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  Introduction Back To Top

Guinea has had a history of authoritarian rule since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after the death of the first president, Sekou TOURE. Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. 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.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 1.51 cu km/yr (8%/2%/90%)
per capita: 161 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
226 cu km (1987)

Land boundaries:
total: 3,399 km
border countries: Cote d'Ivoire 610 km, Guinea-Bissau 386 km, Liberia 563 km, Mali 858 km, Senegal 330 km, Sierra Leone 652 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
11 00 N, 10 00 W

Natural resources:
bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m

generally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior

Geography - note:
the Niger and its important tributary the Milo have their sources in the Guinean highlands

total: 245,857 sq km
land: 245,857 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone

320 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Oregon

Irrigated land:
950 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
deforestation; inadequate supplies of potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season

Land use:
arable land: 4.47%
permanent crops: 2.64%
other: 92.89% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
5.25 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
3.2% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
140,000 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 56.58 years
male: 55.12 years
female: 58.08 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2008)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 29.5%
male: 42.6%
female: 18.1% (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:
-1.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%

Median age:
total: 18.4 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 18.7 years (2008 est.)

9,806,509 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
1.6% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
2.492% (2008 est.)

French (official); note - each ethnic group has its own language

Death rate:
11.29 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 67.41 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 71.02 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 63.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
9,000 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 8 years
male: 10 years
female: 7 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.9% (male 2,126,575/female 2,080,048)
15-64 years: 53.7% (male 2,628,675/female 2,633,876)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 148,159/female 189,176) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
37.84 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%

noun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Elizabeth RASPOLIC
embassy: Koloma, Conakry, east of Hamdallaye Circle
mailing address: B. P. 603, Transversale No. 2, Centre Administratif de Koloma, Commune de Ratoma, Conakry
telephone: [224] 65-10-40-00
FAX: [224] 65-10-42-97

National holiday:
Independence Day, 2 October (1958)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:
National Confederation of Guinean Workers-Labor Union of Guinean Workers or CNTG-USTG Alliance (includes National Confederation of Guinean Workers or CNTG [Rabiatou Sarah DIALLO] and Labor Union of Guinean Workers or USTG [Dr. Ibrahima FOFANA]); National Council of Civil Society Organizations of Guinea or CNOSCG [Ben Sekou SYLLA]; Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG [Dr. Louis M'Bemba SOUMAH]

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mory Karamoko KABA
chancery: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-9420
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8688

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
unicameral People's National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale Populaire (114 seats; members are elected by a mixed system of direct popular vote and proportional party lists)
elections: last held 30 June 2002 (legislative elections due in 2007 were rescheduled for 2008, but again delayed to an unspecified date)
election results: percent of vote by party - PUP 61.6%, UPR 26.6%, other 11.8%; seats by party - PUP 85, UPR 20, other 9
note: legislative elections were due in 2007 but have been postponed

Legal system:
based on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia

2 October 1958 (from France)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Republic of Guinea
conventional short form: Guinea
local long form: Republique de Guinee
local short form: Guinee
former: French Guinea

Political parties and leaders:
National Union for Progress or UPN [Mamadou Bhoye BARRY]; Party for Unity and Progress or PUP (the governing party) [Lansana CONTE]; People's Party of Guinea or PPG [Charles Pascal TOLNO]; Rally for the Guinean People or RPG [Alpha CONDE]; Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea or UFDG [Cellou Dalein DIALLO]; Union of Republican Forces or UFR [Sidya TOURE]; Union for Progress of Guinea or UPG [Jean-Marie DORE, secretary-general]; Union for Progress and Renewal or UPR [Ousmane BAH]

name: Conakry
geographic coordinates: 9 33 N, 13 42 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

23 December 1990 (Loi Fundamentale)

Executive branch:
chief of state: Capt. Moussa Dadis CAMARA, President of the National Council for Democracy and Development, who led a military coup following the death of President Lansana CONTE on 22 December 2008
head of government: Prime Minister Kabine KOMARA (since 30 December 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (no term limits); candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected president; election last held 21 December 2003 (next to be held in December 2010); the prime minister is appointed by the president
election results: Lansana CONTE reelected president; percent of vote - Lansana CONTE 95.3%, Mamadou Bhoye BARRY 4.6%

Administrative divisions:
33 prefectures and 1 special zone (zone special)*; Beyla, Boffa, Boke, Conakry*, Coyah, Dabola, Dalaba, Dinguiraye, Dubreka, Faranah, Forecariah, Fria, Gaoual, Gueckedou, Kankan, Kerouane, Kindia, Kissidougou, Koubia, Koundara, Kouroussa, Labe, Lelouma, Lola, Macenta, Mali, Mamou, Mandiana, Nzerekore, Pita, Siguiri, Telimele, Tougue, Yomou

