Guinea is a Western Africa country neighboring "Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali and the North Atlantic Ocean." .Guinea has been known for its enormous wealth from mining minerals. However, it has the poorest population in West Africa. The people in Guinea speak French, Fulani, Susu, Mandipo. There are both Islamic and Christianity religions in the country. The life expectancy in men is fifty-two years and in women fifty-seven years. The country uses "Guinean Franc" as its local currency. The capital city is Conakry. The current president is "Alpha Conde" who is on his second term, after winning elections four years ago, with about fifty-six percent of the votes cast.
Historical Factors of Guinea
Colonization of Guinea
Guinea had a series of African empires and states until France colonized them in the last nineteenth century. They were ruled by the French until 1958 when they got independence.
Empire States in Guinea
The kingdom known as Sosso was an ancient kingdom on the Coast of West Africa. It was led by a leader known as "Sumanguru Kante" who ruled unpleasantly and harshly. However his leadership preserved the empire in balance, and it was characterized with strong economic success during his reign (Graham, 2010). It is believed that he uses mystic to jolt people and unify his kingdom. The leader was able to capture other states during his reign.
Empires Found in Guinea
This was one of the largest belligerent nations which protracted its conquests to other countries outside Guinea. They embraced the Islamic religion. They were mainly involved in economic activities like agriculture, hunting, and herding cattle's. Its leadership style was aristocracy; their social structure was organized as opposed to other empires. It is currently a mountainous region in West Africa later it became a part of French Guinea. The success of the state was witnessed by the tremendous economic and social revolution which contributed to Muslim revolution. The highland areas of "Futa Jallon" had historically become a good grazing land for nomadic pastoralist.
During the colonial period in Guinea, there was the existence of the slave trade. This led to the introduction of triangular trade where slaves were exchanged for goods in three phases of business. The first trade took place from Europe to Africa. The second trade involved the conveyance of slaves to the Americas. The third phase took place between the Americas and Europe; this included the transportation of goods. The colonial period started when the French military entered into the area in the mid-19th century. The domination of French was strengthened by the defeat of the soldiers who were led by "Samouri Toure" and as a result of that French completely dominated Guinea.
Independence of Guinea
The rule of the French ultimately came to an end, and Guinea gained its independence in the year 1958. The leader who influenced the country to achieve its independence was "Sekou Toure," whose party won fifty-five seats out of sixty seats and this made him the first president of Guinea post-colonial rule. During his reign, he ensured Guinea associated itself with the Soviet Union and embraced policies that promoted socialism. However, the country continued to receive support and investment from countries like the US to ensure they were able to stabilize completely. During the last twentieth century, the constitution was developed which paved the way for the implementation of citizen government. During the early 2000s, there were border conflicts between Guinea and some of its neighboring nations like Liberia and this resulted in the government attacked those foes using helicopters. Over a decade ago, following the death of President "Lassana Conte," military took over the reign and the military leader then declared himself as the president. In 2017 there were protests in the northern part of Guinea which affected the operations of bauxite mines, and the residents were complaining of numerous power shortages and enormous pollution of the environment.
Pollution of the Environment in the Gulf of Guinea
Since mining was the main economic activity by the Guineans and it was done in the coastal regions of Guinea, this impacted on the environment negatively since the oxygen level was exhausted especially in the lagoon systems, mainly in the urban areas. This ultimately resulted in reduced reproduction rate by sea creatures and increased risks to waterborne diseases. (Rose, 2012). A recent survey conducted on five countries including Guinea revealed that, the state was ranked number two in terms of environmental pollution, and the main contributors to this was mining and solid waste from households which were found to contain some dangerous components which were non-recyclable and resulted to becoming a health risk factor to the citizens leaving in the Gulf of Guinea.
