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République de Guinée
Flag of Guinea Coat of Arms of Guinea
( In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Travail, Justice, Solidarité
( French: Work, Justice, Solidarity)
Location of Guinea
Official language French (official), Fula, Arabic, others
Capital and largest city Conakry
Capital's coordinates 9°30′N 13°43′W
President Lansana Conté
Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo
- Total
- % water
Ranked 75th
245,857 km²
- Total (Year)
- Density
Ranked 83rd
- Total ( Year)
- GDP/head
Ranked 112th
,690 million
Currency Guinean franc (FG)
Time zone UTC
Independence 2 October 1958, from France
National anthem Liberté
Internet TLD .gn
Calling Code 224
The Republic of Guinea ( French: République de Guinée) is a nation in West Africa. It borders Guinea-Bissau and Senegal on the north, Mali on the north and north-east, the Côte d'Ivoire on the south-east, Liberia on the south, and Sierra Leone on the west. Its territory encompasses the water source for the Niger, Senegal, and Gambia rivers, with a coastline facing the Atlantic Ocean. The name Guinea (geographically assigned to most of Africa's west coast, south of the Sahara desert and north of the Gulf of Guinea) originates from Berber and roughly translates into 'land of the blacks.'

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History - Contents

The area covered by the modern state of Guinea has seen itself incorporated into a succession of empires across the centuries. The earliest of these was the Ghana Empire which came into being c. 900. This was followed by the Sosso kingdom in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Mali Empire came to power in the area following the Battle of Kirina in 1235. The Mali Empire prospered until internal problems weakened it, allowing its states to seize power in the 15th century. Chief among these was the Songhai state which became the Songhai Empire. This empire exceeded its predecessors in territory and wealth, but it too fell prey to internal wrangling and civil war and was eventually toppled at the Battle of Tondibi in 1591. After this the area fragmented until an Islamic state was founded in the 18th century, bringing some stability to the region.Europeans first came to the area as part of the slave trade, beginning in the 16th century. Present-day Guinea was created as a colony by France in 1890 with Noël Balley being the first governor. The capital Conakry was founded on Tombo Island in 1890. In 1895 the country was incorporated into French West Africa.Guinea gained her independence from France in 1958 and was governed by a dictatorship headed by Ahmed Sékou Touré. Touré pursued broadly socialist economic policies and suppressed opposition and free expression with little regard for human rights. After his death in 1984 Lansana Conté took power and immediately turned away from his predecessor's economic policies but continued to keep a close grip on power. Elections were held for the first time in 1993 but their results and the results of subsequent elections were disputed. Conté faces regular criticism for the condition of the country's economy and for his heavy handed approach to political opponents. As of 2005 Guinea still faces very real problems and according to the International Crisis Group is in danger of becoming a failed state.

Politics - Contents

  • List of Presidents of Guinea

Prefectures - Contents

Guinea is divided into 8 administrative regions which are further subdivided into 33 prefectures. Additionally, the national capital Conakry ranks as a special zone. These are listed below, with their parent administrative region in parenthesis.
  1. Beyla Prefecture ( Nzérékoré Region)
  2. Boffa Prefecture ( Boké Region)
  3. Boké Prefecture ( Boké Region)
  4. Conakry Special Zone ( Conakry Region)
  5. Coyah Prefecture ( Kindia Region)
  6. Dabola Prefecture ( Faranah Region)
  7. Dalaba Prefecture ( Mamou Region)
  8. Dinguiraye Prefecture ( Faranah Region)
  9. Dubréka Prefecture ( Kindia Region)
  10. Faranah Prefecture ( Faranah Region)
  11. Forécariah Prefecture ( Kindia Region)
  12. Fria Prefecture ( Boké Region)
  13. Gaoual Prefecture ( Boké Region)
  14. Guéckédou Prefecture ( Nzérékoré Region)
  15. Kankan Prefecture ( Kankan Region)
  16. Kérouané Prefecture ( Kankan Region)
  17. Kindia Prefecture ( Kindia Region)
  18. Kissidougou Prefecture ( Faranah Region)
  19. Koubia Prefecture ( Labé Region)
  20. Koundara Prefecture ( Boké Region)
  21. Kouroussa Prefecture ( Kankan Region)
  22. Labé Prefecture ( Labé Region)
  23. Lélouma Prefecture ( Labé Region)
  24. Lola Prefecture ( Nzérékoré Region)
  25. Macenta Prefecture ( Nzérékoré Region)
  26. Mali Prefecture ( Labé Region)
  27. Mamou Prefecture ( Mamou Region)
  28. Mandiana Prefecture ( Kankan Region)
  29. Nzérékoré Prefecture ( Nzérékoré Region)
  30. Pita Prefecture ( Mamou Region)
  31. Siguiri Prefecture ( Kankan Region)
  32. Télimélé Prefecture ( Kindia Region)
  33. Tougué Prefecture ( Labé Region)
  34. Yomou Prefecture ( Nzérékoré Region)

Geography - Contents

The highest point in Guinea is Mont Nimba.
Map of Guinea

Economy - Contents

Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains an underdeveloped nation. The country possesses over 30% of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second-largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounted for about 75% of exports in 1999. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. Fighting along the Sierra Leonean and Liberian borders, as well as refugee movements, have caused major economic disruptions, aggravating a loss in investor confidence. Foreign mining companies have reduced expatriate staff. Panic buying has created food shortages and inflation and caused riots in local markets. Guinea is not receiving multilateral aid. The IMF and World Bank cut off most assistance in 2003. Growth rose slightly in 2004, primarily due to increases in global demand and commodity prices on world markets.

Demographics - Contents

Culture - Contents

  • Like other West African countries, Guinea has a rich musical tradition. The group Bembeya Jazz became popular in the 1960s after Guinean independence. The Vancouver-based guitarist Alpha Yaya Diallo hails from Guinea and incorporates its traditional rhythms and melodies into his original compositions, for which he has won two Juno Awards.
  • List of writers from Guinea

Language - Contents

  • Taki language
  • French language
  • Arabic language
  • Fula language
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