Guinea, the Aluminum Coast is bordered by Guinea-Bissau to the northwest, Senegal to the north, Mali to the northeast, Côte d’Ivoire to the southeast, and Liberia and Sierra Leone to the south. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the west. The three major rivers, the Gambia, the Niger, and the Sénégal all rise in Guinea. Sometimes referred to as Guinea-Conakry in order to distinguish it from Guinea-Bissau, Papua New Guinea and Equatorial Guinea. Conakry is the capital of Guinea, and the city experiences one of the heaviest rainfall between May and September.
Guinea belonged to a series of empires until France colonized it in the 1890s, and subsequently made it part of French West Africa. Upon gaining independence from France on October 2nd 1958, Sékou Touré, became the country’s first president and voted against membership in the French Community. As a result Mr. Touré, contracted loans, economic and trade agreements with the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. However, the economic partnership with the Soviets failed. During Touré’s leadership, the Portuguese-backed invasion of Conakry by Guinean dissidents. The failed conspiracy lead to trials, imprisonment and execution of dissidents and power was restored back to Touré. After the death of Touré a series of despotic and military regimes lead to political unrest. The current president Alpha Conde became president in 2010 after a lifelong battle against despotic and military regimes which sent him into exile and prison. It was Guinea’s first democratic election since gaining independence in 1958.
The deadly Ebola outbreak did began in Guinea in December 2013 and quickly spread beyond the country’s borders to neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia. Although, The World Health Organization has concluded the concern status, terminated as of 2016 as most cases have been contained and trial vaccines are still undergoing.
UNESCO Heritage site in Guinea-Bissau:
1. Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve.
Located in both Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. The reserve covers significant portions of the Nimba Range, a geographically unique area with unusually rich flora and fauna, including exceptional numbers of single-site endemic species, such as viviparous toads, and horseshoe bats.
Guinea has a wealth of resources that are remarkably untapped.
According to BBC Guinea’s mineral wealth makes it potentially one of the richest countries in the continent. The country is bountiful with natural resources and about one-third to one-half of the world’s known reserves of bauxite (the principal ore of aluminum), plus significant reserves of high-grade iron ore at Mount Nimba and the Simandou Mountains, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. In addition, because of the high rainfall and deep gorges of the Fouta Djallon, Guinea possesses a strong hydroelectric potential. A dam and hydroelectric power station on the Konkouré River produce nearly one-third of the country’s electricity. Also, Guinea possesses a significant amount of iron, gold, and diamonds. Guinea has 25% of the world’s known bauxite reserves, as well as diamonds and gold. bauxite constituted 75 percent of the country’s exports.
There are over twenty-four ethnic groups in the country, the largest being the Fulani known to be business savvy and are mostly found in the Futa Djallon region. , the Mandinka, also known as Mandingo or Malinké are descendants from the Mali Empire, and the Susu. The official language is French. Notable and highly respected figure, Camara Laye was one of the first writers from the continent to achieve an international reputation. His autobiographical novel L’Enfant noir (1953; The Dark Child) recreates nostalgically his childhood days in Guinea in a flowing, poetic prose, by far one of his best work.
Cuisine in Guinea is similar to most countries in West Africa. Local cuisine is made of staples such as cassava, yam and maize. Popular dishes include: Hot maize soup (is one of the local specialties and are served from calabashes), Jollof rice, Maafe (peanut soup), Stuffed chicken with groundnuts, Leaf Sauce, Sweet Potato (Maffi Hakko Bantura), Tapalapa bread.
Like other West African countries, Guinea has a rich musical tradition. The group Bembeya Jazz became popular in the 1960s after Guinean independence. A musical instrument such as Kora is an instrument of the Mandinka’s and Balafong is an instrument of the Fulani.