Sierra Leone Economy

Is Sierra Leone a wealthy country?

Sierra Leone's economy faced several challenges but also showed signs of resilience and potential for growth.

GDP and Growth: Sierra Leone is classified as a low-income country, heavily reliant on agriculture, mining, and other natural resources. Its GDP growth has been volatile in recent years, influenced by factors such as global commodity prices, political stability, and external aid. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy was showing signs of recovery, with GDP growth projected to be around 5-6% in 2020 and beyond.

Agriculture: Agriculture is a critical sector of the economy, employing the majority of the population and contributing significantly to GDP. The main agricultural products include rice, cassava, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, and various fruits and vegetables. However, the sector faces challenges such as low productivity, limited access to modern inputs and technology, and vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters.

Mining and Natural Resources: Sierra Leone is rich in mineral resources, including diamonds, rutile, bauxite, gold, and iron ore. Mining plays a significant role in the economy, contributing to government revenue and foreign exchange earnings. Efforts have been made to improve transparency and governance in the mining sector, although challenges remain in terms of sustainable resource management and equitable distribution of benefits.

Infrastructure and Energy: Sierra Leone faces significant infrastructure deficits, including inadequate road networks, limited access to electricity, and insufficient water and sanitation facilities. Improving infrastructure is essential for economic development and attracting investment in key sectors such as tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. Efforts are underway to expand access to energy through investments in renewable energy projects and infrastructure development.

Foreign Aid and Investment: Sierra Leone relies heavily on foreign aid and investment to finance development projects and support social services such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure. The government has pursued policies to attract foreign investment, particularly in sectors such as mining, agriculture, and tourism. However, challenges such as corruption, bureaucracy, and inadequate infrastructure have hindered investment inflows.

Social Challenges: Sierra Leone faces various social challenges, including high levels of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. Access to healthcare and education remains limited, particularly in rural areas. The country also continues to recover from the devastating effects of the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014-2016, which had significant economic and social impacts.

COVID-19 Pandemic: Like many countries, Sierra Leone has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted economic activities, led to job losses, and strained healthcare systems. Efforts to contain the spread of the virus have included lockdowns, travel restrictions, and vaccination campaigns, with varying degrees of success.

Sierra Leone Economy Data

What is the GDP of Sierra Leone?

Currency Name and Code Leone (SLL)
GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $13,150,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $4,266,000,000 (USD)
GDP - real growth rate -23.9%
GDP Per Capita $1,600.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 66.8%
GDP by Sector- Industry 3.4%
GDP by Sector- services 29.8%
GDP - composition, by end use household consumption: 87.5%

government consumption: 10.6%

investment in fixed capital: 15.6%

investment in inventories: 0.5%

exports of goods and services: 7.6%

imports of goods and services: -21.8%
Population Below Poverty Line 70.2%
Inflation Rate 11.7%
Labor Force 2,207,000
Fiscal Year calendar year
Annual Budget $96,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP -3%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 13.3%
Major Industries mining (diamonds); small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, cigarettes, footwear); petroleum refining
Agriculture Products rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish
Exchange Rate per US Dollar leone (SLL)
Child Labor - % of children ages 5-14 48%
Child Labor - # of children ages 5-14 573,287
Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate 20.5%

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Sierra Leone

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