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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. His unwillingness to yield to domestic and international pressure to step down led to heightened political tensions that culminated in September 2009 when presidential... See More



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

Geographic Coordinates:

 11 00 N, 10 00 W


 Total: 245,857 sq km
Land: 245,717 sq km
Water: 140 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Oregon

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


 320 km (Rank: 131)

Maritime Claims:

 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

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:

 Arable land: 4.47%
Permanent crops: 2.64%
Other: 92.89% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 950 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 226 cu km (1987)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 1.51 cu km/yr (8%/2%/90%)
Per capita: 161 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

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

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

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 have their sources in the Guinean highlands

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 Noun: Guinean(s)
Adjective: Guinean

Ethnic Groups:

 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%


 10,601,009 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 42.5% (male 2,278,048/female 2,229,602)
15-64 years: 54% (male 2,860,845/female 2,860,004)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 164,051/female 208,459) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 18.6 years
Male: 18.3 years
Female: 18.8 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.645% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 36.9 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 10.45 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 35% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 4.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 CONAKRY (capital) 1.597 million (2009)

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 (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 680 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 61.03 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 64.29 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 57.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 58.11 years
Male: 56.63 years
Female: 59.64 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 5.1 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 6.1% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2005)

Hospital Bed Density:

 0.31 beds/1,000 population (2005)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 89% of population
Rural: 61% of population
Total: 71% of population
Urban: 11% of population
Rural: 39% of population
Total: 29% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 34% of population
Rural: 11% of population
Total: 19% of population
Urban: 66% of population
Rural: 89% of population
Total: 81% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 1.3% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 79,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 4,700 (2009 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
Aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
Animal contact disease: rabies (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 20.8% (2008)

Education Expenditures:

 2.4% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 29.5%
Male: 42.6%
Female: 18.1% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 9 years
Male: 10 years
Female: 7 years (2009)

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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

Government Type:



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

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


 2 October 1958 (from France)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 2 October (1958)


 7 May 2010 (Loi Fundamentale)

Legal System:

 Civil law system based on the French model

International Law Organization Participation:

 Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 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: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected president; election last held on 27 June 2010 with a runoff election held on 7 November 2010

Election results: Alpha CONDE elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote Alpha CONDE 52.5%, Cellou Dalein DIALLO 47.5%

Legislative Branch:

 The legislature was dissolved by junta leader Moussa Dadis CAMARA in December 2008 and in February 2010, the Transition Government appointed a 155 member National Transition Council (CNT) that has since acted in the legislature's place

Elections: last held on 30 June 2002

Judicial Branch:

 Constitutional Court; Court of First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme

Political Parties and Leaders:

 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]

Note: Listed are the three most popular parties in first round voting for president in 2010; overall, there are more than 130 registered parties

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 and Labor Union of Guinean Workers or USTG); Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Blaise CHERIF
Chancery: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 986-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8688

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Patricia Newton MOLLER
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

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 Anthem:

 Name: "Liberte" (Liberty)
Lyrics/music: unknown/Fodeba KEITA

Note: adopted 1958

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Economy - Overview:

 Guinea is a poor country that possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources. The country has almost half of the world's bauxite reserves and significant iron ore, gold, and diamond reserves. However, Guinea has been unable to profit from this potential, as rampant corruption, dilapidated electricity and other degraded infrastructure, and political uncertainty have drained investor confidence. In the time since a 2008 coup following the death of long-term President Lansana CONTE, international donors, including the G-8, the IMF, and the World Bank, have significantly curtailed their development programs. Throughout 2009, policies of the ruling military junta severely weakened the economy. The junta leaders spent and printed money at an accelerated rate, driving inflation and debt to perilously high levels. In early 2010, the junta collapsed and was replaced by a Transition Government, which ceded power in December 2010 to the country's first-ever democratically elected president, Alpha CONDE. International assistance and investment are expected to return to Guinea, but the levels will depend upon the ability of the new government to combat corruption and reform its banking system. IMF and World Bank programs will be especially critical as Guinea attempts to gain debt relief. Since the 2009 global economic downturn, the price and value of bauxite and alumina exports has steadily risen. Export levels will likely continue to grow as investor confidence returns. International investors have expressed keen interest in Guinea's vast iron ore reserves, which could further propel the country's growth.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $10.81 billion (2010 est.)
$10.6 billion (2009 est.)
$10.63 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $4.633 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 1.9% (2010 est.)
-0.3% (2009 est.)
4.9% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $1,000 (2010 est.)
$1,100 (2009 est.)
$1,100 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 17%
Industry: 53%
Services: 30% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 4.392 million (2007 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 76%
Industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)

Unemployment Rate:


Population Below Poverty Line:

 47% (2006 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 2.7%
Highest 10%: 30.3% (2007)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 39.4 (2007)
40.3 (1994)

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)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 21.3% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $750.6 million
Expenditures: $1.411 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 16.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -14.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 20% (2010 est.)
9% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

22.25% (31 December 2005)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 24% (31 December 2010 est.)
23.8% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $NA (31 December 2008)
$309.8 million (31 December 2005)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $478.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$482.4 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $855.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$792.5 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $757.4 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$701.5 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava (tapioca), bananas, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber


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

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 3% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 920 million kWh

Note: excludes electricity generated at interior mining sites (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 45.5%
Hydro: 54.5%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 855.6 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 9,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 8,559 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$370.6 million (2010 est.)
-$426.7 million (2009 est.)


 $1.471 billion (2010 est.)
$1.05 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Bauxite, alumina, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products

Exports - Partners:

 India 15.5%, Spain 8%, Chile 7.7%, Russia 6.8%, Ireland 6.1%, Ukraine 5.7%, US 5.2%, Denmark 4.2%, Germany 4.1% (2010)


 $1.405 billion (2010 est.)
$1.06 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

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

Imports - Partners:

 China 11.5%, Netherlands 6.3%, France 4.2% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $179.4 million (31 December 2010 est.)
$53.1 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $2.843 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.926 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Guinea Franc to Any Currency

Guinean francs (GNF) per US dollar -
6,100 (2010)
5,500 (2009)
5,500 (2008)
4,122.8 (2007)
5,350 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 18,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 4 million (2010)

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 exceeded 50 per 100 persons in 2009

International: country code - 224; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

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 television 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:


Internet Hosts:

 14 (2010)

Internet Users:

 95,000 (2009)

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 16 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 4
Over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
Under 914 m: 2 (2010)


 Total: 1,185 km
Standard gauge: 238 km 1.435-m gauge
Narrow gauge: 947 km 1.000-m gauge (2009)


 Total: 44,348 km
Paved: 4,342 km
Unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)


 1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft in the northern part of the Niger system) (2009)

Ports and Terminals:

 Conakry, Kamsar

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Military Branches:

 National Armed Forces: Army, 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 (2009)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 2,359,203
Females age 16-49: 2,329,784 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,493,991
Females age 16-49: 1,535,418 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 118,443
Female: 115,901 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 1.1% of GDP (2009)

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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

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, forced labor, 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 increased efforts to eliminate trafficking; although the government acknowledges that trafficking in persons is a problem in Guinea, it is unclear if the new government, which took power in December 2010, will demonstrate an increase over the previous regime's minimal efforts to combat trafficking; the government failed to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses; no new prosecutions or convictions were reported, 12 cases from the previous reporting period remain pending in the courts, and 18 additional cases have disappeared from the court system; no protection to trafficking victims was provided, and although the government conducted an anti-trafficking awareness campaign on radio and television, overall prevention efforts remain weak (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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