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Introduction - Guinea:
BackgroundGuinea has had only two presidents since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after the death of the first president, Sekou TOURE. Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. CONTE (head of the military government) was elected president of the civilian government. He was reelected in 1998 and again in 2003. Guinea has maintained its internal stability despite spillover effects from conflict in Sierra Leone and Liberia. As those countries have rebuilt, Guineas own vulnerability to political and economic crisis has increased. In 2006, declining economic conditions and popular dissatisfaction with corruption and bad governance prompted two massive strikes that sparked urban unrest in many Guinean cities.
Location - Guinea:
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
Geographic coordinates11 00 N, 10 00 W
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 245,857 sq km
land: 245,857 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area comparativeslightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundariestotal: 3,399 km
border countries: Cote dIvoire 610 km, Guinea-Bissau 386 km, Liberia 563 km, Mali 858 km, Senegal 330 km, Sierra Leone 652 km
Coastline320 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climategenerally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Terraingenerally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior
Elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
Natural resourcesbauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
Land usearable land: 4.47%
permanent crops: 2.64%
other: 92.89% (2005)
Irrigated land950 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardshot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
Environment current issuesdeforestation; inadequate supplies of potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage
Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography notethe Niger and its important tributary the Milo have their sources in the Guinean highlands
People - Guinea:
Population9,947,814 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 44.3% (male 2,226,414/female 2,183,153)
15-64 years: 52.5% (male 2,611,833/female 2,610,773)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 138,392/female 177,249) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 17.7 years
male: 17.5 years
female: 17.9 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate2.62% (2007 est.)
Birth rate41.53 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate15.33 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.781 male(s)/female
total population: 1.001 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 88.58 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 93.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 83.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 49.65 years
male: 48.5 years
female: 50.84 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate5.75 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate3.2% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids140,000 (2003 est.)
Hiv aids deaths9,000 (2003 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2007)
Ethnic groupsPeuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
ReligionsMuslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
LanguagesFrench (official); note - each ethnic group has its own language
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 29.5%
male: 42.6%
female: 18.1% (2003 est.)
Government - Guinea:
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Guinea
conventional short form: Guinea
local long form: Republique de Guinee
local short form: Guinee
former: French Guinea
Government typerepublic
Capitalname: Conakry
geographic coordinates: 9 33 N, 13 42 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions33 prefectures and 1 special zone (zone special)*; Beyla, Boffa, Boke, Conakry*, Coyah, Dabola, Dalaba, Dinguiraye, Dubreka, Faranah, Forecariah, Fria, Gaoual, Gueckedou, Kankan, Kerouane, Kindia, Kissidougou, Koubia, Koundara, Kouroussa, Labe, Lelouma, Lola, Macenta, Mali, Mamou, Mandiana, Nzerekore, Pita, Siguiri, Telimele, Tougue, Yomou
Independence2 October 1958 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 2 October (1958)
Constitution23 December 1990 (Loi Fundamentale)
Legal systembased on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Lansana CONTE (head of military government since 5 April 1984, elected president 19 December 1993)
head of government: Prime Minister Lansana KOUYATE (since 26 February 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (no term limits); candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected president; election last held 21 December 2003 (next to be held in December 2010); the prime minister is appointed by the president
election results: Lansana CONTE reelected president; percent of vote - Lansana CONTE 95.3%, Mamadou Bhoye BARRY 4.6%
Legislative branchunicameral Peoples National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale Populaire (114 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 30 June 2002 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - PUP 61.6%, UPR 26.6%, other 11.8%; seats by party - PUP 85, UPR 20, other 9
Judicial branchCourt of First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Appeal or Cour dAppel; Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Party of Guinea-African Democratic Rally or PDG-RDA [El Hadj Ismael Mohamed Gassim GUSHEIN]; Dyama; National Union for Progress or UPN [Mamadou Bhoye BARRY]; Party for Unity and Progress or PUP (the governing party) [Lansana CONTE]; Peoples Party of Guinea or PPG [Charles Pascal TOLNO]; Rally for the Guinean People or RPG [Alpha CONDE]; Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea or UFDG [Mamadou BAH]; Union of Republican Forces or UFR [Sidya TOURE]; Union for Progress of Guinea or UPG [Jean-Marie DORE, secretary-general]; Union for Progress and Renewal or UPR [Ousmane BAH]
