General information: Guinea achieved independence in 1958 (before 1958 – the possession of France); but the country did not have democratic elections until 1993, when General Lansana CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president. In 1998 he was re-elected. The unrest in Sierra Leone is affecting Guinea, undermining stability and threatening humanitarian catastrophe. Geography
Location: Western Africa, on the Atlantic coast, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone.
Geographic coordinates: 11° 00′ N. latitude, 10° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 245,857 km2; land surface area: 245,857 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Oregon.
Land borders: total length: 3,399 km; with neighboring states: with Côte d’Ivoire 610 km, with Guinea-Bissau 386 km, with Liberia 563 km, with Mali 858 km, with Senegal 330 km, with Sierra Leone 652 km.
Coastline: 320 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: generally hot and humid; the rainy season (from June to November) with a predominance of the southwest wind; dry season (December to May) with a predominance of the northeast wind ‘har-mattan’.
Terrain: coastal plain prevails; hills and mountains inland.
Maximum and minimum altitudes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Mount Nimba 1,752 m
Natural resources: bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydroelectric resources, fish.
Land use: arable land: 2%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 22%; forests and plantations: 59%; others: 17% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 930 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: Hot, dry, dusty ‘harmattan’ winds, sometimes reducing visibility during the dry season.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; insufficient supplies of drinking water; desertification; soil pollution and erosion; uncontrolled fishing; overcrowding in forest areas.
International environmental agreements: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Waste, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; Whaling; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 7,613,870 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 43.12% (male 1,637,000; female 1,645,786); 15 to 64 years old: 54.19% (male 2,015,199; female 2,110,745); over 65: 2.69% (male 84,586; female 120,554) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.96% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 39.78 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 17.53 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -2.63 people / 1000 people (2001 est.); note: Guinea received half a million refugees from Liberia and Sierra Leone fleeing the civil wars in those countries.
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 0.99 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.95 male/female; over 65: 0.7 male/female; for the general population: 0.96 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 129.03 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 45.91 years; men: 43.49 years; women: 48.42 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 5.39 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 1.54% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 55,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 5,600 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Guinean; adjective: Guinean.
Ethnic groups: Fupbe 40%, Malinke 30%, Susu 20%, small ethnic groups 10%.
Believers: Muslims 85%, Christians 8%, adherents of indigenous beliefs 7%.
Language(s): French (official); each ethnic group has its own language.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 35.9%; men: 49.9%; women: 21.9% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of Guinea;
conventional short form: Guinea; local long form: Republique de Guinee; local short form: Guinee; former: French Guinea.
State structure: republic. See a2zgov.com to know more about Guinea government and politics.
Administrative divisions: 33 prefectures and 1 special area*: Beila, Boke, Boffa, Gaoyal, Guekedu, Dabola, Dalaba, Dingiraye, Dubreka, Youmou, Kankan, Keroyan, Kindia, Kissidougou, Koyah, Conakry*, Koubia, Koundara, Kurussa, Labe, Lelouma, Lola, Makent, Mali, Mamu, Mandiana, Nzerekore, Pita, Siguire, Telimeli, Tou-gu, Faranah, Forekariah, Fria.
Independence: from October 2, 1958 (before 1958 – possession of France).
National holiday: Independence Day, October 2 (1958).
Constitution: adopted December 23, 1990 (Basic Law).
Legal system: based on French civil law system, customary law and decree system; codes of laws are currently being revised; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Lansana CONTE (head of military government since 5 April 1984, elected president 19 December 1993);
head of government: Prime Minister Lamine SIDIME (since 8 March 1999);
Government: a council of ministers appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; in order to be elected, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes of the electorate; elections last held 14 December 1998 (next to be held in 2003); the prime minister is appointed by the president; election results: Lansana CONTE re-elected president; percentage of votes – Lansana CONTE (PUP) 56.1%, Mamadou Boye BA (UNR-PRP) 24.6%, Alpha CONDE (RPG) 16.6%.
Legislature: unicameral People’s National Assembly (114 members elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term); elections: last held 11 June 1995 (next due to be held 26 November 2000, but postponed indefinitely due to border clashes with rebels from Sierra Leone and Liberia); election results: distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by party – PUP 71, RPG 19, PRP 9, UNR 9, UPG 2, PDG 1, UNPG 1, PDG-RDA 1, other parties 1.
Judiciary: Court of Appeal.
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Guinea (RDG-AST) (Marcel CROS [Marcel CROS]); Democratic Party Guinean-African Democratic Rally (PDG-RDA) (El Hadj Ismael Mohamed Gassim GU-SHEIN); National Union for Progress (UNP) (Paul Louis ?A~BER); Unity and Progress Party (PUP) (Lansana CONTE), ruling party; Renewal and Progress Party (PRP) (Siradiou DIALLO ]); United for the People of Guinea (RPG) (Alfa CONDE); Union for the Progress of Guinea (UPG) (Jean-Marie DORE, General Secretary); Union for a New Republic (UNR) (Mamadou Boyer BA), Union of Republican Forces (UFR) (Sidya TOURE)
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MINURSO, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Mohamed Aly THIAM; office: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 483-9420; fax:  (202) 483-8688.
US Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Timberlake FOSTER; embassy: Rue Ka 038, Conakry; mailing address: W. R. 603, Conakry; phone:  41 15 20, 41 15 21.41 15 23; fax:  41 15 22.
Flag description: three equal vertical stripes of red (hoist side), yellow and green; the colors of the flag of Ethiopia, popular throughout Africa, are used; similar to the flag of Rwanda, which has a large black ‘R’ in the middle of the yellow stripe.