Preface Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:31 AM
"Sierra Leone" means "Lion Mountains" in Portuguese. Portuguese
navigator Pedro da Cintra used these words to describe the
spectacular mountain crests rising 3,000 feet from the sea on the
peninsula where Freetown was later established. This is the only
point on the West African coast where mountains meet the sea.
About 400 settlers from Britain, about 300 freed African slaves
and 100 English poor, established the "Province of Freedom"
settlement in 1787, financed by a British charity. These settlers
were joined by American liberated slaves who gained their freedom by
fighting with British forces during the American War of
Independence. Other settlers were Africans freed by the British Navy
from slave ships captured on the high seas following the British
abolition of the slave trade in 1808. Over time, Freetown developed
a distinctive culture, known as "Krio," blending European, North
American, West Indian and coastal West African influences. The
settlement assumed control of the interior as a British Protectorate
After World War II, self-government was gradually established in
Sierra Leone, leading to independence on April 27, 1961. After an
initial period of multiparty politics, the All People's Congress and
its leader, Siaka Stevens, imposed a one-party constitution in 1978.
Gross corruption and steadily declining government services and
infrastructure marked the period of one-party rule. In 1991, under
President Momoh, a new multi-party constitution was adopted. That
same year saw the initial attacks by the Revolutionary United Front
(RUF), led by Foday Sankoh. Momoh was overthrown in 1992 by junior
army officers calling themselves "the National Provisional Ruling
Council." The NPRC ruled Sierra Leone until April 1996 when
elections were held. The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), led by
Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, won the presidency.
The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), led by Lt. Col.
Johnny Paul Koroma, overthrew the SLPP government in May 1997.
Koroma invited the RUF to enter Freetown and join his government.
President Kabbah went into exile in Conakry, Guinea. The AFRC-RUF
remained in power for 10 months until ousted by the Nigerian-led
Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG).
President Kabbah was reinstated in March 1998. On January 6, 1999
the RUF launched an offensive against Freetown, capturing the
eastern half of the city from ECOMOG. The RUF looted and destroyed
much of eastern Freetown before withdrawing after three weeks.
President Kabbah and Foday Sankoh, signed the Lome Peace Accords
in July 1999. Under the accords, the government and the RUF were to
end armed conflict, allow the RUF to transform into a political
party and to submit to a Joint Monitoring Commission. The UN
Security Council established a peacekeeping force, UNAMSIL, to help
implement the agreement. The RUF repeatedly violated the Lome
Accord, culminating in the taking hostage of 500 UNAMSIL
peacekeeping troops in May 2000. A few days later, RUF gunmen shot
20 demonstrators outside the home of Foday Sankoh. Shortly
thereafter RUF representatives were ousted from government positions
and Foday Sankoh was arrested.
In June 2000, the government asked the U.N. to set up a Special
Court for Sierra Leone. This court was given a mandate to prosecute
persons who "bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations
of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed
in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996." In January
2002, after completion of a disarmament and demobilization program,
the conflict was officially proclaimed over. The most peaceful
elections in the country's history were held in May 2002. President
Kabbah prevailed with 70% of the vote and the SLPP won a large
majority in Parliament. The next presidential elections are
scheduled to be held in May 2007.
Sierra Leone is recovering from decades of political instability,
gross corruption, and a ten-year civil war. Sierra Leoneans are
hopeful that peace will prevail and provide the foundation for
The Host Country
Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Roughly circular in shape, Sierra Leone has an area of 29,925
square miles; about the size of South Carolina. It is located on the
West African coast between 7 and 10 degrees north of the Equator.
Guinea borders Sierra Leone to the north and east. Liberia lies to
the south. The Atlantic Ocean borders on the west.
Three main topographical regions run northwest to southwest,
roughly parallel to the coast: a belt of mangrove swamps and white
sand beaches, an area of low plains covered with secondary forest
and cultivated land, and an easternmost region of high plateaus and
mountains, some rising as high as 6,000 feet. The mountainous
peninsula on which Freetown is located comprises a fourth distinct
The tropical climate has rainy and dry seasons, high
temperatures, and almost constant humidity. The rainy season extends
from May to November but is heaviest between July and September,
when over half of the annual rainfall occurs. In Freetown, annual
rainfall is 150 inches or more; inland areas receive less. The
beginning and end of the rainy season are marked by frequent strong
electrical storms, similar to those occurring during the hot summer
months in the eastern U.S. Coastal temperatures during the rainy
season range from a daily high of about 80°F. to a nightly low of
Relative humidity in Freetown rarely falls below 80%, except when
the harmattan reaches the coast. This current of dry, dusty air
flows from the Sahara Desert toward the south and west, usually
reaching Sierra Leone in December. During this season, which lasts
through February, Freetown experiences its coolest weather.
Because of the climatic conditions, insects abound and mildew can
be a problem. Flies, ants and cockroaches are nuisances, however
lizards are also plentiful and help to keep them in check. Snakes
abound, some of them poisonous. Take precautions to protect leather
goods, clothing, linens, and books from mildew and metals from
Population Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Sierra Leone's population is estimated at under five million,
with an annual increase of about 4%. Population density is highest
in the western capital area of Sierra Leone and lowest in the remote
northern and eastern sections of the country. Freetown is the
capital, and the commercial and education center.
Sierra Leone is one of the more densely populated countries in
West Africa. The population consists of about 20 ethnic groups, each
with its own language and customs. The two largest ethnic groups,
the Mende and the Temne, are about equal in number and comprise
about 60% of the country's population. About 1% of the population is
Krio, descendants of freed slaves who came to Freetown from the West
Indies, Great Britain, North America, and slave ships captured on
the high seas. Their language is the lingua franca of Sierra Leone.
Mende is the principal vernacular in the south and Temne in the
north. Other components of Sierra Leone's citizenry originate from
Lebanon, Pakistan, India and various West African states (Guinea,
Nigeria, Liberia, etc.). English is the official language.
Islam is the predominant religion of the country, practiced by
about 60% of the population. About 30% of Sierra Leoneans follow
Christianity. The remaining 10% of the population observe
traditional African religions. It is common for followers of both
Islam and Christianity to retain many elements of indigenous
religious beliefs. Islam is strongest in the Northern Province;
Christianity, although numerically small, is influential in the
Southern Province and in the Freetown area, where Christian missions
have been active for well over 100 years.
