Guinea Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Guinea > Map Economy History

Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve  A World Heritage site.

Facts About Guinea

Background: Independent from France since 1958, Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. Lansana CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelected in 1998. Unrest in Sierra Leone has spilled over into Guinea, threatening stability and creating a humanitarian emergency.
Government type: republic
Capital: Conakry
Currency: 1 Guinean franc (FG) = 100 centimes

Geography of Guinea

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
Geographic coordinates: 11 00 N, 10 00 W
Area:
total: 245,857 sq km
land: 245,857 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 3,399 km
border countries: Cote d'Ivoire 610 km, Guinea-Bissau 386 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
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
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
Natural resources: bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish
Land use:
arable land: 2%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 22%
forests and woodland: 59%
other: 17% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 930 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
Environment - current issues: deforestation; inadequate supplies of potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: the Niger and its important tributary the Milo have their sources in the Guinean highlands

People of Guinea

Guinea has four main ethnic groups
--Peuhl (Foula or Foulani), who inhabit the mountainous Fouta Djallon;
--Malinke (or Mandingo), in the savannah and forest regions;
--Soussous in the coastal areas; and
--Several small groups (Gerzé, Toma, etc.) in the forest region.

West Africans make up the largest non-Guinean population. Non-Africans total about 10,000 (mostly Lebanese, French, and other Europeans). Seven national languages are used extensively; major written languages are French, Peuhl, and Arabic.

Population: 9,467,866 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  43.12% 
15-64 years:  54.19% 
65 years and over:  2.69%
Population growth rate: 1.96% 
Birth rate: 39.78 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 17.53 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: -2.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
note: as a result of civil war in neighboring countries, Guinea is host to almost half a million Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees.
Infant mortality rate: 129.03 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  45.91 years
male:  43.49 years
female:  48.42 years
Total fertility rate: 5.39 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
Ethnic groups: Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
Religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
Languages: French (official), each ethnic group has its own language
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 35.9%
male: 49.9%
female: 21.9% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Guinea > Map Economy History