Forgotten World (186): Guinea

It’s time once more for one of my regular weeks of postings in my long-running series called Forgotten World – a look at parts of the world that hardly feature in our media or thoughts. You can check the previous 185 entries here.
The mineral-rich African state of Guinea declared independence from France in 1958. Post-independence history has been marked by military dictatorship, repression, poverty and the knock-on instability of a succession of wars fought along its borders in the 1990s and early 2000s in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. Though Guinea is the world’s leading exporter of bauxite – used to make aluminium – and also has diamonds, gold and timber, average earnings were less than £60 a month in 2008. Guinea remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with 40% living under the poverty line.
The present military leader Moussa Dadis Camara was welcomed by most of the 10 million population when he seized power hours after the death in December 2008 of President Lansana Conté, after 24 years of corrupt and authoritarian rule that left the economy in tatters. Camara promised to end the drugs trade and corruption and elevated military officers to government posts but, within months, tension rose as he began talking about reneging on his promise not to run for president in elections expected in 2010.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>