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State

Capital

Guinea

Conakry

Guinée

Currency unit

Guinea franc

Connections

Francophonie

Islam

Wars

 West Africa

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

The name of the several countries called Guinea means Land of the Blacks from a Berber word.

There were Susu kingdoms of the Mandingo people in the interior from 900 AD and at the coast from 13th cent. The Portuguese came in the 15th century and started the slave trade. Thus the culture of the area has influenced the Americas and the Caribbean.

In the 16th century there was a Fulani empire in the Fouta Djallon Mountains which was at its peak from 1725 to the early 19th century.

The French made the coastal area a protectorate in 1849. It became the Colony of French Guinea from 1895.

The territory became independent suddenly in 1958. President Charles de Gaulle had called a referendum reconstituting the French Empire as the French Union, giving each territory a degree of autonomy under overall French control. The independence campaigner Sekou Touré advised people to vote NO. The French left at once allegedly taking even the typewriters and light bulbs.

Toure ran a one-party tyranny in which many thousands of the population fled outside the borders of the country. There was a war with Guiné Bissau in 1980 over the rights to the sea coast in which oil was suspected to be located (none was found). Sekou Touré died in 1984. The regime then relaxed when the succeeding military regime dismantled the doctrinaire socialist structures of a one-party state.

The civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone have spilled over into the neighboring areas of Guinea.

Languages

Niger Congo family

Mande group

Malinke

Dyalonke

West Atlantic

Fula (Peulh)

French for education

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

Formerly a notorious one-party state under Sekou Touré from which hundreds of thousands fled. Now a military regime, believed to be less brutal. The ruler, Lansana Conte, is reported to be ill with Leukemia and there are calls for him to resign. He came to power in a military coup that overthrew Sekou Touré.

Lansana Conte, the military leader who overthrew Touré, has himself become unpopular, and in 2007, seems to be on the way out. There have been demonstrations in the street against him.

If he is overthrown, will the state continue, or decline into a failed state?
He declared a state of emergency and Martial Law (2007).
He died on 22 December 2008. The military then took over.

Interesting reading

Camara Laye - The African Child
about the traditional apprenticehip of the blacksmith and the passing on of wisdom


Camara Laye - The Radiance of the King
A mystical tale of a journey

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

The modern economy was crippled by the policies of the Sekou Toure regime and by isolation from the rest of the world's reluctance to trade. Bauxite and hydroelectricity could produce an income but the Conte regime neglected the economy.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Bad.

Slight improvement over the time of Sekou Touré.

Climate effects

Last revised 24/12/08

West Africa


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