République de Guinée (Republic of Guinea)
Reference work entry


  • Capital: Conakry

  • Population estimate, 2015: 12.61 m.

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 1,096

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.411/182

  • Internet domain extension: .gn

Civil Aviation

There is an international airport at Conakry (Gbessia). In 2010 there were scheduled flights to Abidjan, Bamako, Banjul, Bissau, Brussels, Casablanca, Dakar, Freetown, Monrovia, Nouakchott and Paris, as well as domestic services. In 2006 there were 103,200 air arrivals and 153,800 departures plus 9,600 passengers in transit. A total of 8.53 m. tonnes of air freight were handled in 2006.


A tropical climate, with high rainfall near the coast and constant heat, but conditions are a little cooler on the plateau. The wet season on the coast lasts from May to Nov., but only to Oct. inland. Conakry, Jan. 80 °F (26.7 °C), July 77 °F (25 °C). Annual rainfall 172″ (4,293 mm).

Constitution and Government

There is a 114-member National Assembly, 38 of whose members are elected on a first-past-the-post system, and the remainder from national lists by proportional representation. It was dissolved following the military coup of Dec. 2008, but reinstated after parliamentary elections held in Sept. 2013 (the first in 11 years). On 11 Nov. 2001 a referendum was held in which 98.4% of votes cast were in favour of President Conté remaining in office for a third term, requiring an amendment to the constitution (previously allowing a maximum two presidential terms). The referendum, which also increased the presidential mandate from 5 to 7 years, was boycotted by opposition parties.


The monetary unit is the Guinean franc (GNF).


There is selective conscription for 2 years. Defence expenditure totalled an estimated US$42 m. in 2011 (approximately US$4 per capita), representing around 1% of GDP.


Agriculture produced 16.9% of GDP in 2009, industry 31.0% and services 52.1%.


In 2010 the labour force was 4,092,000 (54.8% males). The agricultural sector employs 80% of the workforce. Guinea had 82,000 people living in slavery according to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2013 Global Slavery Index.


In 2008 there were two daily newspapers (circulation 25,000).


A railway connects Conakry with Kankan (662 km). A line 144 km long linking Conakry and Fria, where there is a bauxite mine and aluminium plant, opened in 1960 and a third line opened in 1973 links bauxite deposits at Sangaredi with Port Kamsar (134 km). There are two further railway used by the bauxite industry, running from Tougué to Dabola (130 km) and from Débéle to Conakry (102 km).


In 2010, 84.4% of the population was Muslim and 10.9% Christian according to estimates by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Most Muslims in Guinea are Sunnis and most Christians are Catholics. In Feb. 2016 there was one cardinal in the Roman Catholic church.


In 2008 there were 6,758 km of roads, 35.4% of which were asphalted. In 2011 there were 299,200 vehicles in use.


There are ports at Conakry and for bauxite exports at Kamsar (opened 1973). Merchant shipping totalled 1,000 GT in 2008.

Social Statistics

2008 estimates: births, 390,000; deaths, 108,000. Rates, 2008 estimates (per 1,000 population): births, 39.6; deaths, 11.0. infant mortality, 2010, 81 per 1,000 live births. Life expectancy, 2013, 55.3 years for males and 56.9 for females. Annual population growth rate, 2000–08, 2.0%; fertility rate, 2008, 5.4 births per woman.


The Société guinéenne des télécommunications, which was privatized in 1995, became 100% state-owned again in 2008 after Telekom Malaysia sold its 60% stake in the company. The company ceased operations in 2013 after it filed for bankruptcy but there are plans for its relaunch during 2016. There were 18,000 fixed telephone lines in 2010 (1.8 per 1,000 inhabitants). Mobile phone subscribers numbered 3.49 m. in 2009. There were 9.6 internet users per 1,000 inhabitants in 2010.

Territory and Population

Guinea is bounded in the northwest by Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, northeast by Mali, southeast by Côte d’Ivoire, south by Liberia and Sierra Leone, and west by the Atlantic Ocean. The area is 245,860 km2 (94,930 sq. miles), including 140 km2 (50 sq. miles) of inland water. In 2014 the census population (provisional) was 10,628,972 (density 43.2 per km2). The capital is Conakry. In 2011, 35.9% of the population were urban. Guinea is divided into seven administrative regions and the governorate of Conakry (national capital). These are in turn divided into 34 administrative regions. The major divisions (with their areas in sq. km) are: Boké, 31,186; Conakry (special zone-national capital), 450; Faranah, 35,581; Kankan, 72,156; Kindia, 28,873; Labé, 22,869; Mamou, 17,074; Nzérékoré, 37,668. The main towns are Conakry (provisional census population, 2014, 1,667,864), Nzérékoré, Kankan, Kindia, Manéah and Siguiri. The ethnic composition is Fulani (38.6%), Malinké (or Mandingo, 23.2%), Susu (11.0%), Kissi (6.0%), Kpelle (4.6%) and others (16.6%). The official language is French.


In 2012, 96,000 non-resident tourists arrived at Conakry airport.

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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