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Population: Estimate 13,182,595 Visit Worldpopulationreview for more
Area: 245 857 km²
Capital City: Conakry


Guinea, is a country on the western coast of Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea (French: Guinée française), the modern country is sometimes referred to as Guinea-Conakry in order to distinguish it from other countries with “Guinea” in the name and the eponymous region, such as Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea.Guinea has a population of 12.4 million and an area of 245,860 square kilometres (94,927 sq mi). The sovereign state of Guinea is a republic with a president that is directly elected by the people and is head of state and head of government. The unicameral Guinean National Assembly is the legislative body of the country, and its members are also directly elected by the people. The judicial branch is led by the Guinea Supreme Court, the highest and final court of appeal in the country. The country is named after the Guinea region. Guinea is a traditional name for the region of Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea. It stretches north through the forested tropical regions and ends at the Sahel. The English term Guinea comes directly from the Portuguese word Guiné, which emerged in the mid-15th century to refer to the lands inhabited by the Guineus, a generic term for the black African peoples below the Senegal River, as opposed to the ‘tawny’ Zenaga Berbers, above it, whom they called Azenegues or Moors. Guinea is a predominantly Islamic country, with Muslims representing 85 percent of the population. Guinea’s people belong to twenty-four ethnic groups. French, the official language of Guinea, is the main language of communication in schools, in government administration, and the media, but more than twenty-four indigenous languages are also spoken. Guinea’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture and mineral production. It is the world’s second largest producer of bauxite, and has rich deposits of diamonds and gold. The country was at the core of the 2014 Ebola outbreak. Human rights in Guinea remain a controversial issue. In 2011 the United States government claimed that torture by security forces, and abuse of women and children (e.g. female genital mutilation) were ongoing abuses of human rights.



Currency

 

Government and Politics

Alpha Condé, the current President of Guinea. The country is a republic. The president is directly elected by the people and is head of state and head of government. The unicameral National Assembly is the legislative body of the country, and its members are directly elected by the people. The judicial branch is led by the Guinea Supreme Court, the highest and final court of appeal in the country. Guinea is a member of many international organizations including the African Union, Agency for the French-Speaking Community, African Development Bank, Economic Community of West African States, World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, IMF, and the United Nations.

 

Mining

Guinea possesses over 25 billion tonnes (metric tons) of bauxite – and perhaps up to one-half of the world’s reserves. In addition, Guinea’s mineral wealth includes more than 4-billion tonnes of high-grade iron ore, significant diamond and gold deposits, and undetermined quantities of uranium. Possibilities for investment and commercial activities exist in all these areas, but Guinea’s poorly developed infrastructure and rampant corruption continue to present obstacles to large-scale investment projects. Joint venture bauxite mining and alumina operations in northwest Guinea historically provide about 80% of Guinea’s foreign exchange. Bauxite is refined into alumina, which is later smelted into aluminium. The Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinea [fr] (CBG), which exports about 14 million tonnes of high-grade bauxite annually, is the main player in the bauxite industry. CBG is a joint venture, 49% owned by the Guinean government and 51% by an international consortium known as Halco Mining Inc., itself a joint venture controlled by aluminium producer Alcoa (AA), global miner Rio Tinto Group and Dadco Investments. CBG has exclusive rights to bauxite reserves and resources in north-western Guinea through 2038. In 2008 protesters upset about poor electrical services blocked the tracks CBG uses. Guineau often includes a proviso in its agreements with international oil companies requiring its partners to generate power for nearby communities.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly of Guinea, the country’s legislative body, did not meet from 2008 to 2013 when it was dissolved after the military coup in December. Elections have been postponed many times since 2007. In April 2012, President Condé postponed the elections indefinitely, citing the need to ensure that they were “transparent and democratic”. The 2013 Guinean legislative election were held on 24 September 2013. President Alpha Condé’s party, the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), won a plurality of seats in the National Assembly of Guinea, with 53 out of 114 seats. The opposition parties won a total of 53 seats, and opposition leaders denounced the official results as fraudulent.

 

Natural Resources

Guinea has abundant natural resources including 25% or more of the world’s known bauxite reserves. Guinea also has diamonds, gold, and other metals. The country has great potential for hydroelectric power. Bauxite and alumina are currently the only major exports. Other industries include processing plants for beer, juices, soft drinks and tobacco. Agriculture employs 80% of the nation’s labor force. Under French rule, and at the beginning of independence, Guinea was a major exporter of bananas, pineapples, coffee, peanuts, and palm oil. Guinea has considerable potential for growth in agricultural and fishing sectors. Soil, water, and climatic conditions provide opportunities for large-scale irrigated farming and agro industry.

 

Political Culture

President Alpha Condé derives support from Guinea’s second-largest ethnic group, the Malinke. Guinea’s opposition is backed by the Fula ethnic group, who account for around 40 percent of the population.

 

Tourism

Le “Voile” de la mariée à Kindia. Due to its diverse geography, Guinea presents some interesting tourist sites. Among the top attractions are the waterfalls found mostly in the Basse Guinee (Lower Guinea) and Moyenne Guinee (Middle Guinea) regions. The Soumba cascade at the foot of Mount Kakoulima in Kindia, Voile de la Mariee (bride’s veil) in Dubreka, Kinkon cascades of about 80 m high on the Kokoula river in the prefecture of Pita, the Kambadaga falls on the same river that can reach 100 m high during the raining season, the Ditinn & Mitty waterfalls in Dalaba, Fetoré waterfalls and the stone bridge in the region of Labe are among the well known water-related tourist sites.

 

Transport infrastructure

The railway from Conakry to Kankan ceased operating in the mid-1980s. Domestic air services are intermittent. Most vehicles in Guinea are 20+ years old, and cabs are any four-door vehicle which the owner has designated as being for hire. Locals, nearly entirely without vehicles of their own, rely upon these taxis (which charge per seat) and small buses to take them around town and across the country. There is some river traffic on the Niger and Milo rivers. Horses and donkeys pull carts, primarily to transport construction materials. Mining operations are expected to start at Simandou before the end of 2015. Rio Tinto Limited plans to build a 650 km railway to transport iron ore from the mine to the coast, near Matakong, for export. Much of the Simandou iron ore is expected to be shipped to China for steel production.  Conakry International Airport is the largest airport in the country, with flights to other cities in Africa as well as to Europe.

 

Wildlife

The wildlife of Guinea is very diverse due to the wide variety of different habitats. The southern part of the country lies within Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot, while the north-east is characterized by dry savanna woodlands. Unfortunately, declining populations of large animals are restricted to uninhabited distant parts of parks and reserves.

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