Sierra Leone has endured years of political and economic instability as a direct consequence of the civil war that lasted more than 10 years. During the war, many people left the country, much of the infrastructure was destroyed and institutions nearly disappeared. The country’s GDP is largely based on agriculture, amounting to 43% of the total GDP; 62% of rural population is rural, and the majority works in agriculture or mining sectors.

The Constitution grants the right to property but does not specify who owns the country’s land. Several land related laws were passed before the civil war. Statutory laws recognize private freehold land in some areas (specifically in Freetown and the Western Area), while customary laws govern land tenure in the rest of the country. The 2004 Local Government Act grants local councils the right to acquire and hold land, and it gives them the responsibility to create development plans. The Chieftaincy Act of 2009 establishes that the paramount chiefs are responsible for tax collection and for the promotion of improved land governance aimed at ensuring development at the regional level. In 2005, the government agreed on the principles guiding land tenure in the country; the 2005 National Land Policy promotes the protection of national and communal land and calls for the protection of existing rights of private ownership and the engagement of the private sector as the engine for the growth and development of the country.

The primary reasons for land disputes in Sierra Leone are related to lack of consent to land transfer, multiple interests on the same property, erroneous surveys, conflicts between families over land rights and the activities of the paramount chief. Land disputes are generally resolved by the chieftaincy, local courts or native administration courts. In general, courts have demonstrated to be inefficient due to the low standard of justice that they provide and high costs that limit their accessibility. 

Source: 

Selected indicators

Total spending for agricultural reserch measured measured as a share of the value added from agriculture, forestry and fishing activities

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

Distribution of agricultural holders by sex (female - Share %) according to the FAO Land and Gender Database.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP GDP is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

Measurement unit: 
PPP$ 2011

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Total funding for programmes still ongoing in January 2016 (US $).

Measurement unit: 
US$ (Current)

Total number of programmes still ongoing in January 2016

Measurement unit: 
Number

Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number

Rural population refers to the share (%) of people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the ratio between Urban Population and Total Population.

Measurement unit: 
Percentage

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit: 
Number
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Arable land (1'000 Ha) is the land under temporary agricultural crops (multiple-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

It measures the area (1'000 Ha) covered by forest.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit: 
1'000 Ha

Permanent crops (1'000 Ha) - land cultivated with long-term crops which do not have to be replanted for several years (such as cocoa and coffee); land under trees and shrubs producing flowers, such

Measurement unit: 
1000 Ha

Permanent meadows and pastures - land used permanently (five years or more) to grow herbaceous forage crops, either cultivated or growing wild (wild prairie or grazing land).

Measurement unit: 
1000 Ha

Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    Legend
    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT)


    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.

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    Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.