Guinea, formerly known as the French Guinea, achieved independence from France in 1958 and has a population of 12.77 million (2019). Guinea's first president, Ahmed Sekou Toure, took the country out of the French Community, leading to France taking retaliatory action including the breaking all political and economic ties. Toure then declared Guinea a one party state and ran it along Marxist lines, destroying its economy and much of its infrastructure in the process. It is estimated that 50,000 people were killed under a regime that came to an abrupt end in 1984 when Toure died suddenly during cardiac surgery. Within days the armed forces seized power denouncing the fading years of Toure's regime as a "bloody and ruthless dictatorship."
Col. Lansana Conte was installed as president of the Military Committee for National Recovery and was re-elected in 1993 as head of a civilian government and also in 1998 and 2003 mainly by suppressing his opponents. Conte's death on 23rd December 2008 was marked within six hours by a further coup d'etat. The constitution was suspended and all institutions dissolved. After Moussa Dadis Camara seized control of Guinea as the head of this junta, many within Guinea gathered to protest about his pending presidential candidacy and the army went on the rampage killing many of the population to suppress this dissent.
During this rampage, Camara was shot and wounded by one of his aides and he was flown to Morocco for medical care. Later it was agreed that the military would not stand in elections called for 2010 and acting president Sekouba Konate took control of the country as part of a transitional government. In 2010 those elections took place and Alpha Conde was elected president in what was considered the first free national election held in Guinea since it gained independence in 1958 although opposition leaders denounced the official results as fraudulent. On 5th September 2021, Conde was captured by the country's armed forces in a coup d'etat and Special forces commander Mamady Doumbouya released a broadcast on state television announcing the dissolution of the constitution and government. He was sworn in as interim president on 1st October 2021 to worldwide condemnation including from China, a major trading partner, that relies on Guinea for half of its aluminium ore.
Today, after years of economic mismanagement and repressive rule, Guinea (often referred to as Guinea-Conakry after its capital) is one of the poorest countries in Africa standing at 178th place out of 189 countries and territories in 2019 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country. A predominantly Islamic country, with Muslims representing 85% of the population, 43.7% of Guineans lived below the national poverty line, equivalent to 5.8 million people living in poverty. In 2019, child mortality rate (under fives) for Guinea was 98.8 deaths per 1,000 live births and, despite the country making some progress towards achieving their target for stunting, 30.3% of children under 5 years of age are still affected, which is higher than the average for the same African region (29.1%). Adult illiteracy is high, school enrolment poor and maternal mortality is amongst the highest in the world. In rural areas 35% of households do not have access to safe water supplies and life expectancy is around 61.18 years (2018). Volunteer work in Guinea includes supporting families, working with orphaned and homeless children, school projects and developing health care programs.
Guinea Conakry Profile: Volunteer in Guinea Conakry
Guinea Conakry Profile: Conakry Profile
Guinea Conakry Profile: Child Sponsor Guinea
Guinea Conakry Profile: Guinea Map
Guinea Conakry Profile: Guinea Conakry News
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