Political pressure groups and leadersNational Confederation of Guinean Workers - Labor Union of Guinean Workers or CNTG-USTG Alliance: National Confederation of Guinean Workers [Rabiatou Sarah DIALLO] and Labor Union of Guinean Workers [Dr. Ibrahima FOFANA]; Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG [Dr. Louis MBemba SOUMAH]; National Council of Civil Society Organizations of Guinea CNOSCG [Ben Sekou SYLLA]
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
chancery: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 986-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 478-3800
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Jackson C. MCDONALD
embassy: Koloma, Conakry, east of Hamdallaye Circle
mailing address: B. P. 603, Transversale No. 2, Centre Administratif de Koloma, Commune de Ratoma, Conakry
telephone: [224] 30-42-08-61 through 68
FAX: [224] 30-42-08-73
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
Economy - Guinea:
Economy overviewGuinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains an underdeveloped nation. The country has almost half of the worlds bauxite reserves and is the second-largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounts for over 70% of exports. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. Investor confidence has been sapped by rampant corruption, a lack of electricity and other infrastructure, a lack of skilled workers, and the political uncertainty due to the failing health of President Lansana CONTE. Guinea is trying to reengage with the IMF and World Bank, which cut off most assistance in 2003, and is working closely with technical advisors from the U.S. Treasury Department, the World Bank and IMF, seeking to return to a fully funded program. Growth rose slightly in 2006, primarily due to increases in global demand and commodity prices on world markets, but the standard of living fell. The Guinea franc depreciated sharply as the prices for basic necessities like food and fuel rose beyond the reach of most Guineans. Dissatisfaction with economic conditions prompted nationwide strikes in February and June 2006.
Gdp purchasing power parity $20.16 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $3.798 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate3.7% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $2,100 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 23.7%
industry: 36.1%
services: 40.2% (2006 est.)
Labor force3.7 million (2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 76%
industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty line47% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.9%
highest 10%: 41% (2006)
Distribution of family income gini index38.1 (2006)
Inflation rate consumer prices 29% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 17.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $342.3 million
expenditures: $556.7 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Agriculture productsrice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava (tapioca), bananas, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
Industriesbauxite, gold, diamonds, iron; alumina refining; light manufacturing, and agricultural processing
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Electricity production840 million kWh
note: excludes electricity generated at interior mining sites (2006)
Electricity consumption832.9 million kWh (2006)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2006)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2006)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil consumption9,650 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil exportsNA
Oil importsNA
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance-$344 million (2006 est.)
Exports$615.1 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiesbauxite, alumina, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
Exports partnersSouth Korea 13.1%, Russia 11.1%, Ukraine 9.2%, Spain 7.7%, France 7.4%, US 7.4%, Germany 5.2%, Ireland 4.9% (2006)
Imports$730 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiespetroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
Imports partnersChina 8.5%, France 7.9%, Netherlands 4.7%, Belgium 4.3% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$60.2 million (2006 est.)
Debt external$3.02 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$212.2 million (2006)
Currency code Guinean franc (GNF)
Exchange ratesGuinean francs per US dollar - 5,350 (2006), 3,644.3 (2005), 2,225 (2004), 1,984.9 (2003), 1,975.8 (2002)
Communications - Guinea:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use26,300 (2005)
Telephones mobile cellular189,000 (2005)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: poor to fair system of open-wire lines, small radiotelephone communication stations, and new microwave radio relay system
domestic: microwave radio relay and radiotelephone communication
international: country code - 224; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 0, FM 5, shortwave 3 (2006)
Television broadcast stations6 (2001)
Internet country
Internet hosts367 (2006)
Internet users50,000 (2006)
Transportation - Guinea:
Airports16 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2006)
Railwaystotal: 837 km
standard gauge: 175 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 662 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 44,348 km
paved: 4,342 km
unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)
Waterways1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft) (2005)
Ports and terminalsKamsar
Military - Guinea:
Military branchesArmy, Navy, Air Force, Presidential Guard (2007)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,852,534
females age 18-49: 1,827,560 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,034,006
females age 18-49: 1,032,885 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp1.7% (2006)
Disputes internationalconflicts among rebel groups, warlords, and youth gangs in neighboring states have spilled over into Guinea, resulting in domestic instability; Sierra Leone considers Guineas definition of the flood plain limits to define the left bank boundary of the Makona and Moa rivers excessive and protests Guineas continued occupation of these lands, including the hamlet of Yenga, occupied since 1998
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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