Facts About : Guinea

  • Guinea is at a turning point after decades of authoritarian rule since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Guinea held its first free and competitive democratic presidential and legislative elections in 2010 and 2013 respectively. Alpha CONDE was elected to a five-year term as president in 2010, and the National Assembly was seated in January 2014. CONDE's cabinet is the first all-civilian government in Guinea. Previously, Sekou TOURE ruled the country as president from independence to his death in 1984. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after TOURE's death. Gen. CONTE organized and won presidential elections in 1993, 1998, and 2003, though all the polls were rigged. Upon CONTE's death in December 2008, Capt. Moussa Dadis CAMARA led a military coup, seizing power and suspending the constitution. His unwillingness to yield to domestic and international pressure to step down led to heightened political tensions that culminated in September 2009 when presidential guards opened fire on an opposition rally killing more than 150 people, and in early December 2009 when CAMARA was wounded in an assassination attempt and exiled to Burkina Faso. A transitional government led by Gen. Sekouba KONATE paved the way for Guinea's transition to a fledgling democracy.
  • Geography :: GUINEA

  • Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
    11 00 N, 10 00 W
    total: 245,857 sq km
    land: 245,717 sq km
    water: 140 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 79
    slightly smaller than Oregon
    total: 4,046 km
    border countries (6): Cote d'Ivoire 816 km, Guinea-Bissau 421 km, Liberia 590 km, Mali 1,062 km, Senegal 363 km, Sierra Leone 794 km
    320 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
    generally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
    bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
    agricultural land: 58.1%
    arable land 11.8%; permanent crops 2.8%; permanent pasture 43.5%
    forest: 26.5%
    other: 15.4% (2011 est.)
    949.2 sq km (2003)
    226 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.55 cu km/yr (39%/10%/51%)
    per capita: 64.3 cu m/yr (2005)
    hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
    deforestation; inadequate potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage
    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
    the Niger and its important tributary the Milo River have their sources in the Guinean highlands
  • People and Society :: GUINEA

  • noun: Guinean(s)
    adjective: Guinean
    Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
    French (official)
    note: each ethnic group has its own language
    Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
    11,780,162 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    0-14 years: 41.87% (male 2,491,593/female 2,440,933)
    15-24 years: 19.6% (male 1,165,462/female 1,143,022)
    25-54 years: 30.46% (male 1,799,050/female 1,789,062)
    55-64 years: 4.45% (male 250,531/female 273,756)
    65 years and over: 3.62% (male 188,469/female 238,284) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid: 
    total dependency ratio: 83.8%
    youth dependency ratio: 78.2%
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.6%
    potential support ratio: 17.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 18.8 years
    male: 18.5 years
    female: 19 years (2015 est.)
    2.63% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    35.74 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    9.46 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    urban population: 37.2% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 3.82% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    CONAKRY (capital) 1.936 million (2015)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 53.43 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 56.26 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 50.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    total population: 60.08 years
    male: 58.55 years
    female: 61.66 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    4.88 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    5.6% (2012)
    4.7% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2005)
    0.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 92.7% of population
    rural: 67.4% of population
    total: 76.8% of population
    urban: 7.3% of population
    rural: 32.6% of population
    total: 23.2% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 34.1% of population
    rural: 11.8% of population
    total: 20.1% of population
    urban: 65.9% of population
    rural: 88.2% of population
    total: 79.9% of population (2015 est.)
    1.55% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    118,000 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    3,800 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
    animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
    5.9% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    18.7% (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    2.5% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 30.4%
    male: 38.1%
    female: 22.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 9 years
    male: 10 years
    female: 7 years (2011)
    total number: 571,774
    percentage: 25% (2003 est.)
  • Government :: GUINEA