Cultural Factors in Guinea
Demographics and Cultural Perspective in Guinea
According to (Graham, 2010), the dominant cultural groups of Guinea are found in the coastal region, and they included "Susu" and other smaller tribes like "Baga," "Landoma," and "Lele." The Futa Jallon was located in parts and particularly in the hilly areas which were characterized by cool temperatures, and this allowed the farming of potatoes. It is also the source of rivers that link our neighboring countries. The most populated cultural group was the "Fulbe," and smaller tribes include "Jallonke and Jahanke." Upper Guinea is located on the eastern side of "Futa Jallon "it is a savannah region, and it's also along the river banks. This makes their main economic activity to be fishing, irrigation, and transportation. The largest population here is the "Maninka cultural group" Finally the southern region of Guinea is covered by forest and as a result of that it receives a lot of rainfall and the area is densely populated with tree species like "mahogany, teak, and ebony" However the demand for tropical hardwoods has led to the negative exploitation of the forest. Guinea has an estimated population of about 7.5 million, "Susu" cultural group accounting for approximately 20 percent of the entire population. The largest ethnic groups are the "Maninka" which accounts for 35 percent of the whole population. The official national languages are " Bassari, Kissi, Maninka, and Susu."
Religious perspectives in Guinea
The most dominant religion in Guinea is Islam, where approximately 90 percent of the population in Guinea are Muslim, mainly the "Sunni" the remaining 10 percent are both Christians and those hooked to traditional beliefs.
Political Factors in Guinea
Political and Security Environment in Guinea
According to (Dinnen, 2011), the country has been characterized ad known for political instability. Since gaining independence the country has been under authentic leadership, however, nine years ago the country held its first democratic elections, and it was received with a lot of joy as it marked a transition from political instability to a new dawn where they can have a say in the government matters. The regimes that were present before 2010 both instilled violence and human right abuses on the citizens. There were additional incidents of violence in 2011, where there was an attack on the residence of the president, in response to this the government apprehended and charged 40 people mostly military workers. During the protests that took place in 2013, over 30 people got killed, and this led to reforms in the national legislative elections. Many demonstrations were about extreme shortage of water and electricity in the capital of Guinea. Another instance of violence happened slightly over five years ago, and it was linked to the outbreak of Ebola, where the residents attacked the vehicles and facilities of health support staffs. There were also cases of property damage to humanitarian organizations.
Economic Factors in Guinea
Overview of the Economy in Guinea
According to (Banks, 2013), Guinea is one of the poorest nations despite priding itself with the mining activities, and this has mainly been contributed mainly to poor leadership styles which included authoritarian leadership, political violence, border conflicts and lack of utilizing the resources they have appropriately. However, there are some factors that have kept Guinea going and they include agricultural activities since the country has fertile soil and ample rainfall to support the cultivation of sweet potatoes. They also have Gold, Bauxite and diamonds are their main exports.
Moreover, they also have a sizeable hydro-electric plant which supplies electricity to other nations in West Africa. The outbreak of Ebola was also one of the biggest nightmares in the economy of Guinea and reduced prices of foreign goods. The previous regimes never focused on improving the infrastructure of the country and there were frequent shortages of electricity, water and this was also characterized with poor roads, railway lines which hindered trade from running smoothly and this has to date being a hindrance to the economic development of Guinea.
Overall Summary of Guinea
According to (Graham, 2010), Guinea prides itself with the opportunity of mining gold, bauxite, and diamond. It also has rich soils food producing sweet potatoes and other food. However there are factor bringing their overall image down, and it is political violence and border conflict which has been contributed by authoritative leaders they had and who never focused on developing the infrastructure and this leaves the nation grappling with shortages of necessities like provision of clean water and affordable electricity which is an irony since they have the largest hydro-electric plant in West Africa. Finally, the outbreak of Ebola was a significant concern and even made the country lag behind even further.
Graham, C. H., Smith, T. B., & Languy, M. (2010). Current and historical factors influencing patterns of species richness and turnover of birds in the Gulf of Guinea highlands. Journal of Biogeography, 32(8), 1371-1384.
Rose, C. J., & Wood, A. W. (2012). Some environmental factors affecting earthworm populations and sweet potato production in the Tari Basin, Papua New Guinea highlands. Papua New Guinea Agricultural Journal, 31(1/4), 1-13.
Banks, G. (2013). Mining multinationals and developing countries: theory and practice in Papua New Guinea. Applied Geography, 13(4), 313-327.
Dinnen, S. (2011). Law and order in a weak state: Crime and politics in Papua New Guinea (Vol. 17). University of Hawaii Press.
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