Judicial branch:
Court of First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Russia 10.8%, Ukraine 9.6%, Spain 8.8%, US 7.5%, Germany 7.4%, South Korea 7.2%, France 7%, Ireland 5.5%, China 5% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
744 million kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
22.25% (31 December 2005)

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$535 million (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$3.529 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,100 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
11.7% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$422.1 million (31 December 2005)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$11.07 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.454 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
38.1 (2006)

Exchange rates:
Guinean francs (GNF) per US dollar - 5,500 (2008 est.), 4,122.8 (2007), 5,350 (2006), 3,644.3 (2005), 2,225 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
1.8% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$309.8 million (31 December 2005)

Labor force:
3.7 million (2006 est.)

Imports - partners:
China 10%, France 7%, Netherlands 6.3% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
30% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 22.4%
industry: 40.9%
services: 36.6% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
8,811 bbl/day (2005)

$1.202 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Guinean franc (GNF)

Economy - overview:
Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains an underdeveloped nation. The country has almost half of the world's bauxite reserves. The mining sector accounts for over 70% of exports. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. Investor confidence has been sapped by rampant corruption, a lack of electricity and other infrastructure, a lack of skilled workers, and the political uncertainty due to the failing health of President Lansana CONTE. Guinea is trying to reengage with the IMF and World Bank, which cut off most assistance in 2003, and is working closely with technical advisors from the U.S. Treasury Department, the World Bank and IMF, seeking to return to a fully funded program. Growth rose slightly in 2006-08, primarily due to increases in global demand and commodity prices on world markets, but the standard of living fell. The Guinea franc depreciated sharply as the prices for basic necessities like food and fuel rose beyond the reach of most Guineans. Dissatisfaction with economic conditions prompted nationwide strikes in February and June 2006.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs

bauxite, gold, diamonds, iron; alumina refining; light manufacturing, and agricultural processing

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
47% (2006 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

Stock of quasi money:

Electricity - production:
800 million kWh
note: excludes electricity generated at interior mining sites (2006 est.)

$1.392 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 76%
industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$92 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
8,559 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 41% (2006)

Exports - commodities:
bauxite, alumina, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products

Economic aid - recipient:
$182.1 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 45.5%
hydro: 54.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $315 million
expenditures: $796.5 million (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
50,000 (2006)

Telephones - main lines in use:
26,300 (2005)

85,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2006)

357,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
189,000 (2005)

Television broadcast stations:
6 (2001)

Telephone system:
general assessment: inadequate system of open-wire lines, small radiotelephone communication stations, and new microwave radio relay system
domestic: Conakry reasonably well served; coverage elsewhere remains inadequate and large companies tend to rely on their own systems for nationwide links; combined fixed and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 2 per 100 persons
international: country code - 224; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
4 (2001)

Internet hosts:
16 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft) (2008)

total: 837 km
standard gauge: 175 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 662 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)

Ports and terminals:
Conakry, Kamsar

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2007)

total: 44,348 km
paved: 4,342 km
unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2007)

16 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2006)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,230,049
females age 16-49: 2,193,236 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,268,193
females age 16-49: 1,259,913 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Armed Forces: Army, Navy (Marine Guineenne, includes Marines), Air Force, Presidential Guard (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 106,967
female: 104,631 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.7% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
conflicts among rebel groups, warlords, and youth gangs in neighboring states have spilled over into Guinea, resulting in domestic instability; Sierra Leone considers Guinea's definition of the flood plain limits to define the left bank boundary of the Makona and Moa rivers excessive and protests Guinea's continued occupation of these lands, including the hamlet of Yenga, occupied since 1998

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 21,856 (Liberia); 5,259 (Sierra Leone); 3,900 (Cote d'Ivoire)
IDPs: 19,000 (cross-border incursions from Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; the majority of victims are children, and internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking; within the country, girls are trafficked primarily for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, while boys are trafficked for forced agricultural labor, and as forced beggars, street vendors, shoe shiners, and laborers in gold and diamond mines; some Guinean men are also trafficked for agricultural labor within Guinea; transnationally, girls are trafficked into Guinea for domestic servitude and likely also for sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Guinea is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over 2006; Guinea demonstrated minimal law enforcement efforts for a second year in a row, while protection efforts diminished over efforts in 2006; the government did not report any trafficking convictions in 2007; due to a lack of resources, the government does not provide shelter services for trafficking victims; the government took no measures to reduce the demand for commercial sexual exploitation (2008)

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