Guinea

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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, and in October 2015 held a second consecutive presidential election. Alpha CONDE was reelected to a second five-year term as president in 2015, and the National Assembly was seated in January 2014. CONDE's first 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

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

11.00° N, 10.00° W

Area 79/257

total: 245,857 sq km

land: 245,717 sq km

water: 140 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries

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

Coastline

320 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

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

Terrain

generally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m

Natural resources

bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt

Land use

agricultural land: 58.1%

arable land 11.8%; permanent crops 2.8%; permanent pasture 43.5%

forest: 26.5%

other: 15.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

950 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

226 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 0.55 cu km/yr (39%/10%/51%)

per capita: 64.3 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season

Environment - current issues

deforestation; inadequate potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage

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

Geography - note

the Niger and its important tributary the Milo River have their sources in the Guinean highlands

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Guinean(s)

adjective: Guinean

Ethnic groups

Fulani (Peul) 33.9%, Malinke 31.1%, Soussou 19.1%, Guerze 6%, Kissi 4.7%, Toma 2.6%, other/no answer 2.7% (2012 est.)

Languages

French (official)

note: each ethnic group has its own language

Religions

Muslim 86.7%, Christian 8.9%, animist/other/none 7.8% (2012 est.)

Population 76/238

11,780,162 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

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.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 83.8%

youth dependency ratio: 78.2%

elderly dependency ratio: 5.6%

potential support ratio: 17.8% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 18.8 years

male: 18.5 years

female: 19 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 18/233

2.63% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 21/224

35.74 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 55/225

9.46 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 95/222

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 37.2% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.82% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

CONAKRY (capital) 1.936 million (2015)

Sex ratio

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.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19

note: median age at first birth among women 20-24 (2012 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 13/184

679 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 30/224

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.)

Life expectancy at birth 198/224

total population: 60.08 years

male: 58.55 years

female: 61.66 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 18/224

4.88 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

5.6% (2012)

Health expenditures 102/191

4.7% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2005)

Hospital bed density

0.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 92.7% of population

rural: 67.4% of population

total: 76.8% of population

unimproved:

urban: 7.3% of population

rural: 32.6% of population

total: 23.2% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 34.1% of population

rural: 11.8% of population

total: 20.1% of population

unimproved:

urban: 65.9% of population

rural: 88.2% of population

total: 79.9% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

1.55% (2014)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

118,000 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

3,800 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 165/191

5.9% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 33/138

18.7% (2012)

Education expenditures 156/173

2.5% of GDP (2012)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 10 years

female: 7 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 1%

male: 1.5%

female: 0.6% (2012 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Guinea

conventional short form: Guinea

local long form: Republique de Guinee

local short form: Guinee

former: French Guinea

note: the country is named after the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Conakry

geographic coordinates: 9.30° N, 13.42° W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

7 regions administrative and 1 gouvenorat*; Boke, Conakry*, Faranah, Kankan, Kindia, Labe, Mamou, N'Zerekore

Independence

2 October 1958 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 2 October (1958)

Constitution

previous 1958, 1990; latest promulgated 19 April 2010, approved 7 May 2010 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system based on the French model

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Guinea

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: na

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Alpha CONDE (since 21 December 2010)

head of government: Prime Minister Mamady YOULA (since 26 December 2015); Prime Minister Mohamed Said FOFANA (since 24 December 2010) resigned 12/23/15

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) 57.8%, Cellou Dalein DIALLO (UFDG) 31.4%, other 10.8%

Legislative branch

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

Judicial branch

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

Political parties and leaders

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 December 2015

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, Labor Union of Guinean Workers or USTG)

Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Flag description

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 symbol(s)

national colors: red, yellow, green

National anthem

name: "Liberte" (Liberty)

lyrics/music: unknown/Fodeba KEITA

note: adopted 1958

Economy

Economy - overview

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. International investors have shown interest in Guinea's unexplored mineral reserves, which have the potential to propel Guinea's future growth.

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 2014, Guinea also complied with requirements of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by publishing its mining contracts and was found to be compliant.

