Protests took place in the capital Conakry between Thursday, January 4, and Tuesday, January 9, to denounce recent electricity cuts. The demonstrations were held in several areas of the city, including in the Matam, Carrière, and Cosa districts. Protesters attacked the Conakry Express rail train, which links Conakry and the nearby suburbs, thus rending it out of service until further notice. Some schools had been closed in the Carrière district due to the blackouts. Further blackouts are expected in the coming days, as well as associated protests and traffic disruptions.
Much of the country’s electricity come from hydroelectric plants, currently affected by low water levels. The latest blackout was reportedly due to a lack of funds need to fuel backup generators.
Blackout-related protests are relatively common in Guinea. Civil society protest groups, mainly organized by the political opposition, denounce what they claim is a failure of governance by President Alpha Condé and his party to address the country's poor economic performance. Demonstrators also regularly protest corruption, the high cost of living, public health issues, and insecurity. Clashes often break out at these protests between anti-government demonstrators and police.
Individuals in Conakry are advised to anticipate frequent blackouts in the coming weeks and to keep battery-operated devices fully charged whenever possible. In addition, individuals are advised to be cautious when driving or crossing streets if traffic signals are not functioning. Furthermore, individuals are advised to avoid all demonstrations, to follow all instructions issued by authorities, and to anticipate travel disruptions in affected areas.