Many Krio customs, which partially derive from Victorian England,
are similar to those of Western cultures. Tribal customs, however,
differ greatly from cultural patterns encountered in the U.S. Secret
organizations, such as the women's Bundu and the men's Poro
societies, play an important role in tribal life. Strong extended
family structures are frequently comprised of multiple wives and
Attire may differ dramatically between the urban and rural areas
of Sierra Leone. Many people in Freetown wear western clothing from
Monday through Thursday of the workweek. However, it is common to
see men and women wearing African styles on Fridays and the
weekends. In rural communities, women often wear only a tie-dyed
cloth, or lapa, tied around their waists; children are scantily
Public Institutions Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:33 AM
Sierra Leone is a republic with an executive president and a
multi-party system of government. The Freetown Peninsula, which
together with Sherbro Island comprised the former colony, is now
called the Western Province. The rest of the country, formerly known
as the Protectorate, is divided into three provinces, the Northern,
the Southern and the Eastern. These provinces are made up of 12
districts and 149 chiefdoms.
The basic unit of local government is the paramount chief and
council elders. There are also elected council members and mayors in
Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni. Resident Ministers serve in the
capitals of the Eastern, Northern and Southern provinces.
The judiciary consists of a Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, High
Court, Magistrate's Courts, and local courts having jurisdiction in
certain customary (tribal) law cases.
Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
When Sierra Leone achieved its independence from Britain in 1961,
it had the finest education system in English-speaking West Africa.
However, the subsequent years of government corruption and civil
unrest caused serious deterioration in the educational system. The
current literacy rate is estimated at only 30%. The country is in
the process of rebuilding its education infrastructure. Many rural
areas have been without institutions for formal education since the
early 1990s. The country's university and its colleges are
struggling to rebuild.
The country's intellectual life still centers on the University
of Sierra Leone. The university's Fourah Bay College, founded in
1827 by Anglican missionaries and situated on Mount Aureol high
above Freetown, is the oldest English-language tertiary institution
in West Africa. The university includes four faculties and five
Njala University College, with faculties of agriculture and
education, is a part of the University of Sierra Leone. The college
was formed on the U.S. land grant college principle, and originally
located in Njala about 130 miles from Freetown. The campus was
destroyed during the civil war. The faculty and students have
relocated to Freetown until the Njala facilities are restored.
Sierra Leone has six teacher-training colleges. Some of the
provincial teacher-training colleges have relocated to Freetown
until its home locations are restored and available for classes.
Sierra Leone is known for its weaving, tie-dying (gara) and
carving. The National Museum is open to the public and displays
local artifacts. Many shops and markets in Freetown sell local
Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:35 AM
Seventy percent of Sierra Leone's people derive their livelihood
from agriculture. Important crops include rice, cassava, bananas,
plantains, palm kernels, coffee, and cocoa.
As of 2002, foreign aid contributes seventy percent of the Sierra
Leone government's budget. Since 2002 the U.N.has listed Sierra
Leone as the lowest ranked country on its Human Development Index (HDI).
The HDI measures the well-being of a country's citizenry in terms of
life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income.
Sierra Leone is a member of the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS). In March of 2002, the Bank of Sierra Leone
announced the official participation of the Leone in the West
African Monetary Zone (WAMZ). This mechanism pegs the currencies of
The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone to the U.S.
dollar, allowing a fluctuation of 15%. This is intended to lead to a
common currency for ECOWAS.
The mining sector plays a significant role in the economy of the
country. Mineral resources include diamonds, gold, rutile, bauxite
and iron ore. Sierra Leone has a large deposit of alluvial diamonds
that the government has historically struggled to control. Smuggling
has long been a common practice. Estimates put official revenue from
diamonds at only ten percent of actual output. Sierra Leone has the
world's largest known reserve and highest grade of natural rutile.
Automobiles Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:37 AM
American employees assigned to Freetown are authorized to ship
privately owned vehicles to post. A vehicle is a necessity in
Freetown. Freetown streets are narrow and pot holed. Many streets
are in serious need of repair. Heavy rainfall from May through
November may cause roads to become temporarily flooded and
hazardous. There are few sidewalks and many pedestrians. There are
many one way streets. As in the U.S., driving is on the right-hand
side of the road.
American-style service stations sell gasoline and diesel. Mission
personnel can also buy fuel duty free through the embassy. Since
high-octane gas and unleaded gasoline is not available, do not bring
cars with high compression engines or catalytic converters. A high
clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended due to the poor
condition of the roads. Procurement of local liability insurance is
required for all American employees of the U.S. Mission.
Servicing and spare parts are quite difficult to obtain for
American vehicles. Servicing is available for most European and
Japanese vehicles, however spare parts are expensive and can be
difficult to acquire. Manual transmission vehicles with limited
electrical components are easiest to maintain. Bring a basic supply
of spare parts, including extra fuel, air and oil filters, belts,
spark plugs, and tires.
Local Transportation Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Public transportation is available in the form of taxis and
mini-buses. However, it is recommended that Embassy personnel not
utilize these services due to safety and security concerns. Instead,
the mission maintains a list of car-hire firms which, while more
expensive, offer safer and more reliable transport.
Taxis operate in the city and surrounding area but cannot be
summoned by telephone. They operate on a point to point routing
system and pick up passengers along the way. There is a standard
fare for each point within the city and a fare for longer rides
outside city limits. Fares are determined by the Ministry of
Transportation and announced on the radio periodically. Passengers
should be wary, as taxi drivers are known to charge higher fees.
Some taxi drivers will provide dropoff service for double the
standard fare. For multiple destinations or longer journeys, a taxi
may be leased at a negotiated hourly rate.
Mini-buses are also available. They have standard routes within
the city and outside city limits. The Ministry of Transportation
sets the standard fares. Mini-buses also depart from Freetown for
the provinces but service is not reliable.
Regional Transportation Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:41 AM
Helicopter, hovercraft and ferry services are available in
connection with most major regional flights to transport passengers
from Lungi International Airport to Freetown. The ferries can be
overcrowded and unsafe. Travelers should check with the embassy
travel office before using the above means of transport.
