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Facts about Guinea and Conakry


Guinea is on the Atlantic Coast, bordering Liberia and Sierra Leone. In this section travelers will find a brief visual sample of Guinea's beaches, attractions, shops, restaurants and hotel facilities, plus local tour operators to be featured in our Africa Travel Magazine. Some items will also be available in French thanks to our Associate Editor Muguette Goufrani, whose travel agency career began in North and West Africa's French speaking countries. Since Guinea is a developing West African country, travelers should make Conakry hotel reservations in advance.

GAllow time for photo animations to load.UINEA COUNTRY PROFILE
Courtesy U.S. Embassy: B.P. 603, Conakry, Guinea
tel: (224) 41-15-20/21/23, fax: (224) 41-15-22.
Formerly: French Guinea
Conventional long form: Republic of Guinea
Conventional short form: Guinea
Local long form: Republique de Guinee
Local short form: Guinee

Geography and Environment: On Atlantic Coast Generally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior. Generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds Environment issues: Deforestation; inadequate supplies of potable water; decertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region. International agreements: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Decertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands.

Population: Total: 7,466,200 (July 2000 est.).
Languages: French (official), each ethnic group has its own language Religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
Ethnic groups: Peuhl 40%, Malinke 30%, Soussou 20%, smaller ethnic groups 10%
National holiday: Anniversary of the Second Republic, 3 April (1984)
Legal system: based on French civil law system, customary law, and decree; legal codes currently being revised; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economy: Currency: 1 Guinean franc (FG) = 100 centimes
Exchange rates: Guinean francs (FG) per US$1 - 1,292.5

Guinea possesses major mineral, hydropower, and agricultural resources. 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. Industries: bauxite, gold, diamonds; alumina refining; light manufacturing and agricultural processing industries. Exports: bauxite, alumina, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products. GDP : agriculture: 24%, industry: 31%, services: 45%. Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 63.55%, hydro: 36.45% Agriculture - products: rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava (tapioca), bananas, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber

Transportation: Airports - with paved runways: 5
Domestic airlines offer services to most interior cities, often to rudimentary dirt landing strips
Railways: total: 1,086 km (includes 662 km in common carrier service from Kankan to Conakry)
Highways paved: 5,033 km
Ports and harbors: Boke, Conakry, Kamsar
Waterways: 1,295 km navigable by shallow-draft native craft
Television broadcast stations: 6

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required. There is an airport departure tax. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of the Republic of Guinea, 2112 Leroy Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 483-9420. Overseas inquiries should be made to the nearest Guinean Embassy or Consulate.

CURRENCY REGULATIONS: All travelers to Guinea are prohibited from having more than 5,000 Guinean francs (about four US dollars) in their possession when they leave the country. Western Union has an office off the Avenue of the Republic in downtown Conakry. Money transfers have worked successfully. Credit cards are rarely accepted, except at the two major hotels in Conakry. Credit card cash advances are not available. Inter-bank fund transfers are possible at the "BICIGUI", a local bank, but can be difficult and expensive.

TELEPHONES: Several cellular phone services are available. A number of public phones operate by locally purchased phone cards. Telephones are available in Conakry and in other major towns and hotels. However, while privatization has improved the communication system, disruptions in telephone service are common.

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Nouvelles du Congrès


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