Guinea

Republic of Guinea
Population 11,780,000
Independence 1958, France
Languages French (official)
Form of government Republic
GDP (2014) $6.529 billion; per capita (2014): $1.300

Guinea (Guinea-Conakry), a west African country that bordersGuinea-Bissau and Senegal to the north, Mali on the north and north-east, Côte d'Ivoire to the east and Liberia and Sierra Leone to the south. It gained independence in 1958. The country experienced decades of authoritarian rule under Sekou Touré,  and then under Lansana Conté, a military colonel who seized power in 1984. The country’s first multiparty elections were held in 1993 and, resulted in wins for President Conté and his ruling party that were sustained over the following 12 years.

Following President Conté’s death in 2008, an army captain gained power in a military coup. Anti-government protests in 2009 led to more than 150 deaths at the hands of security forces and caused imposition of international sanctions and accusations of war crimes in the International Criminal Court. Democratic elections were held in 2010, and the win of opposition leader Alpha Condé ushered in a new era of civilian rule. Legislative elections were carried out in September 2013. The country has since the undertaken economic reforms and a resumption of growth and investment.

The 2014-2015 Ebola crisis, however, disrupted Guinea’s development. The crisis, which originated in Guinea and spread to the neighboring countries,  Liberia and Sierra Leone, has had a major impact on the country’s economy, with $500 million in GDP losses anticipated  in 2015.

Government title Name
President H.E. Alpha CONDE
Prime Minister S.E. Mohamed Said FOFANA
Minister of Economy and Finance S.E. Mohammed DIARE
g7+ Focal Point Mr. Ibrahima SECK, Senior Expert, Ministry of Economy and Finance
 

New Deal Implementation

Guinea has been a member of g7+ since 2010 and has endorsed the New Deal. The government of Guinea has been closely involved in the Ebola Regional Recovery Strategy and has based policy responses in part on New Deal principles. Guinea has also recently expressed interest in developing a roadmap for implementing its first Fragility Assessment.

The president is the head of state and is elected in five-year terms. The most recent elections were held in 2010, and the next elections are scheduled for October 2015. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President. The Prime Minister appoints the cabinet, composed of 25-30 members and known as the Council of Ministers.

The national parliament is the People’s National Assembly. It consists of 114 seats; members are directly elected in a combination of single-seat constituencies and proportional representation and serve four-year terms. The leading party holds 85 seats, and the opposition party holds 20 seats; four other parties hold one to three seats each. The last parliamentary elections took place in 2013; the next parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2017.

Local officials and district councils are democratically elected. Violence broke out in 2015 after protestors took to the streets of the capital, Conakry, demanding that local elections take place before the presidential elections in October, as agreed in a 2013 power-sharing agreement. Government maintains that delaying local elections is necessary due to lack of resources and local capacity.

Poverty in Guinea is widespread and concentrated in both rural and urban areas. Recent shocks, including the Ebola epidemic and a rapid decline in international commodity prices, have had adverse effects on the social and economic welfare of Guinea’s people. Lack of infrastructure, underemployment, and limited access to finance and technology are constraints to upward mobility.

Literacy rates are low, particularly among women. Ebola has had a detrimental effect on human resources and provision and use of government services; popular fear related to Ebola led to the closure of hundreds of health centers and schools.

To address these effects, the government developed a 2015-2017 Post-Ebola Priority Action Plan. The Plan specifies the following focus areas for social recovery: (i) upgrading and developing the health system; (ii) providing universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools and health facilities, and improving access to WASH throughout the country; (iii) accelerating the spread of literacy for better resilience; (iv) strengthening the advancement of women; and (v) improving child protection.

The Post-Ebola Priority Action Plan also sets priorities for economic development:

(i) improving the business environment;

(ii) increasing production systems;

(iii) recovering and accelerating the diversification of economic activities;

(iv) renewing support for agricultural intensification;

(v) recovering investment in economic infrastructure;

(iv) revitalizing import and export trade circuits;

(vii) supporting the processing and storage of agricultural products;

and (viii) revitalizing and rationalizing advisory support, the organization of producers, and research.

Foreign investment in Guinea is concentrated the extractive industries, especially the mining sector. Guinea is a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and is EITI compliant. The Government of Guinea seeks to attract investment in other sectors, including energy, construction, telecommunication, transportation, and healthcare. Lack of infrastructure, a weak judicial system and proliferation of state-owned enterprises are obstacles to private investment, but the government has taken important steps to pursuing institutional strengthening and privatization.