There is no direct commercial air service between the U.S. and
Sierra Leone. SN Brussels Airlines provides direct flights to Sierra
Leone from Brussels twice per week. Other airlines provide service
to the U.S. and Europe via destinations in Africa.
Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:43 AM
The embassy is equipped with the International Voice Gateway (IVG)
system. This system provides access to the Department of State's PBX
that connects Washington, D.C. metropolitan offices with embassies
overseas. Calls can be made on the IVG toll-free from the Chancery
to the Washington, D.C. area and to any U.S. domestic toll-free
number. For official business, it is possible to call locations in
the U.S. outside of the Washington, D.C. area by using the IVG to
access a commercial long distance carrier. The long distance carrier
will bill these calls as U.S. domestic long distance calls
originating from Washington, D.C.
Local telephone service is installed at all embassy residences.
At some residences the service has not been available for months at
a time. Telephone service is poor and can be unreliable during heavy
rains. International calls can be made directly but service is
limited by the service provider's system constraints.
Wireless Service Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:44 AM The embassy
provides each American employee with a portable radio and a mobile
telephone for communication within Freetown. Mobile telephone
service is available in some localities throughout Sierra Leone.
Embassy vehicles are equipped with HF radios that provide
communications for upcountry travel.
Internet Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:46 AM
The embassy has installed the Open Net Plus connectivity system.
This system provides access both to the Department of State's
intranet and to the Internet. Internet connectivity through Open Net
Plus is much faster and far more reliable that that offered by local
Internet service providers.
It is possible to obtain internet service at embassy residences.
However, the local internet service providers are limited and,
compared with U.S. standards, the service is costly, extremely slow
and unreliable. There are plans to provide wireless internet service
to all residences on a cost recovery basis.
Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:48 AM
The American Embassy Freetown does not have access to military
APO/FPO facilities. U.S. Government personnel assigned to Freetown
may use the diplomatic pouch to receive personal letter mail,
magazines, catalogs, and packages. Shipment of liquids and glass,
except prescription medicines, is prohibited. Incoming packages must
weigh no more than 40 pounds. Dimensions of packages may not exceed
24 inches in length nor 62 inches in length and girth combined.
Non-liquid prescription medicines, prescription eyeglasses, hearing
aid and batteries, prosthetic devices, orthopedic shoes, or other
items needed on an emergency basis for health and welfare should be
Outgoing mail privileges are limited to ordinary letter mail,
which may not exceed 2 pounds, including letters, cassettes,
videotapes, CD/DVDs photographic prints and processed slides.
Personal merchandise being returned to the manufacturer of a mail or
internet-order item may be mailed if clearly marked "Returned
Merchandise." Applicable U.S. postage (first class) must be applied
to letters and packages. Purchase of U.S. postage is not available
in country and must be purchased prior to arrival or via the
internet. The State Department's address for personal (NOT official)
diplomatic pouch mail is:
Name of individual 2160 Freetown Place Dulles, VA 20189-2160
The State Department's diplomatic pouch generally takes 7-14 days
(often longer) to reach Freetown once the pouch is closed in the
U.S. The pouch to the U.S. from Freetown goes out once a week via
commercial cargo and arrives in Washington, DC usually within 10
Eligible family members may also receive mail via diplomatic
pouch; however, the employee's name must appear as the second line
of the address on all correspondence.
Name of family member Name of individual 2160 Freetown Place
Dulles, VA 20189-2160
U.S. Postal Service regulations prohibit the use of registry and
insurance services for mail and parcels sent via the diplomatic
pouch. Advise your correspondents, mail, and internet-order houses
It is expensive to send packages to the U.S. from post. Surface
mail from the U.S. to Sierra Leone is unreliable and potentially
subject to tariffs. DHL service is available but expensive. Mail
service in country does not function regularly.
Radio and TV Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:51 AM
Sierra Leone has the oldest radio broadcasting service in
English-speaking West Africa. Currently there are nine stations
operating in Freetown that provide a variety of music and talk shows
in English and Krio. Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS)
currently has one local television channel that broadcasts daily
from 6 PM until 12 AM.
Mission personnel can install satellite TV at government-leased
housing. Satellite service cost is higher to that of the U.S. A
variety of programming, including CNN and BBC news, movies and music
channels are provided.
All mission residences receive AFN.
Multisystem television and video equipment is necessary in Sierra
Leone. American televisions will not be able to receive local
Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated:
2/28/2003 6:00 PM
There are a plethora of local daily newspapers available in
Freetown. Most are independently run, highly partisan and less than
20 pages in length. Local papers routinely contain many errors and
false statements. All lack comprehensive international coverage.
A limited number of American and British publications, including
international editions of newspapers, are available, but delivery is
A limited supply of new and used books is available for purchase
locally, but avid readers should bring their own supply. Employees
may also borrow from the supply of paperback and hardcover books
available at the Chancery and Guest Quarters. The British Council
has a lending library. The National Library has books available for
both adults and children in a variety of local and foreign
languages. The American School has an extensive library for children
through grade 6.
Health and Medicine
Medical Facilities Last Updated: 6/29/2005 5:54 AM
Freetown has four large hospitals-Connaught General Hospital
(undergoing remodeling), Christian Maternity Hospital, Children's
Hospital, and Choithram Hospital. Choithram Hospital is currently
run by UNAMSIL until December 2005 but not available to civilians.
It is the preferred facility for Embassy personnel. Medical
facilities in Sierra Leone fall critically short of US standards in
equipment, hygienic standards and staff. Medicine is in short
supply. Sterility of equipment is questionable. Treatment is limited
and unreliable. Many primary health care workers, especially in
rural areas, lack professional training. Many medical problems
require evacuation to the U.S. or Europe for treatment. The regional
medical officer has authorized evacuation of pregnant women for
Qualified physicians and dentists practice in Freetown, but
without basic diagnostic and treatment facilities, they are
considerably handicapped. Have all medical, dental, and ocular work
done before you arrive. The regional medical officer visits Freetown
quarterly. Mission personnel are served by a Foreign Service Health
Practitioner and a locally-engaged registered nurse. Immunizations
and basic medical supplies are available through the Embassy Health
Unit. Personnel with special requirements should contact the post
before departure to make sure that their needs can be met.
