A major diamond trade center which serves as a commercial and financial center of eastern Sierra Leone, Kenema is ethnically diverse in character. Identified as the third largest city in the country, Kenema is located at a distance of 298 kilometers to the east-southeast of Freetown. This regional capital and administrative center which is home to over 170,000 people, includes many Sierra Leonean-Lebanese and Liberians as well.
Having gained growth and recognition around a now-closed railway line, and logging cum carpentry industries, Kenema is currently thriving ever since diamond mines were first discovered in 1931. Along with big companies, Sierra Leone is quite liberal permitting ordinary individuals in the diamond areas to try their hands at alluvial mining at a smaller scale. Providing several schools, colleges and technical educational institutions, including the reputed Sierra Leone Eastern Polytechnic College, Krio is the primary and the most widely spoken language in Kenema.