Guinea is a country of West Africa, officially called Republic of Guinea. It is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and borders Guinea-Bissau to the northwest, Senegal to the north, Mali to the north and east, Côte d’Ivoire to the southeast, and Liberia and Sierra Leone to the south. The main cities are Conakri, the capital, with 1 851 800 residents (2004), Kankan (113 900 residents), Nzérékoré (122 100 residents), Kindia (108 000 residents) And Kissidougou (55 900 residents).
Geographically, Guinea is divided into four regions. Lower Guinea, which is no more than the coastal zone in the Southwest, is characterized by extensive sandy plains, where numerous lakes and swamps are found. Fouta Djallon, a mountainous region that comes from the coastal plains to elevations above 900 meters, where Mount Loura stands out, at 1515 meters, is also the region of origin of the three largest rivers in West Africa: Niger, Senegal and Gambia. Upper Guinea comprises the plains of Niger, in the northeast of the territory. Finally, the Forestry Region includes the forested highlands, isolated, in the Southeast, where the highest point in the country is found, Mount Nimba, at 1752 meters.
The country has a humid tropical climate, with the rainy season lasting about six months.
Although arable land occupies only 3% of the total territory, agriculture is the main sector of the economy, occupying 78% of the active population and constituting 24% of GDP. Production consists of bananas, coffee, pineapples, palm oil, peanuts, citrus fruits, cassava, rice and corn, all of which is complemented by cattle raising, namely the Ndama bovine breed (resistant to tsetse fly), for in addition to sheep, horses and chickens. The export of agricultural products declined sharply, with the exception of coffee.
Another activity of great importance is mining, as it constitutes 1/4 of GDP and 90% of total exports. Guinea is the world’s second largest producer of bauxite (with 1/4 of the world’s reserves). It also has large deposits of diamonds, precious stones, iron ore and gold, the latter extracted mainly from the Niger River. The country is known for the exploitation of its mineral wealth, being designated as the “geological scandal”. On the other hand, both fishing (which has a recognized potential) and other industries are underdeveloped, with a shortage of raw materials and skilled workers in this sector. Guinea’s main trading partners are Belgium, France, the United States of America and Côte d’Ivoire.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 0.2.
In 2006, it had a population of 9 690 222 residents for a territory of 245 857 km2 , which is equivalent to a population density of 38.51 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 41.76% and 15.48%. Average life expectancy is 49.5 years. The Human Development Index (HDI) value is 0.425 and the Gender Adjusted Development Index (IDG) value has not been assigned (2001). It is estimated that, in 2025, the population will be 12 571 000 residents. The main ethnic groups are the Fulas (40%), the Mandingas (26%), the Susu (11%) and the Kissi (7%). In religious terms, Muslims are largely in the majority, with 87%. The official language is French.
Guinea has its historical origin in the migratory movements of the Susu (c. 900 d. C.) that, coming from the Sahara desert, took over the then Baga territory, coming to dominate, already in the 13th century, lands along the coast. Only in the 15th century did the first contacts with Europeans take place, through Portuguese navigators interested in the slave trade. Later, the Fulas tribe entered the country’s history, conquering the region of Fouta Djallon. In fact, this tribe would come to assume a very important role in the implantation of the Islamic religion, when the emir of the Fulas decided to start a holy war to convert the entire population of the territory to Islam (1725 – 19th century). For Guinea democracy and rights, please check getzipcodes.
However, from the 17th century onwards, the French began to penetrate the Nunez River, but it would be Portugal that would control most of the commercial routes until the 19th century, when France settled, definitively, in Nunez, the starting point for the French intention to transform Guinea into its protectorate. This was to happen in 1849, with the territory becoming known as the South Riviera and co-administered with Senegal. In 1890, the South Riviera separated from Senegal, changing its name to French Guinea and, in 1895, integrating French West Africa.
In the early twentieth century, the colony was expanded with land on the right bank of the Niger River, with land in the interior of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and by the British Islands giving up Los Islands. After the Second World War, Guinea saw its status change to French overseas territory, a situation that would not last long, since in 1958, through the action of Ahmed Sékou Touré (who would become President of the Republic until 1984), he would proclaim the independence, integrating, in the same year, the United Nations Organization. In 1984, with the death of Touré, a period of political instability originated that led to a military-led coup d’état. Then the Military Committee for National Recovery was formed, under the leadership of Colonel Lansana Couté, who would westernize the entire nation, based on the multiparty system and the market economy.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Guinea, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Guinea. Listed by popularity.
Guinea – National Geographic
Satellite imaging and political map-making create a zoomable map of this African country, with cities, rivers and topography..
Guinea – University of Texas Library
Provides a map of the city of Conakry, along with a political map that features the locations of railroads and cities.
Guinea-Bissau – National Geographic
Satellite imaging and political map-making create a zoomable map of this African country, with cities, rivers and topography.
MSN Encarta Maps – Guinea
Provides a colorful map of the country with indications of the geographical features and populated areas. Click through on the map for details.