  • conventional long form: Republic of Guinea
    conventional short form: Guinea
    local long form: Republique de Guinee
    local short form: Guinee
    former: French Guinea
    name: Conakry
    geographic coordinates: 9 30 N, 13 42 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    7 regions administrative and 1 gouvenorat*; Boke, Conakry*, Faranah, Kankan, Kindia, Labe, Mamou, N'Zerekore
    2 October 1958 (from France)
    Independence Day, 2 October (1958)
    previous 1958, 1990; latest promulgated 19 April 2010, approved 7 May 2010 (2010)
    civil law system based on the French model
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Alpha CONDE (since 21 December 2010)
    head of government: Prime Minister Mohamed Said FOFANA (since 24 December 2010)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 October 2015 (next scheduled for 2020); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Alpha CONDE reelected president; percent of vote - Alpha CONDE (RPG) 52.5%, Cellou Dalein DIALLO (UFDG) 31.4%, other 16.1%
    description: unicameral People's National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale Populaire (114 seats; 76 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote and 38 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 28 September 2013 (next scheduled for 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RPG 53, UFDG 37, UFR 10, PEDN 2, UPG 2, other parties 12
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (organized into Administrative Chamber and Civil, Penal, and Social Chamber; court consists of the first president, 2 chamber presidents, at least 4 councillors, the solicitor general and NA deputies); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court first president appointed by the national president after consultation with the National Assembly; other members appointed by presidential decree; member tenure NA; Constitutional Court member appointments - 2 by the National Assembly and the president of the republic, 3 experienced judges designated by their peers, 1 experienced lawyer, 1 university professor with expertise in public law designated by peers, and 2 experienced representatives of the Independent National Institution of Human Rights; members serve single 9-year terms
    subordinate courts: includes Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; courts of first instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; High Court of Justice or Cour d'Assises; labor court; military tribunal; justices of the peace; specialized courts
    National Party for Hope and Development or PEDN [Lansana KOUYATE]
    Rally for the Guinean People or RPG [Alpha CONDE]
    Union for the Progress of Guinea or UPG [Jean Marie DORE]
    Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea or UFDG [Cellou Dalein DIALLO]
    Union of Republican Forces or UFR [Sidya TOURE]
    note: listed are the five most popular parties as of January 2014
    National Confederation of Guinean Workers-Labor Union of Guinean Workers or CNTG-USTG Alliance (includes National Confederation of Guinean Workers or CNTG, Labor Union of Guinean Workers or USTG)
    Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG
    chief of mission: Ambassador Mamady CONDE (since 14 July 2014)
    chancery: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 986-4300
    FAX: [1] (202) 986-3800
    chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander Mark LASKARIS (since 28 September 2012)
    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] 655-10-40-00
    FAX: [224] 655-10-42-97
    three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; red represents the people's sacrifice for liberation and work; yellow stands for the sun, for the riches of the earth, and for justice; green symbolizes the country's vegetation and unity
    note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the reverse of those on the flags of neighboring Mali and Senegal
    national colors: red, yellow, green
    name: "Liberte" (Liberty)
    lyrics/music: unknown/Fodeba KEITA
    note: adopted 1958
  • Economy :: GUINEA

  • Guinea is a poor country of approximately 11.7 million people that possesses the world's largest reserves of bauxite and world’s largest untapped high-grade iron ore reserves (Simandou), as well as gold and diamonds. In addition, Guinea has fertile soil, ample rainfall, and is the source of several West African rivers, including the Senegal, Niger, and Gambia. Guinea's hydro potential is enormous and the country could be a major exporter of electricity. The country also has tremendous agriculture potential. Gold, bauxite, and diamonds are Guinea’s main mineral exports. Following the death of long-term President Lansana CONTE in 2008 and the coup that followed, international donors, including the G-8, the IMF, and the World Bank, significantly curtailed their development programs in Guinea. However, the IMF approved a new 3-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement in 2012, following the December 2010 presidential elections. In September 2012, Guinea achieved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) completion point status. Future access to international assistance and investment will depend on the government’s ability to be transparent, combat corruption, reform its banking system, improve its business environment, and build infrastructure. In April 2013, the government amended its mining code to reduce taxes and royalties. In September 2013, legislative elections were held and the National Assembly was seated in January 2014. In 2014, Guinea also complied with requirements of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by publishing its mining contracts and was found to be compliant. International investors have shown interest in Guinea's unexplored mineral reserves, which have the potential to propel Guinea's future growth.
    The biggest threats to Guinea’s economy are political instability, the continuation of the Ebola epidemic, and low international commodity prices. Rising international donor support and reduced government investment spending will lessen fiscal strains created by the Ebola epidemic, but economic recovery will be a long process while the government continues to fight the disease. As of March 2015, Guinea had approximately 3,200 confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola with over 2,100 deaths (65.6% mortality rate). The economic toll of Ebola on the Guinean economy is considerable. Ebola stalled promising economic growth in 2014 and unless the epidemic ends in 2015, the economy will continue to stagnate. Normal economic growth has not returned and several projects have stalled, such as offshore oil exploration and the giant Simandou iron ore project. Promising reductions in Ebola cases in the first half of 2015 could see Guinea turn the corner on the disease and have Ebola eradicated later in the year. The 240 Megawatt Kaleta Dam is expected to be commissioned in late June or early July 2015 and President Alpha CONDE’s administration has stated that Conakry will have full time electricity once Kaleta comes online. Currently the capital only receives six to eight hours of electricity per day. Although the recent political stability has brought renewed interest in Guinea from the private sector, an enduring legacy of corruption, inefficiency, and lack of government transparency, combined with fears of Ebola, continue to undermine Guinea's economic viability.
    Successive governments have failed to address the country's crumbling infrastructure, which is needed for economic development. Guinea suffers from chronic electricity shortages; poor roads, rail lines and bridges; and a lack of access to clean water continue to plague economic development. Presidential elections are scheduled for October 2015 and investors are cautiously awaiting the outcome. Guinea is a new democracy and past election violence as well as Ebola may keep investors on the sideline until 2016. The Guinean government, led by President CONDE, is working to create an economy to attract foreign investment and hopes to have greater participation from western countries/firms in Guinea's economic development.
    $14.97 billion (2014 est.)
    $14.91 billion (2013 est.)
    $14.58 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 150
    $6.529 billion (2014 est.)
    0.4% (2014 est.)
    2.3% (2013 est.)
    3.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    $1,300 (2014 est.)
    $1,300 (2013 est.)
    $1,300 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 220
    -8.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -0.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
    -4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    household consumption: 101.3%
    government consumption: 12.4%
    investment in fixed capital: 14.5%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 26%
    imports of goods and services: -54.1%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 20.2%
    industry: 44.5%
    services: 35.3% (2014 est.)
    rice, coffee, pineapples, mangoes, palm kernels, cocoa, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
    bauxite, gold, diamonds, iron ore; light manufacturing, agricultural processing
    4.4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    5.045 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    agriculture: 76%
    industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)
    47% (2006 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.7%
    highest 10%: 30.3% (2007)
    39.4 (2007)
    40.3 (1994)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    revenues: $1.52 billion
    expenditures: $1.812 billion (2014 est.)
    22.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    -4.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    calendar year
    9.7% (2014 est.)
    11.9% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    NA% (31 December 2010)
    22.25% (31 December 2005)
    23% (31 December 2014 est.)
    26% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    $1.916 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $1.856 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    $2.199 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.02 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    $2.251 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.022 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    -$1.205 billion (2014 est.)
    -$974.7 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    $1.754 billion (2014 est.)
    $1.784 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    bauxite, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
    South Korea 27%, India 20.9%, Spain 6.6%, Ireland 5.1%, Germany 4.4% (2014)
    $2.155 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.128 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
    China 18.4%, Netherlands 6.6%, India 4.3% (2014)
    $185.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $165.7 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    $843.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $724.9 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    $148 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $148 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Guinean francs (GNF) per US dollar -
    7,025 (2014 est.)
    7,003.5 (2013 est.)
    6,986 (2012 est.)
    6,658 (2011 est.)
    5,726.1 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: GUINEA

