République de Guinee
local short form: Guinee
int’l long form: Republic of Guinea
int’l short form: Guinea
former: French Guinea
ISO Country Code: gn
Local Time = UTC +0h
Country Calling Code: +224
Capital City: Conakry (pop. 1.5 million).
Guéckédou (pop. 350 000), Boké (pop. 300 000), Kindia (pop. 280 000), N’Zérékoré (pop. 300 000), Macenta (pop. 280 000), Mamou, Kankan (270 000), Labe (250 000).
Type: Military regime.
Independence: 2 October 1958. Anniversary of the Second Republic, 3 April 1984.
In December 2008 following President CONTE’s death, Capt. Moussa Dadis CAMARA led a military coup to seiz power. He suspended the constitution as well as political and union activity.
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone.
Area: 245,860 sq. km. (95,000 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Generally flat along the coast and mountainous in the interior. The country’s four geographic regions include a narrow coastal belt; pastoral highlands (the source of West Africa’s major rivers); the northern savanna; and the southeastern rain forest.
Climate: Tropical. Generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with a northeasterly Harmattan, a dry and dusty West African trade wind..
Nationality: Noun and adjective–Guinean(s)
Population: 1.5 million (2012)
Ethnic groups: Fulani 40.3%; Malinke 25.8%; Susu 11.0%; Kissi 6.5%; Kpelle 4.8%, other ethnic groups 11.6%.
Religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, traditional beliefs 7%.
Languages: French (official); Eight national languages, Soussou (Susu, in coastal Guinea), Peulh (Fulani, in Northrn Guinea), Maninka (Upper Guinea), Kissi (Kissidougou Region), Toma and Guerze (Kpelle) in rain forest Guinea; plus various ethnic groups with their own language.
Literacy: 28% to 35%.
Bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, water power, uranium, fisheries.
Agriculture products: Rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava (tapioca), bananas, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber.
Industries: Bauxite, gold, diamonds; alumina refining; light manufacturing and agricultural processing industries.
Exports partners: South Korea 14.8%, Spain10.7%, USA 10.1%, France 9.2%, Russia 9%,Ireland 7.9%, Belgium 6.4%, Germany 5.6%,Ukraine 5.3% (2003)
Imports partners: France 16.8%, China 9.3%,Belgium 7.1%, Italy 6.6%, Netherlands 5.4%, UK5.4%, Cote d’Ivoire 4.8%, USA 4.5% (2003)
Currency: Guinea Franc (GNF)
Independent from France since 1958, Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. Lansana CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelected in 1998 and again in 2003, though all the polls were marred by irregularities. History repeated itself in December 2008 when following President CONTE’s death, Capt. Moussa Dadis CAMARA led a military coup, seizing power and suspending the constitution as well as political and union activity. Guinea has maintained some semblance of internal stability despite spillover effects from conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia. As those countries have rebuilt, however, Guinea’s own vulnerability to political and economic crisis has increased. Declining economic conditions and popular dissatisfaction with corruption and bad governance prompted two massive strikes in 2006, and a third nationwide strike in early 2007.
Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains an underdeveloped nation. The country possesses over 30% of the world’s bauxite reserves and is the second largest bauxite producer. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty.
(Source: CIA – The World Factbook)
border countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone
related countries: France