Bilateral relations Switzerland–Sierra Leone

Switzerland and Sierra Leone enjoy good yet limited relations. Switzerland provided humanitarian aid to Sierra Leone during the civil war in the 1990s and has supported the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone since 2002.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Switzerland has defined a strategy for sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2021–24.

Since the 1960s, Switzerland and Sierra Leone have concluded several debt rescheduling agreements. In 2007, Switzerland cancelled Sierra Leone's debt. In 2004, a protocol had been signed on migration issues.

Sierra Leone has a permanent representation in Geneva that is also accredited as an embassy in Switzerland. The Swiss embassy in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) is accredited to the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Sub-Saharan Africa Strategy 2021–24 (PDF, 48 Pages, 3.1 MB, English)

Treaty database


Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Researchers who are citizens of Sierra Leone can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists (SERI)

Measures to promote peace and human security

Switzerland supports the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone, which was established in 2002 to prosecute crimes committed during the civil war.

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

Switzerland provided humanitarian aid to Sierra Leone during the civil war between 1991 and 2002. It subsequently supported reconstruction efforts.

Between 2014 and 2016, Swiss Humanitarian Aid supported the countries of the Mano River Union region in the fight against the Ebola epidemic with USD 32 million.

Swiss citizens in Sierra Leone

According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, 14 Swiss citizens were living in Sierra Leone at the end of 2020 and 72 citizens of Sierra Leone were living in Switzerland.

History of bilateral relations

From 1963, Alusuisse was, for a long while, the cornerstone of Switzerland's presence in Sierra Leone, following the acquisition of a bauxite mine in the country. The civil war in the 1990s and the sale of Alusuisse once again prompted Swiss citizens to leave.

In 1920, Switzerland opened a consulate in Freetown. After Sierra Leone's independence, this consulate became a consulate general headed by an honorary representative.

On 17 April 1961, Switzerland recognised the independence of Sierra Leone. The following year, diplomatic relations were established between the two countries.

Sierra Leone, Historical Dictionary of Switzerland (de, fr, it)

Diplomatic documents of Switzerland, Dodis

Last update 26.01.2022


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