The biggest threats to Guinea’s economy are political instability, the continuation of the Ebolavirus epidemic, and low international commodity prices. Rising international donor support and reduced government investment spending will lessen fiscal strains created by the Ebolavirus epidemic, but economic recovery will be a long process while the government continues to fight the disease. The economic toll of Ebolavirus on the Guinean economy is considerable. Ebola stalled promising economic growth in 2014-15, and the economy will continue to stagnate in 2016, unless Ebolavirus is eradicated. Several projects have stalled, such as offshore oil exploration and the giant Simandou iron ore project. The 240 Megawatt Kaleta Dam, which was inaugurated in September 2015, has expanded access to electricity for residents of Conakry. 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 Ebolavirus, 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. The present government, led by President Alpha CONDE, is working to create an economy to attract foreign investment and hopes to have greater participation from western countries and firms in Guinea's economic development.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 152/230

$15.28 billion (2015 est.)

$15.28 billion (2014 est.)

$15.12 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$6.733 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 199/225

0% (2015 est.)

1.1% (2014 est.)

2.3% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 219/230

$1,300 (2015 est.)

$1,300 (2014 est.)

$1,300 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 176/179

-4.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

-14.9% of GDP (2014 est.)

-3.6% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 96.6%

government consumption: 8.9%

investment in fixed capital: 13.2%

investment in inventories: 0.1%

exports of goods and services: 23.6%

imports of goods and services: -42.4%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 19.7%

industry: 37.2%

services: 43.1% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

rice, coffee, pineapples, mangoes, palm kernels, cocoa, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber

Industries

bauxite, gold, diamonds, iron ore; light manufacturing, agricultural processing

Industrial production growth rate 178/202

-2% (2015 est.)

Labor force 76/233

5.24 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 76%

industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)

Unemployment rate

NA%

Population below poverty line

47% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.7%

highest 10%: 30.3% (2007)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 67/144

39.4 (2007)

40.3 (1994)

Budget

revenues: $1.546 billion

expenditures: $2.104 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 137/219

23% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 199/220

-8.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 202/226

8.6% (2015 est.)

9.7% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate

NA% (31 December 2010)

22.25% (31 December 2005)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 8/184

23% (31 December 2015 est.)

23% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 134/192

$1.758 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.84 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 151/193

$2.093 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.175 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 139/191

$2.005 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.226 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$NA

Current account balance 123/197

-$1.124 billion (2015 est.)

-$1.626 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 144/224

$1.81 billion (2015 est.)

$1.763 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

bauxite, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products

Exports - partners

South Korea 27%, India 20.9%, Spain 6.6%, Ireland 5.1%, Germany 4.4% (2014)

Imports 163/223

$1.94 billion (2015 est.)

$2.175 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs

Imports - partners

China 18.4%, Netherlands 6.6%, India 4.3% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 158/170

$302.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$302.4 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 159/206

$1.283 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$1.198 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 97/105

$67.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$67.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

Guinean francs (GNF) per US dollar -

7,305 (2015 est.)

7,014.1 (2014 est.)

7,014.1 (2013 est.)

6,986 (2012 est.)

6,658 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 151/220

971 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 159/219

903 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 147/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 158/219

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 146/214

398,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 117/214

67.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 105/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 71/214

32.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 181/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 144/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 133/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 201/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 142/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 191/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 156/212

9,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 187/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 139/213

9,089 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 198/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 152/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 112/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 206/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 147/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 161/212

1.388 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 219/219

total subscriptions: 0

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 93/217

total: 8.7 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 76 (2014 est.)

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; 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)

Broadcast media

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 0, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2006)

Television broadcast stations

6 (2001)

Internet country code

.gn

Internet hosts 223/232

15 (2012)

Internet users 156/217

total: 195,100

percent of population: 1.7% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 144/236

16 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 4

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 12

1,524 to 2,437 m: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 2 (2013)

Railways 87/136

total: 662 km

narrow gauge: 662 km 1.000-m gauge (20014)

Roadways 79/223

total: 44,348 km

paved: 4,342 km

unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)

Waterways 53/107

1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft in the northern part of the Niger River system) (2011)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Conakry, Kamsar

Military and Security

Military branches

National Armed Forces: Army, Guinean Navy (Armee de Mer or Marine Guineenne, includes Marines), Guinean Air Force (Force Aerienne de Guinee) (2009)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (2012)

Transnational Issues

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): 6,580 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2014)