[Country map of Guinea]



Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone

Map references: Africa

total area: 245,860 sq km
land area: 245,860 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries: total 3,399 km, 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

International disputes: none

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

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

Land use:
arable land: 6%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 12%
forest and woodland: 42%
other: 40%

Irrigated land: 240 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: deforestation; inadequate supplies of potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing
natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Desertification


Population: 6,549,336 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (female 1,450,501; male 1,448,164)
15-64 years: 53% (female 1,784,420; male 1,691,502)
65 years and over: 3% (female 102,735; male 72,014) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.43% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 43.43 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 19.13 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
note: Guinea has received about 400,000 refugees from the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone; the continued fighting in Sierra Leone will likely drive more refugees into Guinea in 1995; on the other hand, peace may be achieved in Liberia and permit Liberian refugees to return home

Infant mortality rate: 136.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 44.6 years
male: 42.31 years
female: 46.95 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.79 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean

Ethnic divisions: 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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
total population: 24%
male: 35%
female: 13%

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


conventional long form: Republic of Guinea
conventional short form: Guinea
local long form: Republique de Guinee
local short form: Guinee
former: French Guinea

Digraph: GV

Type: republic

Capital: Conakry

Administrative divisions: 33 administrative regions (regions administratives, singular - region administrative); Beyla, Boffa, Boke, Conakry, Coyah, Dabola, Dalaba, Dinguiraye, 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: 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 and head of government: President Lansana CONTE, elected in the first multi-party election 19 December 1993; prior to the election he had ruled as head of military government since 5 April 1984
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: unicameral
People's National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale Populaire): the People's National Assembly was dissolved after the 3 April 1984 coup; framework established in December 1991 for a new National Assembly with 114 seats; legislative elections, tentatively scheduled for 1994, were not held and are now rescheduled for 11 June 1995

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal (Cour d'Appel)

Political parties and leaders: political parties were legalized on 1 April 1992
pro-government: Party for Unity and Progress (PUP)
other: Rally for the Guinean People (RPG), Alpha CONDE; Union for a New Republic (UNR), Mamadou BAH; Party for Renewal and Progress (PRP), Siradiou DIALLO; Movement of Patriotic Democrats (MDP), Ahmed Tidiane CISSE


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Elhadj Boubacar BARRY
chancery: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-9420
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8688

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph A. SALOOM III
embassy: 2nd Boulevard and 9th Avenue, Conakry
mailing address: B. P. 603, Conakry
telephone: [224] 44 15 20 through 44 15 23
FAX: [224] 44 15 22

Flag: 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


Overview: Although possessing major mineral and hydropower resources and considerable potential for agricultural development, Guinea remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The agricultural sector contributes about 40% to GDP and employs 80% of the work force, while industry accounts for 27% of GDP. Guinea possesses over 25% of the world's bauxite reserves. The mining sector accounted for 85% of exports in 1991. Long-run improvements in literacy, financial institutions, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. Except in the bauxite industry, foreign investment remains minimal.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $6.3 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 0.8% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $980 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 16.6% (1992 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $449 million
expenditures: $708 million, including capital expenditures of $361 million (1990 est.)

Exports: $622 million (f.o.b., 1992 est.)
commodities: bauxite, alumina, diamonds, gold, coffee, pineapples, bananas, palm kernels
partners: US 23%, Belgium 12%, Ireland 12%, Spain 12%

Imports: $768 million (c.i.f., 1992 est.)
commodities: petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, and other grain
partners: France 26%, Cote d'Ivoire 12%, Hong Kong 6%, Germany 6%

External debt: 2.5 billion (1992)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%; accounts for 27% of GDP

capacity: 180,000 kW
production: 520 million kWh
consumption per capita: 77 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 40% of GDP (includes fishing and forestry); mostly subsistence farming; principal products - rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava, bananas, sweet potatoes, timber; livestock - cattle, sheep and goats; not self-sufficient in food grains

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $227 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $1.465 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $120 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $446 million

Currency: 1 Guinean franc (FG) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Guinean francs (FG) per US$1 - 810.94 (1 July 1993), 922.9 (30 September 1992), 675 (1990), 618 (1989), 515 (1988), 440 (1987), 383 (1986)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 1,048 km
standard gauge: 241 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 807 km 1.000-m gauge

total: 30,100 km
paved: 1,145 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone 12,955 km (of which barely 4,500 are currently all-weather roads); unimproved earth 16,000 km (1987)

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

Ports: Boke, Conakry, Kamsar

Merchant marine: none

total: 15
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 7
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3


Telephone system: 15,000 telephones; poor to fair system of open-wire lines, small radiocommunication stations, and new radio relay system
local: NA
intercity: microwave radio relay and radio communication stations
international: 1 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 1, shortwave 0
radios: 200,000

broadcast stations: 1
televisions: 65,000

Defense Forces

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

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,478,653; males fit for military service 745,990 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $50 million, 1.6% of GDP (1994)