  • 971 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    903 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    398,000 kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    67.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    32.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    9,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    9,089 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    1.388 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
  • Communications :: GUINEA

  • total subscriptions: 0
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    total: 8.7 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 76 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    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; fixed-line teledensity less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership is expanding and exceeds 40 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 224; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    government maintains marginal control over broadcast media; single state-run TV station; state-run radio broadcast station also operates several stations in rural areas; a steadily increasing number of privately owned radio stations, nearly all in Conakry, and about a dozen community radio stations; foreign TV programming available via satellite and cable subscription services (2011)
    AM 0, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2006)
    6 (2001)
    total: 195,100
    percent of population: 1.7% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
  • Transportation :: GUINEA

  • 16 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    total: 4
    over 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
    total: 12
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
    914 to 1,523 m: 3
    under 914 m:
    2 (2013)
    total: 662 km
    narrow gauge: 662 km 1.000-m gauge (20014)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    total: 44,348 km
    paved: 4,342 km
    unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft in the northern part of the Niger River system) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    major seaport(s): Conakry, Kamsar
  • Military :: GUINEA

  • National Armed Forces: Army, Guinean Navy (Armee de Mer or Marine Guineenne, includes Marines), Guinean Air Force (Force Aerienne de Guinee) (2009)
    18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (2012)
    males age 16-49: 2,359,203
    females age 16-49: 2,329,784 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,493,991
    females age 16-49: 1,535,418 (2010 est.)
    male: 118,443
    female: 115,901 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: GUINEA

  • 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 (country of origin): 6,580 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2014)
    current situation: Guinea is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the majority of trafficking victims are Guinean children; Guinean girls are subjected to domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are forced to beg or to work as street vendors, shoe shiners, or miners; some Guinean children are forced to mine in Senegal, Mali, and possibly other West African countries; Guinean women and girls are subjected to domestic servitude and sex trafficking in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Western Europe, the US, and the Middle East, while Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese women are forced into prostitution in Guinea
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government conducted six trafficking investigations in 2013 and prosecuted and convicted only one trafficking offender, which was an increase over the previous year; the government failed to provide victims with protective services and did not support NGOs that assisted victims but continued to refer child victims to NGOs on an ad hoc basis; Guinean law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, excluding, for example, debt bondage (2014)