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 lack of jobs. The flagship Simandou iron ore project is likely to stay frozen for years due to low prices and legal challenges. A USD770-million expansion of Conakry port was signed in October 2016, and the 550 MW Souapiti hydroelectric dam is due to come on stream in 2019. The political opposition is fragmented but has regained some momentum in a successful campaign for repeatedly delayed local elections to be held.
Bureaucracy and corruption remain formidable obstacles to doing business in Guinea, although slow but steady improvements are being made. Local pressure can be intense for investors to provide jobs, but the situation is complicated by powerful unions, poor education levels, and shortage of technical skills. Strike action is frequent and often turns violent but is increasingly confined to the public sector and diminishing in the critical mining sector, although some general stoppages are politically inspired. The country's dilapidated infrastructure is receiving an overdue boost with new railways, port facilities, and power plants.
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 in 2016 and 2017 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 kind of affiliation with armed Islamist groups.
Inter-ethnic antagonism is rooted in long-standing ethnically based politics and conflicts over control of resources, particularly in Guinée Forestière, where the Malinké, Peul, and Guerzé co-exist uneasily. Conflicts in this region are compounded by the inability of the judicial system to enforce land rights. However, inter-communal violence is generally confined to small areas. President Condé agreed in December 2017 to fix a date for local elections, improving relations with the Peul-dominated main opposition UFDG. Disputed gold mining claims that caused 22 fatalities in fighting between Guineans and Malians in border areas are being settled by a bilateral commission. Guinea enjoys generally good relations with its neighbours.
The greatest risk of social unrest until the lead-up to legislative elections in September 2018 is posed by strike action and demonstrations against the high cost of living and mining activity. The surge in bauxite production is increasing frustrations because inhabitants of mining areas are not benefiting while suffering from the extreme strain placed on meagre resources and added pollution. Strikes and associated protests often turn violent because of confrontations between participants and security forces who frequently resort to firing live ammunition. Persistent rioting over power shortages in the capital Conakry has been ended by the new Kaleta dam.
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