Area Handbook for Sierra Leone

Area Handbook for Sierra Leone

Area Handbook for Sierra Leone

Area Handbook for Sierra Leone

Excerpt

During its fifteen years of independence singe 1961, Sierra Leone has had some difficulty in maintaining political stability and in generating economic development. Political turnover has often involved the intervention of elements of the military, usually in alliance with or support of civilian political forces. It has not involved attempts at revolutionary change. Despite agricultural potential and mineral resources, the country's economic performance has been comparatively weak. By the mid-1970s, however, there were indications that it might improve.

The Area Handbook for Sierra Leone seeks to provide a compact and objective exposition of the dominant social, political, economic, and national security aspects of Sierra Leonean society and to give the reader some idea of the forces at work there in the last quarter of the twentieth century. The authors have relied chiefly on published and unpublished documents and secondary sources, but knowledgeable individuals have been consulted on some points. There were, however, gaps in current information and analysis, particularly in the anthropological and sociological literature but also in political matters. Such gaps (and conflicting sources where they occur) have been noted in the text.

This study results from the efforts of a Foreign Area Studies multidisciplinary team of researchers assisted by the research support staff. The team was chaired by Irving Kaplan, who wrote chapter 1 and coordinated the contributions of the other authors. Margarita Dobert wrote chapters 4, 5, and 6; James L. McLaughlin wrote chapters 2, 9, and 10; Barbara Marvin wrote chapters 12, 13, and 14; and Donald P. Whitaker wrote chapters 3, 7, 8, and 11. Foreign Area Studies also acknowledges the assistance of Vincent C.O. Nwanze, who wrote chapter 15.

An effort has been made to limit the use of foreign and technical terms. These have been defined where they first appear in any chapter, or reference has been made to the glossary, included for the reader's convenience. Tons are metric unless otherwise stated. The spellings of place names conform generally to those established by the United States Board on Geographic Names. The government's Annual Statistical Digest and other readily available sources do not define the reporting year that is used for all data, including those on crop production, mining, manufacturing, and trade. It may be surmised, however, that the reporting year given in the statistics as, for example, 1973/74 extends from July 1, 1973, through June 30, 1974, and is therefore equivalent to the Sierra Leonean fiscal year (FY) 1974. Before 1966, however, the fiscal year ran from April 1 through March 31. Balance-of-payments data in this study are for calendar years.

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