The Republic of Guinea is a nation of northwest Africa. Independent from France since 1958, Guinea did not hold democratic elections until 1993 when Gen. Lansana Conte (head of the military government) was elected president in disputed balloting. Security clampdowns continue, although not as severe as in earlier decades. Reelected in 1998, the President faced growing criticism in 1999 for his jailing of a major opposition leader and widespread economic malaise. Unrest in Sierra Leone also continued to threaten Guinea's stability.
Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources, yet remains a poor underdeveloped nation. The agricultural sector employs 80% of the work force. Guinea possesses over 25% of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounted for about 75% of exports in 1998. Long-run improvements in government fiscal arrangements, literacy, and the legal framework are needed if the country is to move out of poverty. The government made encouraging progress in budget management in 1997-99. Even with a recovery in prices for some of Guinea's main commodity exports, annual GDP is unlikely to increase by more than 5% in 2000-2001.
The capital is Conakry.
From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Not Wikified.