COUNTRIES BRIEFS Newsletter ISSN 1563-4108

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Guinea's Investment Promotion Board - THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA-CONAKRY -

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The Republic of Guinea (also called: Guinea-Conakry) is located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone

Total area: 245,860 sq. km

Bordering countries: Guinea-Bissau over 386 km, Cote d'Ivoire over 610 km, Liberia over 563 km, Mali over 858 km, Senegal over 330 km, Sierra Leone over 652 km

Coastline: 320 km

Population: 7,405,375 (July 1997) 9,030,220 (July 2003 est.); Population growth rate: 1.1% (1997); 2.37% (2003 est.)

Capital-City: Conakry

Independence from France: October 2, 1958
National holiday: Anniversary of the Second Republic: April 3 (1984)
Constitution (Loi Fundamentale): December 23, 1990
President Lansana CONTE (head of military government since 5 April 1984, elected President on December 19, 1993. Reelected on December 14, 1998.

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

Agriculture productions: rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava, bananas, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber

Industrial productions: bauxite, gold, diamonds; alumina refining; light manufacturing and agricultural processing industries. Industrial production growth rate: 3.2% (1994)

In spite of being endowed with aplenty of natural resources: water, forests and mineral deposits (30% of world's bauxite ore), Guinea is listed according to UNDP as one of the poorest countries in the world.

The main reason for that dated back to the first years of the independence. The narrow and dogmatic political vision, the sheer lack of economic training of the founding father: Ahmed Sekou Toure, were simply real hindrances for the harmonious economic development of Guinea.

When in 1958, France decided to grant Self Government to its colonies in Africa, the choice was between Self Government status - with Money matters, International Relations and Defense under France's responsibility - or "immediate independence".

On October 2, 1958, under the leadership of Ahmed Sekou Toure - a self made man / trade unionist / populist politician - Guinea singled out and chose "immediate independence".

Overnight the country became independent.

French administrators, in Guinean provinces / "Cercles", instantly dropped duties; withholding vital administrative documents, maps, statistics. Etc. The local currency - CFA Franc, common to the members entities of the Afrique Occidentale Française - French West Africa Territories: Benin (Dahomey), Niger, Ivory Coast, Sudan Français (Mali), Senegal / Mauritania, Niger, Upper-Volta (Burkina-Faso) - becoming de facto non valid. Click here to choose / view countries briefs

Enthusiastic African scholars and nationalists from other African countries flocked in to Guinea to assist the new authorities manage the independence era. The euphoria lasted two years. End of 1960 most of them have already left disillusioned by the autocratic, repressive and dogmatic political management style adopted by Sekou Toure. Around 1962-1963 the country entered slowly into economic depression, which aggravated year upon year. Till his death, on March 26, 1984, Sekou Toure deployed infinite skills to survive alleged and true political plots. He was a populist politician; a survivor. Not an economist. His legacy is still, one way or another, having a certain impact on the social, cultural, economic and political life of Guinea.

The new military regime that seized power on December 24, 2008, 48 hours after the death of Lansana Conte, is promising to held democratic and "transparent" elections / presidential ballot in year 2010. It is taking power from another military regime, led by Colonel Lansana Conte, that seized power 24 years ego - 1984 - at the death of Sekou Toure.

The government surrendered to the new regime. And everything seems to be in order at Conakry. The population accepting the coup as the least damaging occurrence - as the opposition is undermined with clashes and intrigues between its leaders, and is perceived as a non credible alternative.

So, after 27 years of "chaotic" civil rule by Sekou Toure - 1958-1984, and 24 years of more chaotic military rule by Lansana Conte - 1984-2008, the country is now embarking again in another military rule, led by junior officers and by Moussa Dadis Camara as top man/ president - an army captain, in his mid-40s, who was previously in charge of fuel supplies.

One thing is sure: The new regime inherits a broken economy that needs to be fixed fast, to avoid recurrent hunger riots and energy shortages. Can this regime do better than the one it is replacing? Time will tell, but one can doubts as most of ministerial positions will be still in the hands of people previously in charge in the last Lansana Conte's governments.

- No Strategic Planning to boost agriculture development

For five decades running, no strategic scheme had been devised to systematically exploit to the maximum the huge agriculture potential of the country endowed with an incredible hydropower system, to creating a strong agribusiness industry.

In the contrary, Guinea's national budget relies heavily on revenues from the exploitation of the mineral sector, which accounts, year in year out, for 75% of exports.

One also notices that the legal framework is not attractive enough to Foreign Direct Investment. Indeed, the Mining Industry being an exception, foreign investment remains minimal.

In addition, there is a persisting internal political tension due to the fact that multiparty democracy had been constantly challenged by President Lansana Conte. What will be the practice of the new regime in that field? Time will tell.

Due to the huge natural resources, there are business opportunities in all sectors of economic activities

Courtesy of BusinessAfrica - Investment and Business Planners - Click here for an economic strategic scheme suitable for Guinea which closely links agriculture, industries and services.


1- Historical Dictionary of Guinea
by Thomas O'Toole
2- More News On Guinea
by AllAfrica

Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum



US$ 1.944 billion (2000); 2 billion (2001); 2.066 billion (2002); 2.266 billion (2003)
GNP-growth rate: 5% (2000); 3.3% (2001); 0.96% (2002); 0.7% (2003)
GNP-per capita: US$ 316(2000); US$ 251 (2003)

Click here for the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing.

GNP-composition by sector
  1. agriculture: 27%

  2. industry: 35%
  3. services: 38%

Exports: US$ 820 million (f.o.b. 2000); 835 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: bauxite, aluminum, diamonds, gold, coffee, fish, agricultural products

Imports: US$ 634 million (f.o.b. 2000); 670 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Commodities: petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs




A passport and visa are required. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the nearest Guinean Embassy or Consulate. Travelers are prohibited from having more than 5,000 Guinean Francs (about $3.00 US) in their possession upon departure from Guinea.

Embassy of the Republic of Guinea

2112 Leroy Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: +(202) 483-9420
Fax: +(202) 483-8688
E-mail: Click here

Tourism and Hotels Office
Secrétariat d'Etat au Tourisme et à l'Hôtellerie
BP 1304
Square des Martyrs
Tel: +(224) 442606 / 414013
Fax: +(224) 411631
Telex: 22275 ACCOR GUI GE
Embassy of the Republic of Guinea

483 Wilbrod Street
Ontario K1N 6N1
Tel: +(1) 613 7898444
Fax: +(1) 613 7897560
Embassy of the Republic of Guinea

51 rue de la Faisanderie
75016 Paris
Tel: +(33) 1 47048148
Fax: +(33) 1 47045765


Domestic airlines offer services to most interior cities. Aeroflot, Ghana Airways and Air-Guinée have transcontinental flights to and from the international airport of Conakry.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Post Box 545
Tel: +224 46 53 62
Fax: +224 41 22 80
Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system
Guinea is a country with minimal facilities for tourism. Travelers should make hotel reservations in advance and get confirmation and support from a local business partner if possible.
Novotel Conakry
BP 287
Tel: +(224) 41 50 21
Fax: +(224) 41 16 31
Tourism and Hotels Office
Secrétariat d'Etat au Tourisme
et à l'Hôtellerie
BP 1304
Square des Martyrs Conakry
Tel: +(224) 44 26 06 / 41 40 13
Fax: +(224) 41 16 31
Telex: 22275 ACCOR GUI GE

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