Guinea (Conakry)

Guinea has enormous appeal as a place to travel, sprawling in a great arc of mountains and plains from the creeks, mud banks and mangroves of the coast to the hilly forests on the border with Côte d’Ivoire. The great rivers of West Africa – the Gambia, Senegal and Niger – all rise in Guinea, and the country is full of scenic routes. On the plains of Haute Guinée, towards the Malian border, you feel the cultural echoes of the Niger valley’s old kingdoms – this was the heartland of the Mali Empire – and the Niger and its tributaries the Tinkisso and the Milo meander across rolling savannas. . .

(continued on p. 292)

Great though the country is as a place to travel, its shortcomings for the 10 million-odd population are only too evident. As well as having been ruled by dictators (Sékou Touré and Lansana Conté) between 1958 and 2008, it has taken in tens of thousands of refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 1990s and more recently from Côte d’Ivoire. After a coup that ousted Lansana Conté in 2008, and several years of crisis, including border closures, widespread human rights abuses and a well-publicised massacre of demonstrators in Conakry, there was huge relief when relatively fair and orderly elections for head of state took place at the end of 2010 and a long-standing opposition leader, Alpha Condé, became president.  The US Peace Corps are back again – always a sign that conditions are improving.

Links we like

Aminata First port of call for news and comment.

Foniké Rap video showcase (foniké means “youth” in Susu).

Foutapédia All things Fula (Peulh) and Fouta Djalon.

Friends of Guinea US Peace Corps-related site with good links and info.

Guinea News News portal.

Radio Kankan Best of the local radio services, with a lively website (news, links, music news) and live streaming.

This page last edited 9 June 2011 © Richard Trillo and Emma Gregg

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