Bildungsförderung Oberguinea e.V.
  • Overview

Guinea lies in West Africa and has a surface area of 245860km2 and four tropical climatic zones.
  • There is a tropical coastal region in which primarily various species of palm thrive.
  • The mountainous region around Fouta Djallon (1500m) consists of Pine forests and banana plantations. Tomatoes, strawberries, and potatoes are also cultivated here.
  • Upper Guinea has little rainfall and lies on an elevated plain. The landscape here is mainly bush and savannah, with many mango, baobab, néré, shea, and kapok trees. The temperature ranges between 18 und 40°C.
  • In the partly untouched rain forest regions around Mount Nimba (1752m) there are also cocoa and coffee plantations, rubber trees, and pepper bushes. Here, depending on the season, the temperatures range between 18 und 40°C. Due to Guinea’s many rivers, the country is also known as Africa’s water reservoir.

Main cities: The port city of Conakry (pop. 2000000 ) is the country’s capital. . The capital of Upper Guinea is Kankan (pop. 190000 ). It lies inland, in the Malinké heartland. Kankan has hospitals and universities, but no electricity supply (only generators). The main mode of transport is motorbikes.

Mineral resources: Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of bauxite and is rich in minerals (gold, diamonds). In 1996 the world’s largest deposit of lead was discovered in Mount Simandou. For more information, see

Religion: Guinea has a population of around 12.5 million. 89% are Muslim, 7% animists, 8% Christian.

Theofficial language is French. There are three main languages: Sousou (11%), Peul (35%) and Malinké (30%).

Life expectancy: Nationally, life expectancy is 58 years (2013). 77% of the population is illiterate. Read more …

Settled and nomadic peoples: The nomadic Peul people in Fouta Djallon are mostly cattle herders. The settled Malinké are mostly farmers.

Neighbouring countries: Sénégal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Liberia und Sierra Leone.

  • Geopolitical Facts

Guinea (ca. 12000000 ), (approx. pop. 12 million), the so-called water reservoir of Africa, is one of the continent’s poorest countries, despite its significant mineral reserves. The Global Innovation Index, which includes 128 states, listed Guinea in 2016 in second last position. The country is predominantly rural, with only two cities – the capital, Conakry (pop. 2000000 ) and Kankan, in Upper Guinea (pop. 190000 ).
60 years of military dictatorship (1958-2009) destroyed Guinea’s economy and made it one of the world’s most corrupt states.
  • 1st military dictator: Sékou Touré (1958–1984)
  • 2nd military dictator: Lansana Conté (1984–2007)
  • There was also a further putsch by Moussa Dada Camara (2007–2009)
  • Lansana Kouyaté (2009–2010) was appointed by an international commission as the country’s interim leader pending democratic elections.
Since the first free presidential elections in 2010 and 2015, living conditions are beginning to change.

Challenges for The First Freely Elected President Dr. Alpha Condé
In 2010, Dr. Alpha Condé, social democrat and long-term leader opposition leader, returned from France to his home country and stood for election as president and obtained 52% of the votes.
It was not until 2012, after much resistance and repeated delays, that the parliament was also elected. The parliament took immediate action to invest in infrastructure improvements and especially in the building of new water wells. And with financial help from China, a damn in Kaleta is being planned that will ensure the supply of electricity for Conakry.

However, the catastrophic economic policy of the dictators has left its mark:
The telephone system is dilapidated and works only sporadically – even in the centre of the capital. There are only two main roads that cross the capital. The rest of the roads, even in the inland areas, are nothing more than dirt tracks and full of potholes. There is no local public transport – neither busses nor trams, which means that the cities have to deal with traffic chaos on a daily basis. There is no sewage system – the gutters are full of mud, rubbish, and plastic bags, leading repeatedly to outbreaks of disease. Rubbish collection services have been privatized, and although relatively inexpensive, is still unaffordable for most families as they struggle to find enough money for food. Thus, the city has turned into an immense mountain of rubbish consisting predominantly of plastic bags.

The Second Period of Office for Dr. Alpha Condé
Alpha Condé was re-elected in 2015 with 57% of the votes, which helped to stabilize the democratic development of the country. Shortly after his re-election, the outbreak of Ebola struck. The battle against this epidemic was extremely costly, significantly weakening economic growth and infrastructure improvements. Although Guinea has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite and iron, as well as large deposits of gold and diamonds, the country remains one of Africa’s poorest countries.

Read more on Wikipedia

Alpha Condé, President since 2010

Barrage Kaleta (2012–15), Barrage Souapiti (2016–2019). Video

Mountains of rubbish in Conakry

  • Economic Facts

Guinea’s Current Economic Situation
The current exchange rate is approx. : 1 € = 10000 FG

Inflation has not risen since the presidential election in 2010. In addition, as a result of the transparent economic policies of president Alpha Condé, the IMF cancelled 66%. of the country’s debt. The country is now in a gradual process of economic stabilization.

The domestic economic situation
Guinea is gradually recovering from the Ebola epidemic (2014-2015) and the collapse in the prices for raw materials. The economy grew by 5,2% in 2016 thanks to the extraction of bauxite and gold.
However, there was continued stagnation in the service and manufacturing sectors as a result of the Ebola crisis. For 2017, a growth of GDP of 4,4% is forecast. The situation for public finances improved in 2016. The budget deficit, which in 2015 grew to 8,9% of GDP, was reduced to 1,3% in 2016. In 2017, it may also decline, possibly to around 0,2% od GDP.

Teams from the World Bank and the IMF are working closely together with the Guinean authorities to ensure that all 2016 debts are repaid without impeding the development of the country. Although the rates of school attendance and immunization are improving, 55% of the population continue to live below the poverty line, and almost a third of children are under-nourished. The UNO claims that 600000 people are suffering from uncertainty regarding the supply of food. As with many other developing countries, Guinea is struggling with the challenges of urbanization. Added to the natural population growth in the cities, people are deserting rural areas. This has led to a 20% increase in urban poverty. Guinea’s rate of urbanization is approximately 37%. Further acute challenges are youth unemployment, inadequate basic public services, including education, health services, security, and acceptable housing.

Plaza Diamant (luxury residential development, build by Chinese investors)

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© Bildungsförderung Oberguinea e.V. 2021