COUNTRYAAH, Sierra Leone is primarily an agricultural country, but to
a large extent production is for local consumption. Primary
industries employ around 60 per cent of the population,
service provision 33 per cent and industry 6.5 per cent
(2017). Large parts of the country are scarcely accessible
due to lack of infrastructure, which also hampers the
utilization of the country's considerable natural resources,
including forests and mineral reserves.
The country has major mineral deposits, especially the
extraction and export of rutile, bauxite and diamonds. Gold
and salt are also extracted. Oil has been detected offshore.
Primary industries accounted for 71.1 per cent of Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016. The industry is
underdeveloped and largely destroyed during the Civil War.
It includes most processing of agricultural products for
local consumption. The industry accounts for 7.9 per cent of
GDP (2016). The service industries comprise 21 per cent of
Sierra Leone is basically one of Africa's economic
least-developed countries, despite the fact that the country
is rich in resources. The situation worsened during the
civil war in the 1990s, which had far-reaching negative
consequences for the country's economy, and inflicted great
damage on every part of society. Not least, many were
displaced from their homes, many others mutilated for life -
and the material destruction was likewise extensive. Large
parts of the production industry stopped for several years,
including large parts of the food production and mining
industry, which generate income in foreign currency. Even
before the war, Sierra Leone was one of the least socially
and economically developed countries, with very low average
life expectancy. During the war was landed by the UN ranked
as the least economically and socially least developed
country in the world. After the end of the war in 2001, the
Mining and energy
Sierra Leone has significant mineral deposits,
particularly the extraction and export of rutile (titanium
dioxide), bauxite and diamonds. Sierra Leone has the world's
largest deposits of titanium dioxide. Rutile and bauxite
production stopped completely during the war, while diamond
mining continued - as the main source of funding for the
rebels. In the 1960s and 1970s, diamond exports were the
main source of revenue for Sierra Leone; Since then, the
Treasury has become less and less as much of the production,
which is partly illegally extracted, has been smuggled out
of the country. A 2000 report particularly accused Liberia
and Ivory Coast to be transit country for large quantities
of Sierra Leone diamonds. A UN embargo on rough diamonds
from Sierra Leone was implemented in 2000–2003.
Some gold and salt are also extracted. The formerly
important iron ore extraction was discontinued in 1985.
The energy is mainly produced from heat power plants that
use imported fuels. Oil deposits have been found offshore.
Sierra Leone is fertile, and 60 percent of the population
is employed in agriculture, which is essentially run as a
small farm with a low degree of mechanization. It is mainly
produced for own and local consumption. The most important
food crop is rice, then millet and sorghum. It also grows
corn, bananas, sweet potato and more. Production does not
meet the domestic need. Coffee, cocoa, palm kernels and
piassava are grown for export, but export production stopped
during the war, which also forced many farmers away from
their farms. Cattle keeping is important, especially in the
north. Otherwise, sheep, goats and poultry are kept.
Nearly 30 per cent of the total area is forest, and most
of the logging goes to fuel. Commercial exploitation of the
forests is hindered by inadequate transport.
The fish stocks in the sea are also not fully utilized,
and national fishing is carried out by artisanal fishermen.
Foreign trawlers have been fishing for a license for many
years and it has been a not insignificant thief, with
over-taxation as a result. Fisheries have also suffered
during the civil war. Two-thirds of catches are taken
offshore, one-third in freshwater.
Sierra Leone's industrial sector is underdeveloped, and
is mainly based on the processing of agricultural products -
for local consumption. Much of the industry was destroyed
during the Civil War.
Minerals traditionally account for most of the country's
export revenue, but mining and legal exports ceased
practically in the second half of the 1990s because of the
war; before it started up again around 2000. Rutil is the
most important export product. Otherwise, diamonds, coffee
and cocoa are exported. Sierra Leone traditionally has large
trade deficits and is dependent on foreign aid.
Transport and Communications
The country's infrastructure is poorly developed. There
are about 11,300 kilometers of roads, mostly in the coastal
areas. Only a small part has a fixed deck. The historically
important narrow-gauge railway Freetown – Pendembu was
closed down in 1967, the rest of 1974 and 1985. Freetown has
a nice natural harbor and international airport in Lungi in
the northeast. Much of the transport network expired during