Guinea [Country Flag of Guinea]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Guinea]



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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

total: 245,860 sq km
land: 245,860 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries:
total: 3,399 km
border countries: Guinea-Bissau 386 km, Cote d'Ivoire 610 km, Liberia 563 km, Mali 858 km, Senegal 330 km, Sierra Leone 652 km

Coastline: 320 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 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

Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 22%
forests and woodland: 59%
other: 17% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 930 sq km (1993 est.)

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

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


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Population: 7,477,110 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (male 1,634,344; female 1,644,863)
15-64 years: 53% (male 1,952,442; female 2,044,363)
65 years and over: 3% (male 83,616; female 117,482) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.83% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 41.28 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 17.76 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -15.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)
note: in prior years Guinea received several hundred thousand refugees from the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, some of whom are now returning to their own countries

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 128.92 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 46.01 years
male: 43.58 years
female: 48.52 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.59 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean

Ethnic groups: Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller tribes 10%

Religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%

Languages: French (official), each tribe has its own language

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 35.9%
male: 49.9%
female: 21.9% (1995 est.)


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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

Data code: GV

Government type: republic

National capital: Conakry

Administrative divisions: 33 prefectures (prefectures, singular—prefecture) and 1 national capital* (capitale d'etat); 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
note: the 33 prefectures may have been reorganized into four new first-order administrative divisions called administrative regions (regions administrative, singular—region administrative) named Guinee-Forestiere, Guinee-Maritime, Haute-Guinee, and Moyenne-Guinee

Independence: 2 October 1958 (from France)

National holiday: Anniversary of the Second Republic, 3 April (1984)

Constitution: 23 December 1990 (Loi Fundamentale)

Legal system: based on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; legal codes currently being revised; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

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 Sidya TOURE (since July 1996)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected president; election last held 19 December 1993 (next to be held NA December 1998); the prime minister was appointed by President CONTE
election results: Lansana CONTE elected president; percent of vote—Lansana CONTE (PUP) 51.7%, Alpha CONDE (RPG) 19.55%, Mamadou Boye BA (UNR) 13.37%, Siradiou DIALLO (PRP) 11.86%; note—the country's first-ever multi-party elections for president

Legislative branch: unicameral People's National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale Populaire (114 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 11 June 1995 (next to be held NA 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PUP 71, RPG 19, PRP 9, UNR 9, UPG 2, PDG 1, UNP 1, PDG-RDA 1, other 1

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel

Political parties and leaders: political parties were legalized on 1 April 1992; of the more than 40 with legal status, the following won seats in the legislature in the 11 June 1995 elections
other: Democratic Party of Guinea-African Democratic Rally or PDG-RDA [El Hadj Ismael Mohamed Gassim GUSHEIN]; Democratic Party of Guinea or PDG-AST [Marcel CROS]; National Union for the Prosperity of Guinea or UNPG [Lt. Col. Facine TOURE]; Party for Renewal and Progress or PRP [Siradiou DIALLO]
pro-government: Party for Unity and Progress or PUP [Gen. Lansana CONTE]
other: Rally for the Guinean People or RPG [Alpha CONDE]; Union for Progress of Guinea or UPG [Jean-Marie DORE, secretary-general]; Union for a New Republic or UNR [Mamadou Boye BA']

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, MINURSO, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed Aly THIAM
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 Tibor P. NAGY, Jr. (5 July 1996)
embassy: Rue Ka 038, Conakry
mailing address: B. P. 603, Conakry
telephone: [224] 41 15 20, 41 15 21, 41 15 23
FAX: [224] 41 15 22

Flag description: three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Rwanda, which has a large black letter R centered in the yellow band


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Economy—overview: Although possessing major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, Guinea remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The agricultural sector employs 80% of the work force. Guinea possesses over 25% of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounted for about 75% of exports in 1995. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. The government made encouraging progress in budget management in 1997. Except in the mining industry, foreign investment remains minimal.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$8.3 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.8% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,100 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 24%
industry: 31%
services: 45% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.5% (1996 est.)

Labor force:
total: 2.4 million (1983)
by occupation: agriculture 80.0%, industry and commerce 11.0%, services 5.4%, civil service 3.6%

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $553 million
expenditures: $652 million, including capital expenditures of $317 million (1995 est.)

Industries: bauxite, gold, diamonds; alumina refining; light manufacturing and agricultural processing industries

Industrial production growth rate: 3.2% (1994)

Electricity—capacity: 176,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 500 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 76 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava (tapioca), bananas, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber

total value: $748 million (1995 est.)
commodities: bauxite, alumina, diamonds, gold, coffee, fish, agricultural products
partners: US 21%, Belgium-Luxembourg 21%, Ireland 15%, Spain 15% (1995)

total value: $809 million (1995 est.)
commodities: petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
partners: France 35%, Cote d'Ivoire 31%, US 14%, Belgium-Luxembourg 10%, Hong Kong 10% (1995)

Debt—external: $3 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Guinean franc (FG) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Guinean francs (FG) per US$1—1,004.0 (January 1997), 1,004.0 (1997), 991.4 (1995), 976.6 (1994), 955.5 (1993), 902.0 (1992)
note: the official exchange rate of the Guinean franc was set and quoted weekly against the US dollar until the end of October 1993; since 1 November 1994, the exchange rate is determined in the interbank market for foreign exchange

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 18,000 (1994 est.)

Telephone system: poor to fair system of open-wire lines, small radiotelephone communication stations, and new microwave radio relay system
domestic: microwave radio relay and radiotelephone communication
international: satellite earth station—1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 1, shortwave 0

Radios: 257,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: 65,000 (1993 est.)


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total: 1,086 km
standard gauge: 279 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 807 km 1.000-m gauge (includes 662 km in common carrier service from Kankan to Conakry)

total: 30,500 km
paved: 5,033 km
unpaved: 25,467 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 1,295 km navigable by shallow-draft native craft

Ports and harbors: Boke, Conakry, Kamsar

Merchant marine:
total: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,722 GRT/6,226 DWT (1997 est.)

Airports: 15 (1997 est.)

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 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Navy (acts primarily as a coast guard), Air Force, Republican Guard, Presidential Guard, paramilitary National Gendarmerie, National Police Force (Surete National)

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,706,395 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 861,036 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $50 million (1994)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 1.6% (1994)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: none