Sierra Leone

SLE

Sierra Leone

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 of the narrative

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Infographics

Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    Legend
    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
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    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    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.

    Media

    Latest News

    5 May 2017
    Sierra Leone

    KOIDU, Sierra Leone, May 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A dispute over a bridge in eastern Sierra Leone thought to span diamond deposits has divided a local community with a foreign mining company accused of illegally mining the area after volunteering to rebuild the overpass.

    The Congo Bridge in Koidu, the capital of Kono District, was deemed by local authorities to be in danger of collapsing after years of illegal small-scale mining around the base.

    Sierra Leone

    By: Kieran Guilbert
    Date: November 1st 2016
    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

    FREETOWN (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When floods struck several slums across Sierra Leone's capital last year, 55-year-old Amienata Bangura was forced to flee as her small shop, stock and years of savings were wiped out.

    Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND)
    Malawi
    Mozambique
    Sierra Leone
    Tanzania

    The winners have been identified of a £3.65m Challenge Fund funded through DFID’s LEGEND (Land-Enhancing Governance for Economic Development) umbrella programme, to drive innovative and responsible investments in land, in particular agriculture. The fund, managed by KPMG LLP, seeks to improve the effects of land investments on communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Sierra Leone

    By: Silas Gbandia
    Date: September 28th 2016
    Source: Equal Times

    A former member of Sierra Leone’s parliament has spoken of his determination to put an end to what he describes as the “underhand deals” taking place between the authorities and international palm oil producers in his country.

    Latest Blog

    A paralegal speaks with community members in Mamusa community, Sierra Leone.
    Sierra Leone

    A small band of grassroots advocates has been helping communities in Sierra Leone secure better deals for their land, says Sonkita Conteh, from paralegal organisation Namati

    Library

    Displaying 1 - 6 of 176
    Journal Articles & Books
    December 1999

    Une analyse de l'état des plantations forestières ainsi que des tendances actuelles du secteur forestier aux niveaux mondial et régional. Le rapport traite des mesures à tenir en compte en ce qui concerne le développement des plantations forestières. Par ailleurs, la perspective des plantations forestières est présentée sous la forme de différents scénarios qui se basent sur la future croissance

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2012

    This publication aims to provide practical guidance for population and housing census and agricultural census planners looking to implement a cost-effective census strategy by coordinating the population and housing census with the agricultural census.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2016

    تقرّ الخطوط التوجيهية الطوعية بشأن الحوكمة المسؤولة لحيازة الأراضي، ومصايد الأسماك، والغابات، في سياق الأمن الغذائي الوطني بأنّ الاستثمارات المسؤولة التي ينفّذها القطاعان العام والخاص أساسية لتحسين الأمن الغذائي، وتدعو إلى استثمارات تصون مستخدمي الأراضي ومالكيها من خطر نزع ملكيتهم لحقوق الحيازة المشروعة. ويوفّر هذا الدليل الفني توجيهات مفصّلة للسلطات الحكومية المنخرطة في جهود تشجيع الاستثمارات والموافقة عليها ورصدها في جميع مراحل دورة الاستثمار، بشأن الإجراءات التي يمكن اتخاذها لإرساء بيئة مؤاتية للاستثمارات المسؤولة والمستدامة.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 1984

    This report presents the results of an exercise to model forest industry development in Liberia. It presents background information about Liberia and the forestry sector, then discusses the trends and projections in forest cover and production and trade of forest products. It suggests that forest resources will not be able to meet future demand for wood and recommends that forest plantations should be planted to meet this demand.