Guinea’s mineral wealth makes it potentially one of Africa’s richest countries, but its people are among the poorest in West Africa.
Experiments with socialism and a two-year rule by junta have taken a toll on the people of Guinea. The 2010 election ushered in civilian rule but led to violent ethnic clashes, as well.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of refugees from Liberia and Sierra Leone have strained Guinea’s struggling economy.
The instability has generated suspicion and ethnic tension – as well as mutual accusations between neighbours of attempts at destabilisation and border attacks.
- The Republic of Guinea
- Capital: Conakry
- Population: 10.5 million
- Area: 245,857 sq km (94,926 sq miles)
- Languages: French, Susu, Fulani, Mandingo
- Religions: Islam, Christianity, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy: 53 years (men), 56 years (women)
- Currency: Guinean franc