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Guinea History

Guinea - national flagGuinea - national flag

The flag was officially adopted at independence in 1958. As a former French colony, the country chose a flag with three vertical stripes. The colors are the colors of both the Pan-African and Guinea's Democratic Party. Red stands for the blood that has been sacrificed in the freedom struggle. Yellow symbolizes the natural riches and sunshine, green Guinea's vegetation. The colors also refer to the national language of choice: work, justice, solidarity.

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Guinea - history

The area has been populated for approx. 30,000 years, and agriculture has existed for approx. 3000 years. Around the year 900 AD. large groups of susu migrated from the desert areas of the north and pushed the indigenous inhabitants, the Baghas, out to the coast. A number of susuko kingdoms gained increasing importance in the 1200s, and the area was incorporated into the Mali kingdom. From the middle of the 1400s. the Portuguese established trading posts, and a large export of ivory and especially slaves began. This continued until the mid-1800s. During the 1500-t. the Fulani gained control of the Fouta Djalon area, and in 1725 they started a holy war with the aim of converting the inhabitants of the plateau to Islam.. Fulani maintained power over the area until the 1800s; in 1849 France declared the coastal areas a protectorate under the name Rivières du Sud, in 1881 the Almy (Emir) of Fouta Djalon placed its land under French protection, and in 1890 the area became a French colony under the name French Guinea. In the years that followed, the colony expanded further despite resistance, especially in Fouta Djalon and in the south.

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In 1946, Guinea's status changed from a colony to an overseas territory, and in 1958, de Gaulle offered autonomy, which was rejected by Sékou Touré of the PDG, Parti démocratique de Guinée., who wanted complete independence. Independence came on 2.10.1958 after a preliminary referendum. In anger at the result, France cut off all cooperation, causing Guinea to face serious problems on independence. Sékou Touré became the country's first president, and soon after, the PDG became the only legal party. As a result of France's stance on independence, the West hesitated to enter into diplomatic relations with Guinea, assisting the Eastern Bloc for the first few years until mistrust arose between Touré and the Soviet Union. Thereafter, Guinea became increasingly isolated, and Touré more and more dictatorial. On November 22, 1970, a group of exiled Guineans, led by Portuguese officers, attempted an invasion near Conakry, but the invasion failed.

Guinea History

Touré remained in power until his death in 1984, after which a military government led by Lansana Conté followed; it banned PDG. A new constitution was adopted after a referendum in 1990, and in 1993 Conté won the presidential election. In 1995, parliamentary elections were held, which were won by the President's Party, Parti d'unité et du progrès. Following rumors of election fraud, the opposition chose to boycott parliament. In 1996, parts of the army revolted in Conakry, wreaking havoc in the capital.

President Conté was re-elected in 1998 and 2003, most recently with an overwhelming 95% of the vote. The election was boycotted by the opposition.

Riots and war in neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone have plagued Guinea, not least in the form of large refugee flows and acts of war on Guinean territory. It has contributed to Guinea's ailing political and economic life, exacerbated by ethnic tensions. After Conté's death in December 2008, army officers carried out a coup. Moussa Dadis Camara became the leader of the military junta and declared himself president. Although the coup was condemned by large sections of the international community, it was initially welcomed by many Guineans, hoping for an end to the widespread corruption that had taken place under Conté's rule.

In December 2009, Dadis Camara was shot dead and left the country the following year. In November 2010, Alpha Conde (b. 1938) became president in the first democratic election since independence. However, there is still unrest in the country and Alpha Conde has been the victim of an assassination attempt, presumably by military circles.

Guinea was hit by the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014, which put a brake on the country's economic development.

Guinea - economy

The economy has been marked by change since 1984, when a military coup followed the death of President Sékou Touré. 200,000 Guineans in exile returned home in a matter of months, and the economy was liberalized.

In 1987, Guinea reached a loan agreement with the World Bank and the IMF; at the same time, a so-called structural adjustment program was introduced. Price controls were removed, foreign trade liberalized, and 10,000 civil servants were fired with great political unrest as a result. Since then, GDP has risen considerably, through foreign acquisitions of the former state-owned enterprises (including in the mining sector). Subsequent conflicts have led to economic stagnation; the country is estimated to have received 600,000 refugees from the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. In addition, 70,000 Guineans were displaced from the border areas during unrest in 2001. The country has received assistance through the program for particularly indebted, poor countries, HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries), under the World Bank and the IMF.

The country's low degree of development is illustrated of extremely low energy consumption and an industrial sector that contributes only 5% of GDP. The energy supply for the demanding aluminum smelting comes from a number of hydropower plants, while the oil supply is covered by imports.

On the export side, foreign trade is dominated by the changing patterns of the international aluminum industry, while France is the most important trading partner.

 

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