Community Health Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Water shortages occur in Freetown, especially in the dry season
when the water level in local reservoirs drops below normal. All
U.S. Government-based housing is equipped with water storage tanks
that are filled by the Embassy's water truck. Water distillers are
installed in all Mission residences. Distilled water is safe for
drinking. Although Freetown water is treated, it is recommended that
tap water be boiled for at least 3 minutes and filtered prior to
usage. Fluoride is not added to the drinking water.
For most of Freetown, the sewage disposal system is below
standard. Open drainage ditches running throughout the town are
breeding places for insects and can flood when outlets are plugged
or covered by debris. All U.S. Government-leased quarters have
Health hazards include inadequate practices governing the
inspection, storage and sale of food and the lack of health and
sanitation consciousness on the part of many cooks and stewards.
Vigilance and constant attention to good practices is strongly
Preventive Measures Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Major communicable diseases are malaria, measles, typhoid,
hepatitis, diarrhetic diseases, influenza, cholera, lassa fever,
meningitis and HIV/AIDS. During the rainy season, fungus and other
skin disorders are more prevalent. Intestinal upsets are common.
Employees assigned to Sierra Leone should consult with a medical
professional regarding appropriate malaria prophylaxis and the
necessary pre-departure, in-country and post-departure regimen.
Chloroquine resistant malaria is prevalent in Sierra Leone.
Inoculation against cholera, meningitis, polio, rabies, tetanus,
typhoid fever, and yellow fever are recommended. For additional
information, please consult with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov). Rabies is prevalent in Sierra
Leone, so vaccinate your pets.
All fruits and vegetables available locally can be eaten but
should be either cooked or disinfected with a 5% bleach and 95%
water solution if they cannot be peeled. Mosquito netting is
recommended if windows are opened. Additionally, U.S. government
personnel are advised to wear long sleeves, pants and socks, and
apply insect repellant when entertaining outdoors in the evening.
Not only is malaria a concern, but also bites that are scratched
become infected easily in the tropical climate.
Machine dry and iron all clothes, bedding and towels to avoid
Tumbu fly infestation. The Tumbu fly lays eggs on damp surfaces like
sand and wet cloth, from where the young larvae enter the skin.
Washers and dryers are provided to all American U.S. Government
personnel. Shoes must be worn outdoors to protect the feet from
worms and bacteria that can enter the body through small cuts or
abrasions. Sunscreen and insect repellant are required throughout
In order to remain healthy while traveling upcountry, embassy
personnel need to be especially vigilant. Contaminated water
supplies, poor sanitation and hygiene contribute to the spread of
communicable diseases. Lassa fever is still a health concern in the
northern and eastern provinces. Trip preparation should include
consideration of potable water and food supplies as well as insect
repellant and mosquito netting.
Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 6/29/2005
The policy of the Mission is to make every effort to assist adult
family members in finding employment opportunities. Those interested
in employment are encouraged to contact the management officer prior
to arrival, providing as much information as possible on skills and
previous experience. Applicants for positions within the Mission are
selected on the basis of education, experience, and suitability.
Most positions require that a family member be an American citizen
at the time of their employment.
Additional employment opportunities may be available in the
private sector, such as teaching English, teaching at the American
International School of Freetown, or with private companies and
American Embassy - Freetown
Post City Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Freetown is located at the northern tip of a large, mountainous
peninsula in the Western Province. Surrounded by high, picturesque
wooded hills, the city also has the world's third-largest natural
harbor. White sand beaches, tropical vegetation and 19th century
wood-gabled and -latticed houses lend Freetown its own unique
setting. The great Cotton Tree at the hub of the city was already a
landmark when the first settlers arrived in 1787.
The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:04 AM
The U.S. Embassy is in Freetown. The Chancery, built in the
mid-1960s, is an air-conditioned building located at the corner of
Siaka Stevens and Walpole Streets, across from the historic Cotton
Tree. A New Embassy Compound (NEC) is under construction with
expected occupancy in July 2006. The Defense Attaché and USAID
offices are located in the Chancery. Office hours for all agencies
in the building are 7:45 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Thursday. Friday
hours are from 7:45 am to 12:45 pm. The Consular office is open to
Americans during regular office hours. No visa services are provided
in Freetown at this time. The Chancery switchboard is open during
regular office hours. After office hours, a taped message provides
instruction in the case of an emergency.
Newly assigned personnel should alert the Embassy well in advance
of their arrival date and confirm the number of persons traveling.
New arrivals may need Leones, the local currency. There is a
currency exchange facility at the airport. The Embassy contract
expediter will assist new arrivals.
Lungi Airport, Sierra Leone's only international airport, is
located across the bay from Freetown. It is possible to get to and
from the airport via helicopter, hovercraft, or ferry. Travelers
must check with their embassy contact before arrival.
Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:06 AM
Newcomers to Freetown usually occupy their permanent quarters on
or shortly after arrival. If permanent housing is not available,
arrangements will be made for temporary quarters at selected hotels
in Freetown. Approved hotels have air-conditioned rooms and
restaurants. Accommodations are comfortable, but tend to be
expensive. The Embassy will arrange transportation to and from the
Embassy for temporary duty personnel.
Permanent Housing Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:07 AM
All personnel assigned to Freetown reside in U.S. Government
furnished, leased housing. Mission personnel are provided with
comfortable housing located in the better residential areas. All
housing is air-conditioned. All residences are provided with 24-hour
Furnishings Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:08 AM
All U.S. Government leased housing is furnished. Kitchens are
equipped with an electric range, a microwave oven, a water
distiller, a deep freeze, a refrigerator, a washing machine, a
dryer, a vacuum cleaner, and three transformers. Living room
furnishings usually consist of chairs and sofas, coffee side tables,
bookcases and rugs. Dining room furniture includes a dining table
and chairs, sideboard, and buffet. Curtains and lamps are also
provided. Bedrooms are typically equipped with mirrors, beds, chest
of drawers, and a desk. In some cases, porch furniture is provided.
Bring folding chairs to use at the beach.
Local carpenters and cabinetmakers can build additional
bookcases, shelves, and tables of functional yet unpretentious
quality. Bring pictures, books, art objects, linens, blankets, and a
few scatter rugs with you, but leave high value items at home.
Expect some deterioration of items because of the humid climate,
insects and mildew. Air-conditioners and dehumidifiers are provided
and help minimize damage.
Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
All U.S. Government residences have hot and cold running water in
bathrooms and kitchens, but pressure may be low. The Embassy has its
own water truck in the event of shortages.
Electricity in Freetown is 220v, 50-cycle, AC. Since U.S.
electrical appliances are usually 110v, 60 cycles, or 50-60 cycles,
a step-down transformer must be used. Embassy-provided transformers
are used mainly with the larger, government-provided appliances.
Bring additional transformers to use with small appliances,
video/stereo equipment, etc. The city electricity supply is erratic;
all Embassy residences are equipped with adequate stand-by
Most basic appliances can be bought locally, however prices are
generally higher than in the U.S. All appliances are subject to rust
and corrosion. Confirm stereo system compatibility prior to
shipment. American-made clocks will not run correctly on 50-cycle
current. Bring battery-operated or wind-up clocks with you.
Food Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:33 AM
Personnel assigned to Sierra Leone are authorized a 2500-pound
consumable shipment. There is no commissary. Internet shopping is an
Freetown's supermarkets stock a wide-variety of canned goods,
cereals, nuts, and pastas, all imported. Items cost much more than
in the U.S. Availability is uneven. Ship an adequate supply of
artificial sweeteners, western seasonings and baking ingredients, as
they are often difficult to obtain locally and expensive.
Tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, cucumbers, red and green sweet
peppers, eggplant, potatoes, onions, and carrots are usually
available. Cabbages, pumpkins, radishes, and parsley are seasonally
available, and greens (a local substitute for spinach), okra and,
sweet potatoes are available year round. Prices can vary seasonally
and bargaining is a necessity at outdoor markets and street vendors.
Frozen and canned vegetables are at least twice as expensive as in
the U.S. Good local tropical fruits, such as bananas, oranges,
pineapples, limes, grapefruit, avocados, and papaya are plentiful.
Rice is a staple of the local diet and priced comparably to the
U.S. Fresh bread is of good quality, inexpensive and readily
Fresh dairy products are not available in Freetown and should be
consumed with caution upcountry as refrigeration is unreliable and
products are not pasteurized. Imported long-life skim and whole
cream milk in cartons is available but expensive if consumed in
large quantities. Most people with high milk consumption use an
imported powdered skim or whole milk. Eggs and cheese are available;
cheese is two to three times the U.S. price.
Chicken, beef, pork and lamb are available locally, fresh and
frozen. Standards of the meat are reliant on the distributors.
Chicken is priced comparably to the U.S.; beef, pork and lamb are at
least twice as expensive.
Fish is the highlight of local cuisine. Fresh shrimp, lobster,
squid, barracuda, grouper, sole and snapper are available and
Clothing Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:35 AM
A neat appearance and appropriate dress is important to Sierra
Leoneans, and they expect it of others. Bring adequate supplies of
clothing, shoes and accessories for the entire family for a complete
tour, as acceptable ready-made clothing is unavailable. Mail-order
catalog and Internet purchases via the pouch are an excellent
alternative but potentially time-consuming. Many tailors are quite
skilled and charge a moderate fee for their services, but the
quality and availability of material varies. Bring your own material
and pictures of garments that you may want to have made for you.
In selecting a wardrobe, remember that the temperature range is
small and seasonal variation minimal. Offices are air-conditioned
and can be cool once you become acclimated. Clothing appropriate for
Washington, D.C. summers is appropriate for Freetown year-round.
Lightweight, natural-fiber, washable clothes are best. Breathable
synthetics are also recommended. Most laundry is done at home;
dry-cleaners are limited and expensive and are not recommended for
delicate or hard-to-replace clothing. Shipping a supply of home
dry-cleaning kits is an option.
The hot weather requires frequent changes. Constant laundering
wears clothes out faster. This, plus the lack of seasonal variation
makes a variety of clothing important. Do not forget an adequate
supply of bathing suits, undergarments, stockings and socks, as
replacements are not easily found in the local market. Pack shoes
for a variety of occasions including sports, and for the length of
your tour. There are no department stores or western-style clothing
stores in Sierra Leone. Bring some warm clothing if you will be
traveling to the U.S. or Europe in winter. A lightweight sweater or
jacket for an occasional cool evening and raincoats and an umbrella
for the rainy season are useful.
Men Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Wash-and-wear clothing is appropriate for men throughout the
year. Business casual dress is acceptable for the office. Jackets
and ties should be available for calls on government officials.
Social life is generally informal but more formal affairs require
a dark suit and long-sleeved shirt. Dinner jackets and dark suits
are needed on occasion. Bring an adequate supply of undergarments,
socks, and shoes, as they are not available locally.
A raincoat, lightweight and waterproof pullovers, and waterproof
boots are useful in the rainy season. Pack all required sport and
outdoor clothing, including footwear.
Women Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Washable natural fibers and breathable synthetics are the best
kinds of clothing for women. Business casual dress is acceptable for
the office. All sleeve lengths are acceptable. A sweater or light
jacket is required in some air-conditioned offices. Suits, pantsuits
and skirts are appropriate for calls on government officials.
For informal evening functions, skirts and pants are suitable.
Women will need a few cocktail and formal dresses for official
evening functions; evening gowns may be worn to a limited number of
occasions. Hosiery is worn by few American women and is not required
at most evening functions. Shorts and sundresses may be worn around
town. Bikinis may be worn on the beach. Bring a variety of footwear
and accessories to match outfits. Ship an adequate supply of
lingerie, hosiery, socks and shoes, as they are not available
A long raincoat, lightweight and waterproof pullovers, and
waterproof boots are useful in the rainy season. Pack all required
sport and outdoor clothing, including footwear.
Children Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Children dress much the same as they do in the United States.
Informal, casual clothing is worn at the American International
School of Freetown. Other schools may require a uniform.
Lightweight and waterproof pullovers, rain jackets, waterproof
boots, and lightweight sweaters are useful in the rainy season. Pack
a sufficient supply of undergarments, socks, and shoes to last the
length of the tour. Pack all required sport and outdoor clothing,
A sufficient supply of diapers is a must for babies.
Supplies and Services
Supplies Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Familiar name-brand American products can be found in limited
supply in Freetown but are at least twice as expensive as in the
U.S. and frequently past the expiration date. Mission personnel
should bring a supply of their favorite cosmetics, toiletries,
sunscreen, insect repellant, anti-bacterial hand cleanser, first aid
supplies, hair care and styling products including hair-coloring
products. Some products may be purchased on the Internet and shipped
Local cooking and storage accessories like plastic wrap, wax
paper, aluminum foil, and plastic bags are poor quality and
expensive. Bring enough of these and assorted paper products, from
toilet paper to gift-wrap, to last your entire tour. Children's
birthday party gifts, party favors, holiday decorations, and
greeting cards are not available, difficult to find, or very
Bring decorative items for your home including bathroom
accessories, shower curtains, table linens, vases for flower
arrangements, candles and other table decorations. You will also
need to ship all recreational and home entertainment products such
as board games, video games, videos, DVDs, music CDs, playing cards,
sports equipment, and art supplies.
Ship all required home office supplies including printer paper,
ribbon, ink, storage diskettes, and CDs. Also, pack sufficient
camera film, digital camera and video camera supplies. Rechargeable
batteries and a charger are recommended as batteries are expensive
and some, like 3V camera batteries, are difficult to find.
Basic Services Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Laundry and dry-cleaning service is available in Freetown but
generally of inferior quality. Local cleaning of delicate or
hard-to-replace items is not recommended. Employees should consider
purchase of washable silks and linens or home dry-cleaning kits.
Numerous tailors are available and some do exceptionally good
work. Bring your own material, sewing supplies (zippers, buttons,
thread, etc.) and pictures of items that you would like to have
made. Local shoe repair is available but does not meet Western
standards. Mission personnel should bring an adequate supply of
There are a few beauty salons and barbers that do acceptable
haircuts. Bring your own hair care products (shampoo, conditioner,
styling and coloring products), as the local supply is limited and
very expensive. It is possible to get manicures and pedicures at a
few local salons, however it is recommended that you bring your own
grooming kit as hygienic standards are a concern.
Color, and black and white film developing is available in
Freetown, however, it is expensive and the quality is unreliable.
Film that requires special processing, like Kodak Advantix, should
not be developed in Freetown, as stores do not have the equipment
required for development.
Domestic Help Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Most Americans employ household staff. For persons unaccustomed
to having household employees, this may take some adjustment. The
number and working hours of domestic employees depends on family
size, desires, size of living quarters and the extent and type of
entertaining. As in most places in Africa, domestic help in Sierra
Leone is usually male. Salary will depend upon employee's ability,
responsibility, and understanding of English. Local inflation and
cost of living will affect salaries.
Finding good domestic help is not difficult and most are hired on
a referral basis by other household staff or employees at post. Some
household staff do not understand English very well and will require
detailed training and close supervision to meet expectations.
Generally, domestic staff in Sierra Leone do not live in the home.
It is recommended that all domestic staff have a preemployment
physical examination and periodic check-ups.
Religious Activities Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
The following denominations have places of worship in Sierra
Leone: Anglican, Church of Christ, Evangelical United Brethren,
Pentecostal, Bahai Faith, Methodist, Moslem, Roman Catholic, African
Methodist, and Seventh-day Adventist. Nondenominational services are
also held weekly. Freetown has no synagogue. Services are conducted
in English and Krio.
Dependent Education Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:45 AM
The American International School of Freetown (AISF) was
established in 1986 to serve the needs of Freetown's international
community. AISF is a private, coeducational day school offering an
American curriculum from pre-kindergarten through grade 8. AISF is
accredited Prekinder to 8th grade by the Middle States Association
of Schools and Colleges. AISF offers 9th grade through the U.S.
accredited University of Nebraska-Lincoln Independent Study High
Other schools available include the International School and the
Lebanese International School; both provide instruction based on the
British educational system.
Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Lessons in local languages, such as Krio and Mende, are
available. Instruction in the techniques of gara (tie dying) is
available. Some local clubs offer reasonably priced tennis lessons.
The golf club provides lessons for beginners.
Recreation and Social Life
Sports Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:49 AM
Freetown offers limited recreational facilities. Bring tennis,
golf, and squash equipment. There are no public or community
recreational facilities or programs. There are membership clubs with
reasonable annual fees. These clubs are the Freetown Golf Club, the
Hill Station Club, the Aqua Club and the YSC.
The Freetown Golf Club has an 18-hole golf course with sand
greens, which are playable most of the year, a swimming pool, squash
courts, and a modest clubhouse. The Hill Station Club offers tennis
courts for day or evening play, billiards, darts and a bar/club at
night. The Aqua Club has a small marina, a salt water pool, and
squash courts. YSC offers an indoor basketball court and outdoor
field for soccer. Most of these facilities offer dining for club and
All embassy personnel can use the facilities at Signal Hill
Apartments and at the Smart Farm Apartments.The Smart Farm Apartment
complex has a swimming pool. The gym located at Signal Hill
Apartments is equipped with universal and free weights, a
stairmaster, a rowing machine, 2 stationary bicycles, and a
television/stereo system. Also, the embassy has two emergency
evacuation boats that can sometimes be used at cost for recreational
Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Sierra Leone's picturesque and uncrowded beaches offer the
greatest recreational diversion. Sierra Leoneans and foreigners
alike can be found sunbathing, swimming, jogging, walking, and
playing soccer and volleyball on Lumley Beach in Freetown. Other
beaches are within a short driving distance from Freetown, though
the road to the beaches is not well maintained, and a four-wheel
drive vehicle is necessary during the wet season. Sharks and
barracudas are rarely seen, and the beaches are considered safe for
swimming. Beaches are also good for boogie boarding. Caution is
necessary as strong currents and undertow do occur. A few sites
exist for deep-sea divers and snorkeling. The rivers contain
parasitic organisms, so they are considered unsafe for swimming.
The beaches, tropical vegetation, and wildlife provide an array
of colorful subjects for photography, videos and sketching. However,
art supplies and most types of photographic and video film can not
be acquired in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone is considered one of the best countries in Africa
for bird watching. There are hundreds of birds in Sierra Leone and
the best time for viewing is the migratory season from November to
Fishing is available in and near Freetown. Coastal saltwater
species include barracuda, cobia, red snapper, Atlantic jack,
Spanish mackerel, and grouper. Just off the continental shelf, but
still reachable by small craft, are marlin, sailfish and tuna.
Whales and dolphins are often spotted off Freetown. The freshwater
angler may find tiger fish, catfish, Nile perch, and several
subspecies of tilapia. Most saltwater fish are taken through
trolling lures; saltwater fishing is available only by
private/personal boats or rented sea-going canoes.
Saltwater anglers should bring to post a stout rod, trolling
reel, 20-30 pound test line, wire leaders, and a supply of lures
should complete your outfit. Giant-size rapalas lures in assorted
colors are popular. Only the most rudimentary fishing equipment is
sold locally. The prospective angler should bring necessary
equipment and a 2-year supply of hooks, sinkers, lures, and other
There is a variety of interesting day trips in the greater
Freetown area. Boating excursions can be arranged to visit Bunce
Island, an 18th century English slave fort, the Banana Islands, and
the Turtle Islands. Automobile excursions include a variety of
beaches like Lakka, River Number Two, Sussex and Toke, the towns of
Makeni, known for handicrafts, and Bo, the waterfall at Charlotte
and nearby Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. As the country's
infrastructure is restored, day trips to more towns and villages
outside of Freetown will be possible.
The years of civil conflict and the accompanying lack of
government control and funding has allowed the roads to former
tourist spots and the tourist facilities themselves to deteriorate.
Even with heavy-duty/four-wheel-drive vehicles, former tourist
hiking spots and nature reserves like the Western Area Forest
Reserve, the Mamunta-Mayosa Wildlife Sanctuary, Outamba-Kilimi
National Park, the Loma Mountain Reserve, the Gola Forest Reserve,
and the Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary, are extremely difficult or
impossible to reach. Moreover, there are no longer any functioning
visitor centers or guides.
Sierra Leone has a range of hiking environments. Many areas have
been hard hit by the years of civil unrest. A walking path from Guma
Valley Reservoir to River No. 2 Beach was completed the fall of 2002
as the first of many refurbishment projects. Current status of this
project and the condition of other hiking paths, parks and reserves
can be known by contacting the Sierra Leone Conservation Society,
the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, or the Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Marine Resources.
Entertainment Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Restaurant and home dining are the most popular forms of
enjoyment for Americans within the Mission. The greater Freetown
area offers a variety of restaurants offering reasonably priced
meals. Seafood, meat and vegetarian meals are all available at
dining establishments and there is a range of international cuisine.
For late night enjoyment, there are a few nightclubs and bars spread
throughout town and casinos down by the waterfront.
There are plenty of video rental stores with American, European
and African films. However, the videos are generally in the European
PAL/SECAM format. Be sure to bring a good supply of videos, DVDs,
CDs and books.
From October to June, sporting events are regularly held in the
National Stadium. The local papers provide news on current and
Freetown also has an active chapter of the Hash House Harriers,
the worldwide running and walking club.
Nature of Functions Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Mission officers are invited to receptions, cocktails, luncheons,
dinner, and other events by the host government and other diplomatic
Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Social life in Freetown is generally relaxed and informal. All
newly arrived officers and staff members are presented to the
Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission shortly after arrival. Calls
on counterparts in other embassies and with host government
officials can be discussed after arrival to post. Calling cards are
useful. Five hundred cards will suffice. Married personnel may wish
to include a small supply of "Mr. and Mrs. Cards."
Notes For Travelers
Getting to the Post Last Updated: 6/29/2005 6:53 AM
There are no direct flights from the U.S. to Sierra Leone.
Embassy personnel generally fly to Europe, and then connect to
Freetown via Belgium on SN Brussels Airlines. Contact the Travel
Office for other possibilities.
Your post of departure advises you about shipping household and
personal effects. If shipments are handled by a U.S. Despatch Agent,
inform the agent of the location of your personal effects, the date
of expected departure from the U.S., and your travel authorization
number and date.
Have your effects properly insured and carefully packed by an
experienced export packer. Inform packers that waterproof packing is
a necessity. Crates should be properly marked and well secured to
avoid pilferage or breakage during shipment. The contents of each
carton should be itemized, with one copy retained by the packer and
one by the employee. Address effects to:
Your Name American Embassy Freetown Sierra Leone
The embassy provides port-to-residence transportation of effects
and unpacking assistance. Forward shipping documents as soon as
possible to facilitate customs clearance.
Surface shipments from the U.S. take about 2 months; shipments
from other countries may take somewhat longer if transshipment is
Include in your Unaccompanied Air Baggage (UAB) a radio, an iron,
extra towels and sheets, some dishes and cooking utensils. Basic
household goods and diversional items you will want immediately,
especially toys and games if you have children. The embassy provides
a basic Welcome Kit with a limited supply of dishes, cooking
utensils, flatware, sheets, pillowcases and towels. If you are
shipping a vehicle it's advisable to remove the catalytic convertor.
Take care before shipping your car to remove accessories and
easy-to-pilfer items: theft of floor mats, windshield wipers, jacks,
radios, CD/cassette players, cigarette lighters, hubcaps, and spare
tires during shipment is a possibility. Send such items in your HHE
Customs, Duties, and Passage
Customs and Duties Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Duty-free entry privileges are extended to all U.S. government
employees assigned to the embassy for the duration of their tour.
These privileges cover all effects and property imported for
official or personal use.
Personally owned automobiles may be imported duty-free. Driver
licenses are provided without charge to eligible personnel; others
pay a minimal fee. Foreign-made vehicles may be shipped to Freetown
on your travel orders. The American Embassy in Sierra Leone also has
a waiver permitting foreign-made, foreign purchased vehicles to be
shipped back to the U.S. when your tour ends.
Passage Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
All personnel entering Sierra Leone on official business must
have an appropriate visa from the nearest Sierra Leone Embassy or
Consulate prior to arrival, and a current health certificate with
records of vaccinations and inoculations. Confirm with the
Department of State and Sierra Leone Embassy which vaccinations and
inoculations are mandatory for entry into Sierra Leone.
Mission personnel must have a Sierra Leone automobile
registration and international registration certificate before
driving into neighboring countries. Check automobile insurance
policies to assure that they provide coverage in neighboring
countries before undertaking such trips.
Pets Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Pets may be brought into Sierra Leone with international
certificate of good health, obtained from a veterinarian. Proof of
rabies and distemper vaccination is necessary, but no quarantine
period is required. Pet food, cat litter and pet toys are difficult
to obtain on the local market; ship enough to last the entire tour
or substitute with what is utilized on the local market.
Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
Forward all requests for firearms to the administrative officer
for approval by the Chief of Mission prior to shipment and arrival
in country. This is an absolute requirement.
Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated:
6/29/2005 6:57 AM
The monetary unit in Sierra Leone is the Leone, which is divided
into 100 cents. The symbol used for the Leone is Le. The Bank of
Sierra Leone manages the currency.
Sierra Leone is a cash economy. Credit cards are generally not
accepted. There are no internationally linked Automatic Teller
The embassy cashier will exchange personal checks and travelers
checks drawn on accounts in U.S. banks and U.S. dollars into Leones
for U.S. government employees and authorized contractors. The
cashier will not accept second or third party checks. TDY personnel
and official visitors may exchange traveler's checks and cash with
presentation of their official travel authorization. All personnel
are limited to exchanging $500 per day. Amounts over this will be
approved at the discretion of the Management Officer. All personnel
are required by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Chief of
Mission to exchange dollars at the official government rate.
Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 2/28/2003
Diplomatic personnel are exempt from taxes. All personal goods
and consumables may enter Sierra Leone exempt from duties and taxes.
You may sell personal property in accordance with Embassy and
Government of Sierra Leone regulations. Duty-free personal items may
be sold only after the import duty is paid. It is not permitted to
retain profits (excess of sale price less cost of goods sold) from
sale of goods transported to Sierra Leone at U.S. Government
expense. Any such profit on sales must be turned over to a charity
approved by the Chief of Mission.
Recommended Reading Last Updated: 2/28/2003 6:00 PM
These titles are provided as a general indication of the material
published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse
Politics Abdullah, Ibrahim and Muana, Patrick. "The Revolutionary
United Front of Sierra Leone: A Revolt of the Lumpen Proletariat" in
Clapham, Christopher, editor African Guerrillas. James Currey:
Bundu, Abass. Democracy by Force? A Study of International
Military Intervention in the Conflict in Sierra Leone from
1991-2000. Universal Publishers, 2000.
Hirsch, John L. Sierra Leone: Diamonds and the Struggle for
Democracy. (International Peace Academy Occasional Paper Series)
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.: Boulder, 2001.
Koroma, Abdul K. Sierra Leone: The Agony of a Nation. Andromeda
Reno, William Sampson Klock. Corruption and State Politics in
Sierra Leone. Cambridge University Press. 1995.
Richards, Paul. Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth and
Resources in Sierra Leone. Heinemann, Portsmouth, 1996.
Roberts, George O. The Anguish of Third World Independence: The
Sierra Leone Experience. University Press of America: New York,
History Conteh-Morgan, Earl and Dixon-Fyle, Mac. Sierra Leone at
the End of the Twentieth Century: History, Politics and Society,
Peter Lang Publishing: New York, 1999.
Fyfe, Christopher. A History of Sierra Leone, Oxford University
Kup, A. P. Sierra Leone: A Concise History. St. Martin's Press:
New York, 1975.
Spitzer, Leo. The Creoles of Sierra Leone; Responses to
Colonialism (1870-1945). University of Wisconsin Press: Madison,
Petersen, John Province of Freedom: A History of Sierra Leone
1787-1870, Northwestern University Press: Evanston 1969
Anthropology Ferme, Marianne C. The Underneath of Things:
Violence, History and the Everyday in Sierra Leone. University of
California Press: Berkeley, 2001.
Finnegan, Ruth. Survey of the Limba People of Northern Sierra
Leone. H.H. Stationery Office: London, 1965.
Jackson, Michael. The Kuranko: Dimensions of Social Reality in a
West African Tribe. St. Martin's Press: New York, 1977.
Biography Ashby, Phil. Unscathed: Escape from Sierra Leone.
Macmillan Publishers, Ltd.: London, 2001.
Fiction Dooling, Richard. White Man's Grave. Farrar Straus and
Giroux: New York, 1994.
Greene, Graham. The Heart of the Matter. Penguin, 1978.
Johnson, Lemuel. Carnival of the Old Coast. African World Press,
McCauley, William. The Turning Over. Permanent Press: Sag Harbour,
Children/Youth Books Carpenter, Allan and Susan L. Eckert. Sierra
Leone. Children's Press, 1971.
Clifford, Mary L. The Land and People of Sierra Leone. Lippincott,
Conteh, Osman. Unanswered Cries. Macmillan Publishing Ltd.:
Kessler, Christina. No Condition is Permanent. Philomel Books,
Web Sites Government and Intergovernmental Organizations http://www.sierraleone.gov.sl
— Official site of the Sierra Leone Government http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/unamsil/
General Information and News http://www.sierra-leone.org/ — link
to government, cultural, news and general information on Sierra
Leone http://www.sierraleonenews.com — link to Sierra Leone news
http://www.allafrica.com/sierraleone/ — link to general information
and news http://www.salonelive.com — link to general information and
news http://www.cmetfreetown.org — link to Center for Media and
Technology with listing of local radio stations and newspapers
http://www.cesa-msa.org — link to AISF information via the
Commission on Elementary Schools
Local Holidays Last Updated: 6/29/2005 7:04 AM
New Year's Day January 1 A/SL Martin Luther King's Birthday
January 17 A
President's Day February 21 A
Good Friday March/April SL Easter Monday March/April SL
Independence Day April 27 SL Memorial Day May 30 A Independence Day
July 4 A Labor Day September 5 A Columbus Day October 10 A Veteran's
Day November 11 A Thanksgiving Day November 24 A Christmas Day
December 25 A/SL Boxing Day December 26 SL
Muslim Holidays to be determined upon the sighting of the moon:
Tabaski SL - In 2005 the holiday was observed on January 20
Maoulid-Un-Nabi SL - In 2005 it was observed April 21 Eid-Ul-Fitr
(End of Ramadan SL) November TBD
A = American Holiday SL = Sierra Leone Holiday