Reference > World Factbook, 2008
  The World Factbook.  2008.
Flag of Guinea                                Map of Guinea
Background:Guinea has had only two presidents 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 have been marred by irregularities. Guinea has maintained its internal stability despite spillover effects from conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia. As those countries have rebuilt, Guinea's own vulnerability to political and economic crisis has increased. Declining economic conditions and popular dissatisfaction with corruption and bad governance prompted two massive strikes in 2006; a third nationwide strike in early 2007 sparked violent protests in many Guinean cities and prompted two weeks of martial law. To appease the unions and end the unrest, CONTE named a new prime minister in March 2007.
Location:Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
Geographic coordinates:11 00 N, 10 00 W
Map references:Africa
Area:total: 245,857 sq km
land: 245,857 sq km
water: 0 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
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 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 (2003)
Total renewable water resources:226 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):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
Population:9,947,814 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 44.3% (male 2,226,414/female 2,183,153)
15-64 years: 52.5% (male 2,611,833/female 2,610,773)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 138,392/female 177,249) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 17.7 years
male: 17.5 years
female: 17.9 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:2.62% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:41.53 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:15.33 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
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: 0.781 male(s)/female
total population: 1.001 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 88.58 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 93.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 83.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 49.65 years
male: 48.5 years
female: 50.84 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:5.75 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:3.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:140,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:9,000 (2003 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
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2008)
Nationality:noun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
Ethnic groups:Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
Religions:Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
Languages:French (official); note - each ethnic group has its own language
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 29.5%
male: 42.6%
female: 18.1% (2003 est.)
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:republic
Capital: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
Independence:2 October 1958 (from France)
National holiday:Independence Day, 2 October (1958)
Constitution:23 December 1990 (Loi Fundamentale)
Legal system:based on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:chief of state: President Lansana CONTE (head of military government since 5 April 1984, elected president 19 December 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Lansana KOUYATE (since 26 February 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (no term limits); candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected president; election last held 21 December 2003 (next to be held in December 2010); the prime minister is appointed by the president
election results: Lansana CONTE reelected president; percent of vote - Lansana CONTE 95.3%, Mamadou Bhoye BARRY 4.6%
Legislative branch:unicameral People's National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale Populaire (114 seats; members are elected by a mixed system of direct popular vote and proportional party lists
elections: last held 30 June 2002 (next to be held in 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - PUP 61.6%, UPR 26.6%, other 11.8%; seats by party - PUP 85, UPR 20, other 9
note: legislative elections were due in 2007 but have been postponed
Judicial branch: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:National Union for Progress or UPN [Mamadou Bhoye BARRY]; Party for Unity and Progress or PUP (the governing party) [Lansana CONTE]; People's Party of Guinea or PPG [Charles Pascal TOLNO]; 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]; Union for Progress of Guinea or UPG [Jean-Marie DORE, secretary-general]; Union for Progress and Renewal or UPR [Ousmane BAH]
Political pressure groups and leaders:National Confederation of Guinean Workers - Labor Union of Guinean Workers or CNTG-USTG Alliance: National Confederation of Guinean Workers [Rabiatou Sarah DIALLO] and Labor Union of Guinean Workers [Dr. Ibrahima FOFANA]; Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG [Dr. Louis M'Bemba SOUMAH]; National Council of Civil Society Organizations of Guinea CNOSCG [Ben Sekou SYLLA]
Diplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Mory Karamoko KABA
chancery: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-9420
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8688
Diplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Phillip CARTER III
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] 30-42-08-61 through 68
FAX: [224] 30-42-08-73
Flag description:three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Economy—overview:Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains an underdeveloped nation. The country has almost half of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second-largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounts for over 70% of exports. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. Investor confidence has been sapped by rampant corruption, a lack of electricity and other infrastructure, a lack of skilled workers, and the political uncertainty due to the failing health of President Lansana CONTE. Guinea is trying to reengage with the IMF and World Bank, which cut off most assistance in 2003, and is working closely with technical advisors from the U.S. Treasury Department, the World Bank and IMF, seeking to return to a fully funded program. Growth rose slightly in 2006-07, primarily due to increases in global demand and commodity prices on world markets, but the standard of living fell. The Guinea franc depreciated sharply as the prices for basic necessities like food and fuel rose beyond the reach of most Guineans. Dissatisfaction with economic conditions prompted nationwide strikes in February and June 2006.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$9.741 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$4.568 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:1.5% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$1,000 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 22%
industry: 40.5%
services: 37.6% (2007 est.)
Labor force:3.7 million (2006 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%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 41% (2006)
Distribution of family income—Gini index:38.1 (2006)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):20% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):11.3% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $382 million
expenditures: $817.4 million (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava (tapioca), bananas, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
Industries:bauxite, gold, diamonds, iron; alumina refining; light manufacturing, and agricultural processing
Industrial production growth rate:7.6% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:840 million kWh
note: excludes electricity generated at interior mining sites (2006)
Electricity—consumption:832.9 million kWh (2006)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2006)
Electricity—imports:0 kWh (2006)
Oil—production:0 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil—consumption:9,650 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil—exports:0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—imports:8,481 bbl/day (2004)
Oil—proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-175 million (2007 est.)
Exports:$998 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:bauxite, alumina, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
Exports—partners:Russia 11.6%, Ukraine 9.6%, Spain 9%, South Korea 8.8%, France 7.7%, US 7.7%, Germany 5.4%, Ireland 5.1% (2006)
Imports:$838 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
Imports—partners:China 8.6%, France 8%, Netherlands 4.8%, Belgium 4.4% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$119 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$3.298 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:$NA
Economic aid—recipient:$182.1 million (2005)
Currency (code):Guinean franc (GNF)
Exchange rates:Guinean francs per US dollar - 4,122.8 (2007), 5,350 (2006), 3,644.3 (2005), 2,225 (2004), 1,984.9 (2003)
Fiscal year:calendar year
Telephones—main lines in use:26,300 (2005)
Telephones—mobile cellular:189,000 (2005)
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; combined fixed and mobile-cellular teledensity is about 2 per 100 persons
international: country code - 224; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:AM 0, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2006)
Television broadcast stations:6 (2001)
Internet country
Internet hosts:173 (2007)
Internet users:50,000 (2006)
Airports:16 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Railways:total: 837 km
standard gauge: 175 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 662 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadways:total: 44,348 km
paved: 4,342 km
unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)
Waterways:1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft) (2005)
Ports and terminals:Conakry, Kamsar
Military branches:Army, Navy, Air Force, Presidential Guard (2007)
Military service age and obligation:18 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 1,852,534
females age 18-49: 1,827,560 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 1,034,006
females age 18-49: 1,032,885 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:1.7% (2006)
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): 54,810 (Liberia), 5,423 (Sierra Leone), 3,900 (Cote d'Ivoire)
IDPs: 19,000 (cross-border incursions from Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone) (2006)


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