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Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a tropical country in West Africa, on the Atlantic coast between Guinea and Liberia. Apart from the hilly Freetown area and white-sand beaches, it is made up of mainly swampy coastal plains and plateaux, rising to uplands in the north east. 

Key facts

  • Region: Africa
  • Population: 7.7 million (2018) 
  • Area: 71,740 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Freetown 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1961, following independence from Britain 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 41 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for Sierra Leone 


The Secretariat deployed an expert to help the National Electoral Commission with its preparations for the 2018 elections. 

A Commonwealth Observer Group was deployed to observe the elections.  

The Secretariat worked with Sierra Leone through the Commonwealth Elections Professionals Initiative to improve skills and career progression in elections management and the civil service. 


The Secretariat helped the University of Sierra Leone develop and deliver youth work qualifications, including a youth work degree.  


The Secretariat has given money and training to lecturers and staff in higher education to help improve curricula and training materials. 


The Secretariat sent an expert to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. The impact of this project will be assessed soon.

Blue Charter

Sierra Leone is a member of the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance – the Blue Charter Action Group on tackling marine plastic pollution.

Sierra Leone in the Commonwealth 

Raised in Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom, Aminatta Forna won the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize with her novel The Memory of Lo

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