Guinea Country Report
Alpha Condé is focusing in his second term on mining sector expansion, underpinned by Chinese financing of major infrastructural projects, to regain ground lost during the Ebola epidemic. New bauxite mines and surging Chinese demand are earning Guinea revenue, but have also provoked repeated bouts of major violence due to pressure on local amenities and a lack of jobs. The political opposition regained some momentum at local elections in February 2018, forcing concessions ahead of legislative polls following almost two months of daily post-election protests. Labour unrest and protest risks remain high, illustrated by general strikes in July 2018 aimed at forcing the government to reinstate fuel subsidies. International donors have pledged USD20 billion to help Guinea fund itsnational economic and social development plan up to 2022.
Powerful union confederations are likely to continue forcing the government into key concessions or U-turns through their ability to enforce widely observed industrial action. The trial of strength over the cash-strapped government's decision to withdraw oil subsidies in July 2018 is likely to be indicative of its ability to hold out against union demands after losing a number of previous struggles over public sector salary demands. The issue of alleged high-level corruption has been highlighted by a French prosecution over the acquisition of the Conakry port concession. However, corruption levels in the critical mining industry generally continue to ease.
Because of the presence of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and affiliated groups in northern Mali, much of West Africa faces increasing risks of militant attacks, including kidnapping for ransom. France's counter-terrorism operation in northern Mali has caused jihadists to regroup in border areas, and seek to expand recruitment and operations to neighbouring countries, underlined by attacks since 2016 in Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. However, Guinea borders Mali's southwestern region, which remains largely unaffected. Moreover, there are no indications that indigenous Guinean religious organisations are seeking any affiliation with armed Islamist groups.
Two months of violent protests following local elections on 4 February 2018 were often centred on Peul-dominated areas of the capital, Conakry. This group votes heavily for the main opposition UFDG, but a political agreement by its leader with President Alpha Condé suggests that rivalries will continue to be settled without risking an armed insurgency. In certain areas, inter-ethnic antagonism is rooted in long-standing conflicts over control of resources, particularly in Guinée Forestière. Disputed gold mining claims that led to 22 fatalities in fighting between Guineans and Malians in border areas are being settled by a bilateral commission. Guinea enjoys generally good relations with neighbours.
Social unrest risks have been reduced by the signing of a political accord to end two months of almost daily rioting following local elections on 4 February 2018. Risks will start to rise again as legislative elections approach in September as much of the agreement deals with contested preparations for these more important parliamentary polls. The likelihood of further serious rioting in mining regions is diminishing after two major outbreaks in 2017 as authorities belatedly address concerns over power blackouts, environmental damage, and pollution. The signing of a deal with teachers' unions reduces the risk of violence associated with persistent strikes.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
The whole country, particularly Conakry, is regularly affected by heavy rainfalls between May and September, causing major flooding. The lack of adequate infrastructure hampers efficient drainage. This can also cause severe disruptions in transportation.
Several international companies provide air links to Europe and other African capitals.
A number of cases of travelers who were followed from the airport to their home to be attacked have been reported. It is advisable to organize transportation from the airport prior to departure.
The country suffers from unreliable, inadequate, and degraded road infrastructure. During the rainy season (May to October) roads are generally unreliable, especially in Low-Guinea and in the Forested Guinea region. The road between Gueckedou to Macenta is in a state of general disrepair.
The danger of road accidents is heightened by the disregard of traffic rules by other drivers as well as the non-maintenance of vehicles, and the lack of medical care facilities. Due to the lack of public lighting all night travel should be avoided. It is advised to take the highway when driving. All accidents, especially deadly accidents, may easily escalate into a violent riot. In case of an accident travelers should not leave the vehicle and immediately go to the nearest police station.
In Conakry, and in the rest of the country, it is recommended to ensure that vehicle doors are locked and the windows rolled up due to the risk of carjackings. Travelers are also advised to be wary of police or military officers who appear unexpectedly. Do not open your door and alert the anti-crime police and diplomatic authorities.
Western authorities formally advise against all travel by public transport.
Outside major cities, all travel must be done during the day, with an all-terrain vehicle (4x4), possibly in convoy, equipped with adequate supplies of water, food, and fuel. Make sure that the vehicle contains mechanical spare parts (wheels, cables, etc.) and have effective means of telecommunication.
Roadblocks manned by police officers are common, especially in the provinces. Security checks can be in-depth. It is advisable to cooperate with security forces at roadblocks and to carry all necessary personal and vehicle documents.
Electricity grids are unreliable in the country and access to electricity is not guaranteed throughout the territory. Only 26.2 percent of the population has access to electricity.
Western diplomatic authorities generally advise that travelers choose an international hotel close to the city center or residential areas.
Guinea's climate is tropical and the country experiences two seasons. Generally speaking, the rainy season lasts from May until November and the dry season from December until April.
The country is divided into four distinct climatic regions. The west, along the Atlantic coast, is very wet. The climate is more temperate in the center (where the rainy and dry seasons are equally long). The climate then becomes more “Sudanese” (dry and tropical) heading northeast; this area receives less rain than the rest of the country and temperatures are high throughout the year, with the exception of the period from December to February when the Harmattan, a dry and dusty trade wind, blows across the region (temperature around 15°C instead of 40°C). Guinea's southeast is subequatorial and experiences a long rainy season (8-10 months/year) and average temperatures between 24°C and 28°C.
|LAC (anti-crime brigade):|
|Districts of Taouyah, Hamdallaye, Gbessia, aéroport:||60 20 10 67|
|Districts of Kaporo rails, Ratoma:||60 25 81 60|
|District of Matoto:||60 25 81 62|
|District of Enta:||60 25 81 63|
Phone networks are not always in working condition in the country. This can affect emergency numbers as well.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz