Republic of Sierra Leone is West African country that borders to the north and east with Guinea, to the southeast with Liberia, and to the west and southwest with Atlantic Ocean. It is a beautiful country with white sand beaches, orange and coconut trees all around, and people of good hearts; however Sierra Leone or Sa Lone in its native language, Krio, has been underdeveloped and was struggling for many years to gain its independence as a British Colony. Even thou, now Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic and got its independence 49-years ago, the country has been struggling with rebellious forces called Revolutionary United Force, and the corrupted government. Now, Sierra Lone is facing not only economic issues as one of the poorest nation in Africa, but also political issues that are triggered by years of the civil war and violence under Joseph Saidu Momoh, who was the President at the time, as well as social events that took an enormous lead on the country today’s situation. I would like to present the nature of underdevelopment of Sierra Leone based on economic issues such as: high poverty, economic dependence on advanced countries, and underdevelopment of industrialization and infrastructure because of the corrupt government.

First, the economic underdevelopments of Third Word countries are characterized by: high poverty, high birthrates, and increasing population on small land-areas (Chaliand). Based on Sierra Leone’s Biodiversity and the Civil War Document, Sierra Leone’s poverty belongs to one of the highest among all African countries with 57% living on less than $1 dollar/day and 74% living on less than $2 dollars/day. While high poverty is a huge issue to Sierra Leoneans, high illiteracy (35% and low life expectancy (42 years for both sexes) are directly connected to the living standards in the country and equally affect one another ( Earth Trends The Environmental Information Portal). With rising poverty, diminishing resources such as: money, the number of illiterate adults increases, as well as the life expectancy decreases because of the lack of proper nutrition, high rate of HIV/AIDS, and deadly disease-malaria, “which accounts for almost 40 per cent of all deaths of children under five. It is a shocking statistic, especially considering that malaria is both preventable and curable. But the government of Sierra Leone cannot afford the vast sums needed to tackle the real sources of the disease – such as dirty water because of the lack of money” (Country Profile: Sierra Leone, 2010). Continuing, with high poverty that is affected by underdeveloped economy, the number of births is rapidly increasing. Sierra Leone is ranked number 5 among all countries around the world with 45 births/ 1000 population comparing to the U.S. with only 14 births/1000 population (People Statistics: Birth Rate by Country). This high birthrate is due to a lack of protection, high price of contraceptive pills that women cannot afford, lack of free sex-education programs, and enormous rate of rapes especially during the civil war. Moreover, the population of Sierra Leone was estimated in 2000 to be roughly 5.2 million, with 2.5 million people who have been displaced as refugees, mostly to Guinea and Liberia and the capitol, Freetown, was estimated at over 1.2 million in 1994 ( Sierra Leone). With increasing population of Sierra Leone, the cities are so congested because of the effect of the civil war that made people who lived in rural areas to come to big cities and look for the government protection from the rebels. Based on those facts, Sierra Leone as a small country with increasing population is facing many economic issues that led the country to be underdeveloped and depended on more advanced countries.

In fact, Sierra Leone belongs to underdeveloped Third World Countries, the economic underdevelopment is very visible and the country has been geared to the needs of industrialized countries, they...

References: Country Profile: Sierra Leone. (2010, January 28). Retrieved August 20, 2010, from BBC News,
Chaliand, G. (n.d.). Third World Traveler. Retrieved August 18, 2010, from
Earth Trends: The Envirnomental Information Portal. (n.d.). Retrieved August 18, 2010, from
People Statistics: Birth Rate by Country. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2010, from NationMaster,
President Koroma’s Speech to Parliament. (2009, October 12). Retrieved August 15, 2010,
Sierra Leone. (n.d.). Retrieved August 20, 2010, from Encyclopedia of the Nations, Sierra Leone - Location and size, Population, Manufacturing, Services, Tourism, Financial services
Sierra Leone to Reduce Dependency on Foreign Aid. (n.d.),(2009, August 17). Retrieved August 17, 2010, from Daily Mail,
Sierra Leone’s Common Enemies: Poverty and Underdevelopment (2010, August 16). Retrieved August 15, 2010, from Sierra Express Media,
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