The World Factbook (1990)/Guinea

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 See regional map VII


Total area: 245,860 km²; land area: 245,860 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries: 3,399 km total; Guinea-Bissau 386 km. Ivory Coast 610 km, Liberia 563 km, Mali 858 km, Senegal 330 km, Sierra Leone 652 km

Coastline: 320 km

Maritime claims:

Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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: 6% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 12% meadows and pastures; 42% forest and woodland; 40% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; deforestation


Population: 7,269,240 (July 1990), growth rate 2.6% (1990)

Birth rate: 47 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 22 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 147 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 40 years male, 44 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 6.1 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Guinean(s); adjective—Guinean

Ethnic divisions: Fulani, Malinke, Sousou, 15 smaller tribes

Religion: 85% Muslim, 5% indigenous beliefs, 1.5% Christian

Language: French (official); each tribe has its own language

Literacy: 20% in French; 48% in local languages

Labor force: 2,400,000 (1983); 82.0% agriculture, 11.0% industry and commerce, 5.4% services; 88,112 civil servants (1987); 52% of population of working age (1985)

Organized labor: virtually 100% of wage earners loosely affiliated with the National Confederation of Guinean Workers


Long-form name: Republic of Guinea

Type: republic

Capital: Conakry

Administrative divisions: 29 administrative regions (régions administratives, singular—région administrative); Beyla, Boffa, Boke, Conakry, Dabola, Dalaba, Dinguiraye, Dubreka, Faranah, Forecariah, Fria, Gaoual, Gueckedou, Kankan, Kerouane, Kindia, Kissidougou, Koundara, Kouroussa, Labe, Macenta, Mali, Mamou, Nzerekore, Pita, Siguiri, Telimele, Tougue, Yomou

Independence: 2 October 1958 (from France; formerly French Guinea)

Constitution: 14 May 1982, suspended after coup of 3 April 1984

Legal system: based on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; legal codes currently being revised; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Anniversary of the Second Republic, 3 April (1984)

Executive branch: president, Military Committee for National Recovery (Comité Militaire de Redressement National or CMRN), Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: People's National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale Populaire) was dissolved after the 3 April 1984 coup

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

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—Gen. Lansana CONTE (since 5 April 1984)

Political parties and leaders: none; following the 3 April 1984 coup all political activity was banned

Suffrage: none

Elections: none

Communists: no Communist party, although there are some sympathizers

Member of: ACP, AfDB, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IDB—Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, ITU, Mano River Union, Niger River Commission, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Kekoura CAMARA; Chancery at 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 483-9420; US Ambassador Samuel E. LUPO; Embassy at 2nd Boulevard and 9th Avenue, Conakry (mailing address is B. P. 603, Conakry); telephone 44-15-20 through 24

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 many natural resources and considerable potential for agricultural development, Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world. The agricultural sector contributes about 40% to GDP and employs more than 80% of the work force, while industry accounts for about 25% of GDP. Guinea possesses over 25% of the world's bauxite reserves; exports of bauxite and alumina accounted for more than 80% of total exports in 1986.

GDP: $2.5 billion, per capita $350; real growth rate 5.0% (1988)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 27.0% (1988)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $357 million; expenditures $480 million, including capital expenditures of $229 million (1988 est.)

Exports: $553 million (f.o.b., 1988 est.); commodities—alumina, bauxite, diamonds, coffee, pineapples, bananas, palm kernels; partners—US 33%, EC 33%, USSR and Eastern Europe 20%, Canada

Imports: $509 million (c.i.f., 1988 est.); commodities—petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, textiles and other grain; partners—US 16%, France, Brazil

External debt: $1.6 billion (December 1988)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

Electricity: 113,000 kW capacity; 300 million kWh produced, 40 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: bauxite mining, alumina, diamond mining, 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

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $203 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $882 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $120 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $446 million

Currency: Guinean franc (plural—francs); 1 Guinean franc (FG) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Guinean francs (FG) per US$1—505.00 (October 1988), 440.00 (January 1988), 440.00 (1987), 235.63 (1986), 22.47 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 1,045 km; 806 km 1.000-meter gauge, 239 km 1.435-meter standard gauge

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

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

Ports: Conakry, Kamsar

Civil air: 2 major transport aircraft

Airports: 16 total, 16 usable; 5 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 9 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: fair system of open-wire lines, small radiocommunication stations, and new radio relay system; 10,000 telephones; stations—3 AM, 1 FM, 1 TV; 12,000 TV sets; 125,000 radio receivers; 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Army (ground forces), Navy (acts primarily as a coast guard), Air Force, paramilitary National Gendarmerie

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,657,787; 834,777 fit for military service

Defense expenditures: 3.1% of GDP (1984)