Sierra Leone (SL)

1.  Language information / Données sur les langues

1.1  Languages spoken / Langues parlées :

a) Official / Officielle(s) :

English is mentioned in the Constitution as the language of Parliament. It serves de facto as the official language.

b) National, indigenous / Nationale(s), indigène(s) :

Temne serves as the lingua franca of the north, Mende of the south, and Krio (a Creole largely English based) for the country as a whole.

Ethnologue lists 24 languages at

c) Relevant pages in the Major Languages section of this report / Pages appropriées dans la section de ce rapport sur les Langues principales :

Krio/Pidgin, Mende/Bandi/Loko, Temne, Susu, Fula (Pular).

1.2  Policy / Politique

a) Laws/legislation / Lois/législation :

The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Sierra Leone at

b) Agencies / Agences :

Two institutions "involved in or responsible for African Language research" in Sierra Leone (UNESCO 1985). Updated information is needed:

  • Sub-Department of Linguistics and Sierra Leone Languages, Department of English, University of Sierra Leone Private Mail Bag - FREETOWN
  • Department of Language Arts, Faculty of Education, Njala University College, University of Sierra Leone Private Mail Bag - FREETOWN

c) Languages in education/literacy / Langues dans l'éducation/l'alphabétisation :

UNDP (2006) gives a literacy figure (without reference to which language[s]) of: 35.1%

1.3  Writing in national/indigenous languages / Ecriture en langues nationales/indigènes

a) Orthographies / Orthographes :

National languages are written in the Latin alphabet with some additional modified letters (extended characters). A chart showing the extended Latin characters and diacritics used in some Sierra Leonean languages is available at

The Mende language also has its own syllabary called KiKaKui (it is not yet coded in Unicode).

b) Print publications / Editions imprimées :

1.4  Other comments / Autre commentaire :

2.  ICT situation / Situation des TIC

2.1  Infrastructure / Infrastructure

a) Telephones / Téléphones :

  • Fixed lines: Telephone mainlines: 5 per 1000 people (APC)
  • Mobile subscriptions: 100,000 (2.0 per 100 people) (ITU 2004 cited in Vodafone 2005)

b) Radio stations / Stations de radio :

c) Connectivity / Connectivité :

  • International internet bandwidth:
  • ISPs:
  • Geographic coverage:

2.2  Computer & internet access / Accès aux ordinateurs et à l'internet

a) Computers & points of access / Ordinateurs et lieux d'accès :

  • Number of computers / Nombre d'ordinateurs:
  • Cybercafés / Cybercafés:
  • Project telecentres / Télécentres de projets:

b) Internet / Internet :

  • Dial-up subscribers / Abonnés par ligne téléphonique :
  • Internet users / Utilisateurs de l'internet : 20,000 Internet users as of Mar/2005, 0.4% of the population, per CIA (Internet World Stats)

c) Other / Autre :

  • Digital Opportunity Index (DOI): 0.09 (ITU 2006)

2.3  Policy / Politique

The APC page, "ICT Policy in Sierra Leone" has some information and links:

2.4  ICT4D/E & ICT training / TIC pour le développement/éducation, et formation en TIC


2.5  Resources / Ressources

3.  Localisation situation / Situation de localisation

3.1  Country web content / Contenu web du pays

3.2  Web content in indigenous languages / Contenu web en langues indigènes

(See also specific language pages.)

3.3  Software localisation / Localisation de logiciel

(See also specific language pages.)

3.4  Projects & organisations / Projets et organisations

4.  References / Références

APC, "ICT Policy in Sierra Leone," Africa ICT Policy Monitor,

Balancing Act Africa. 2004. African Internet Country Profiles, Part 1, West Africa. London: Balancing Act.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 2006. World Information Society Report 2006. Geneva: ITU.

______. 2004. African Telecommunication Indicators 2004. Geneva: ITU.

Internet World Stats: Africa. 2006.

Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "Sierra Leone,"

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Languages of Sierra Leone,"

UNDP. 2006. ''Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Human Development Report 2006.'' New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). [Human development index Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) (HDI) ]

Vodafone. 2005. "Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones." The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3, March 2005.

Wikipedia, "Sierra Leone,"

< Seychelles | Countries | Somalia >