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Info Africa - GUINEA

Guinea, in West Africa, is bounded by Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. In 1958, Guinea received its independence from France and since then, it has only had two presidents. Guinea continues to provide a home for the thousands of refugees from its neighbouring countries, namely Liberia and Ivory Coast. It has an abundance in mineral wealth, making it a potentially rich country; however, this wealth has not translated to the improvements of living standards for Guineans. Guinea has a lot to offer from its somewhat untouched countryside to the mountains, plains and forests. Memories of the slave trade are alive in Guinea through its various slave routes that are still visible. Guinea’s capital

city is Conakry, which is situated on the island of Tumbo. With its many alleys shaded by coconut palm trees, this city is home to the Cathedral built in the 1930s as well as the National Museum. The Kakimbon Caves, which are found in a suburb of Conakry (Ratoma), are known for their great religious significance to the local people of this region, the Baga. Guinea has a rather strong music tradition and is often regarded as the capital of drumming and percussion. The singing of the Kindia people is well known throughout this region.
CATEGORIES: Demographics - Quick Facts - Economy - Communications - Health Issues
Country Flag: Guinea's Flag

Three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia.

Nationality: Guinean

Capital: Conakry

Population: 9,690,222 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 44.4%
  • 15-64 years: 52.5%
  • 65 years and over: 3.2% (2006 est.)  

Population growth rate: 2.63% (2006 est.)

Literacy rate:

  • ages 15 and above can read and write.
  • 35.9% of the population is literate (male: 49.9%, female: 21.9%) (1995 est.)

Major religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%

Languages: French (official); each ethnic group has its own language

Quick Facts
  • total: 245,857 sq km
  • land: 245,857 sq km
  • water: 0 sq km

Area comparative to Canadian province: half the size of Yukon Territory

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

Environmental Issues: deforestation; insufficient supplies of potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage


Guinea is considered an underdeveloped country, although it has mineral, agricultural and hydropower resources. This country is the world’s second-largest bauxite producer. For Guinea to rid of its poverty, it must improve its government fiscal arrangements, literacy and the legal framework. Guinea’s involvement in the Sierra Leonean and Liberian fighting along its borders has created serious economic disturbances. Food shortages and inflation, partly caused by panic buying, have caused various riots in local markets. Guinea does not receive multilateral aid. Fortunately, economic growth rose in 2005 as a result of increases in global demand and commodity prices on world markets.

Major industries:

  • bauxite
  • gold
  • diamonds
  • alumina refining
  • light manufacturing and agricultural processing industries

Agricultural products:

  • rice
  • coffee
  • pineapples
  • palm kernels
  • cassava (tapioca)
  • bananas
  • sweet potatoes
  • cattle
  • sheep
  • goats
  • timber

Oil production: 0 bbl/day (2003)

Railways: 837 km

Road map: 44,348 km (paved: 4,342 km, unpaved: 40,006 km)

Currency: Guinean franc


Telephone lines in use: 26,200 (2003)

Cellular lines in use: 111,500 (2003)

Television Stations: 6 low-power stations (2001)

Radio Stations: AM 4 (one station is inactive), FM 1 (plus 7 repeaters), shortwave 3 (2001)

Internet users: 46,000 (2005)

Health Issues

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

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

More Information

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