Guinea Facts

Guinea Facts and History


Guinea – Africa’s poor natural paradise

Guinea – the former French colony extends in western Africa and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire), Liberia and finally Sierra Leone, which with its brutal civil war is also having an impact the stability of Guinea had.

The country, which is predominantly determined by Sunni Islam and the official language is French, achieved independence from Franceonly in 1958. Since then, Guinea has had just two heads of government. The first was Ahmed Sékou Touré, who received much criticism from the West for the human rights violations that had occurred under his rule. But even after his death in 1984 and the beginning of General Lansana Conté’s reign, not much has improved. Despite enormous natural resources such as half of all bauxite deposits on earth, the country ranks among the poorest countries in the world, which was made even more serious by the experiments of a communist form of government and the dictatorship of Touré.

The landscape of Guinea is very interesting and is mainly determined in the central and southeastern part of the Upper Guinea Sill. This also includes the up to 1,537 meter high mountain range of Futa Djalon. The nature reserve around Mount Nimba, the highest mountain in the country at 1,752 meters, was placed on the UNESCO list of world cultural and natural heritage in 1982. Guinea, through which the famous Niger also flows, has, in addition to the highlands, large areas of rainforest and vast areas of savanna grassland. 2/3 of the surprisingly young population with an average of 17 years live in the countryside. The rest have settled in the cities such as the capital Conakry.

The politically unstable country is interesting for tourism solely because of its incredible ethnic diversity. While the Susu have settled in maritime Guinea and the nomadic Pulars are at home in Moyenne Guinea, the Malinke live in the mountainous Haute Guinea and the Toma, Kissi and other groups in Guinea Forestiere, which can look back on a long religious and cultural tradition. But Guinea is also known for the Atoll Island and the Soumba waterfalls. It is interesting to note that the country’s leading politicians, who are all soldiers, were trained at the Federal Armed Forces Leadership Academy for several years.

Name of the country Republic of GuineaRépublique de Guinée
Form of government Presidential republic, since dec. 2008 military dictatorship
Geographical location West Africa
National anthem Liberté
Independent since October 2, 1958
National holiday October 2
Population about 13 million (Credit: Countryaah: Guinea Population)
Ethnicities about 30% Fulbe (Peul), 25% Malinke, 20% Susuabout 20 other ethnic groups
Religions approx. 90% Muslims (Sunnis), 5% Christians and approx. 5% followers of natural religions
Languages French (official language)Susu, Mande, Fulbe and others
Capital Conakry with approx. 2.5 million residents
Surface 245,857 km²
Highest mountain Nimba with a height of 1,752 m
Longest river Niger with a length of 4,200 km
Largest lake There are no larger lakes in Guinea.
International license plate RG
National currency 1 guinea franc = 100 centimes
Time difference to CET -1h = GMT
International phone code 00224
Mains voltage, frequency 220 volts and 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .gn

Guinea: history

In the 18th and 19th centuries

In the 18th century, the former nomadic pastoral tribes of the Fulbe (Peul) developed an Islamic system of rule in the mountainous region of Fouta Djalon. France began colonizing the country in the middle of the 19th century. The local population put up some fierce resistance, especially in what is now Upper Guinea under the leadership of Samy Touré. In 1892/93 today’s Guinea became a colony of French West Africa.

20th century until today

According to Abbreviationfinder website, in 1958 a referendum in Guinea decided the country’s full independence, which was unique among the French colonies in West Africa. As a result, there was a break with France. Sékou Touré became president of the newly founded republic. With the support of the Soviet Union, he established a one-party regime that developed into a brutal dictatorship. At the end of 1970 there was an attempt to overthrow Guinean exiles from Guinea-Bissau, which was then Portuguese, but it failed.

In 1984, after the death of Sékou Touré, Colonel Lansana Conté took power through a coup and then proclaimed the 2nd Republic. He distanced himself from the Soviet Union and called on the exiles to return to Guinea. Its economic policy was more oriented towards the market economy and relied on cooperation with the International Monetary Fund. In 1990, after the outbreak of civil war in the neighboring states of Liberia and Sierra Leone, hundreds of thousands of people fled to Guinea.

In 1992 the multi-party system was introduced in the country. The first presidential election in 1993 was overshadowed by allegations of manipulation. She confirmed General Lansana Conté in his office. In January 1994 he proclaimed the 3rd Republic. In 1996 a military revolt was put down. At the end of 1998 Lansana Conté was re-elected president, and again the opposition and international observers were accused of electoral fraud. Between September 2000 and March 2001, there were attacks by Sierra Leonean and Liberian rebels on the territory of Guinea, which were repulsed.

In 2001, the government pushed through a controversial constitutional amendment which, among other things, was intended to extend the term of office of President Lansana Conté. In February 2002, a summit meeting of the presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone took place in Rabat, with the aim of resolving regional conflicts. The elections in June 2002 were not democratic and were therefore boycotted by the main opposition party and gave the PUP a clear victory.

The presidential elections in December 2003, which were boycotted by almost all opposition parties, were again won by Lansana Conté. After Conté’s death in December 2008, Moussa Dadis Camara led to a military coup and Camara took over the office of head of state – as president of the Conseil National pour la Démocratie et le Développement. At the end of September 2009 there were demonstrations against the military ruler Camara in the capital Konakry, in which over 50,000 people took part. Police and the military shot into the crowd, killing around 150 people and injuring over 1,000. Since the country has extensive raw material stores, such as bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamonds, the reactions of other countries were limited. Alpha Condé (born 1938) became president of the country on December 21, 2010.

Guinea Facts