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Everything you need to know about Guinea: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Guinea: The Switzerland of Africa

Guinea gained its independence from France in 1958 and since then it has had only two presidents thus attesting to Guinea’s political stability. In the year 1971 Guinea was invaded by Portuguese Guinea followed by the coup with Portuguese help, however it got foiled. It faced harsh rule and was placed under an authoritarian rule under this pretext.

Guinea Fast Facts:

    · National Name: Republic of Guinea
    · National Capital: Conakry
    · Total Area: 245,857 sq km
    · Total Population: 9,806,509 (July 2008 est.)
    · Ethnic races: Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
    · Religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
    · Currency: Guinean franc
    · GDP (per capita): $1,100 (2007 est.)
    · Languages: French (official); note - each ethnic group has its own language
    · Life expectancy: 54 years (men), 58 years (women) (UN)
    · Literacy Rate: 29.5%(2003 est.)

Guinea Geography, Climate and Economy:
Guinea’s topography is categorized into four geographic regions viz. narrow coastal plains in the lower Guinea and the pastoral highlands in the interior part of the country, along with the savannas in the northern region of the country and the rainforests in the southeast Guinea. Besides this, the Niger, Gambia and Senegal rivers originate from Guinea, which are amongst the 22 West African Rivers.

Most of the area of Guinea including the coastal region and the inlands has tropical climate. This is characterized with a rainy season lasting from April to November and relatively high and uniform temperatures having high humidity. Conakry, the capital city of Guinea has an annual average of 29 °C (85 °F), and the lowest temperature falls to 23 °C (74 °F). The average annual rainfall is 4.3 metres (169 inches).

Guinea possesses major minerals like bauxite, iron ore, uranium, gold and diamonds along with hydropower and the agricultural products, yet it remains an underdeveloped nation in terms of economy. Guinea has almost half of the world's bauxite reserves and is the second-largest bauxite producer. The mining sector accounts for over 70% of exports.

Culture and Cuisine of Guinea:

The Guinean population includes around 24 ethnic groups among which three groups form the majority. The ethnic group of Fulani comprises 40% of the Guinean population. While other ethnic groups comprise of Mandinka, Soussou and other smaller groups. The Guinean culture is well preserved by the locals in the form of music, dance and the cuisine.

Pork meat and fish forms the integral part of Guinean cuisine. The Guineans eat yassa during special celebrations, which is a version of Chicken. This is also mixed with mustard, marinade, and is cooked with lots of Onion and the ingredients like rice, peanuts, Bambara Groundnut and Hausa Groundnut, black-eyed peas, and root vegetables such as yams, coco yams, sweet potatoes, and cassava are added to enhance the taste of the dish.

Tourist Sites in Guinea:
Guinea offers a plethora of tourist sites comprising of picturesque beaches, the thickly covered rainforests and the long preserved historical sites dating back from the wartime. The thick thatched roofs of the Guinean houses are itself intriguing lying beside the backdrop of green pastoral savannas. The beaches along the coastlines offer various water sports like surfing, rafting and diving.

Some Other Tourist Sites are:

    · Mali Ville
    · Pita and Labé
    · Port Moresby
    · Daru
    · Goroka
    · Madang
    · Mount Hagen
    · Wewak

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