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Sierra Leone Coat of Arms
Sierra Leone Coat of Arms
Dr. Julius Maada Bio - President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
President Dr. Julius Maada Bio
Sierra Leone Flag
Sierra Leone National Flag


Sierra Leone is situated on the West coast of Africa bordering Liberia and Guinea. The name Sierra Leone dates back to 1462, when a Portuguese explorer, Pedro de Sintra sailed down the coast of West Africa and named the country “Serra Leoa”, in reference to the range of hills he saw. “Serra Leoa” meaning Lion Mountains. This later became known as Sierra Leone.


Sierra Leone is currently divided into five administrative regions namely; Southern region, Eastern region, Northern region, North-West region and Western Area (Urban and Rural).


There are 16 ethnic groups namely Mende, Temne, Limba, Loko, Kono, Kuranko, Yalunka, Susu, Madingo, Fula, Bullom/Sherbro, Kru, Vai, Gola, Kissi and Krio.


The Government of Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone government is divided into three arms- the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judiciary. These organs are independent of each other but relates through checks and balances as enshrined in the constitution.


The Legislative

Section 73, Subsections (1) and (3) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991 establish the Parliament of Sierra Leone as the Legislative Arm of the Government responsible for formulating and enacting laws. The current parliament, which is the sixth Parliament of the second Republic of Sierra Leone, comprises only the two major political parties. The ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) holds 81 seats, while the main opposition party, the All Peoples Congress (APC), holds 54 seats. Additionally, there are 14 Paramount Chief Members of Parliament elected from the 14 rural districts. Parliamentarians are elected for a five-year term as members of a political party or as independent candidates.


The Speaker leads the House of Parliament, presiding over parliamentary proceedings, while the Deputy Speaker assumes this role in the Speaker's absence. Parliament is typically dissolved at least 30 days and at most 90 days before general elections. The commencement of each parliamentary session is marked by the State-of-the-Nation Address from the President, who outlines the government’s achievements and plans to the Members of Parliament.


The Executive

The Executive arm is led by the President as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Sierra Leone. The President is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and the tenure of office is limited to two five-year terms. As Head of State, the President wields executive authority to appoint his Cabinet Ministers, and heads of parastatals. The executive formulates Government policies.


The current Cabinet consist of a Chief Minister and 28 sector Ministers assisted by 31 deputy Ministers. There are six Ministers of State, five serving as Resident Ministers for the Eastern, Southern, Northern, North-Western and Western regions; and one in the Office of the Vice President.


The Judiciary

The Judiciary arm of Government is headed by the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone. It comprises the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, Magistrate Court and Local Courts.


The Judiciary arm of Government is mandated to interpret and apply the laws of Sierra Leone and to administer justice to all within the boundaries of Sierra Leone. The Judiciary also provides alternative mechanisms for dispute resolution. Its independence from the other arms of Government is protected by the constitution.


The Supreme Court serves as the final court of appeal, extending jurisdiction over constitutional, criminal, and civil matters. The Court of Appeal only has an appellate jurisdiction to look into decisions of the High Court. The High Court is a court of first instance (you can initiate or commence proceedings in it) and it also has an appellate jurisdiction on decisions from the Magistrate Court. The Magistrate Courts are established in all districts across the country. The Local Courts are the lowest courts in the country and are based on local customs and traditions, with legal proceedings held by local elected leaders.


All Judges including the Chief Justice, are appointed by the President and subject to Parliamentary approval.

Brief History of Sierra Leone
Central Bank of Sierra Leone
Mid-Term Review
Non-Governmental Directory

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