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Guinea vs. Liberia

Introduction

GuineaLiberia
BackgroundGuinea is at a turning point after decades of authoritarian rule since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Guinea held its first free and competitive democratic presidential and legislative elections in 2010 and 2013 respectively, and in October 2015 held a second consecutive presidential election. Alpha CONDE was reelected to a second five-year term as president in 2015, and the National Assembly was seated in January 2014. CONDE's first cabinet is the first all-civilian government in Guinea. The country held a successful political dialogue in August and September 2016 that brought together the government and opposition to address long-standing tensions. Likewise, President CONDE’s election as AU chairperson has instilled confidence in Guinea. Previously, Sekou TOURE ruled the country as president from independence to his death in 1984. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after TOURE's death. Gen. CONTE organized and won presidential elections in 1993, 1998, and 2003, though all the polls were rigged. Upon CONTE's death in December 2008, Capt. Moussa Dadis CAMARA led a military coup, seizing power and suspending the constitution. His unwillingness to yield to domestic and international pressure to step down led to heightened political tensions that culminated in September 2009 when presidential guards opened fire on an opposition rally killing more than 150 people, and in early December 2009 when CAMARA was wounded in an assassination attempt and exiled to Burkina Faso. A transitional government led by Gen. Sekouba KONATE paved the way for Guinea's transition to a fledgling democracy.
Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began in 1822; by 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic. William TUBMAN, president from 1944-71, did much to promote foreign investment and to bridge the economic, social, and political gaps between the descendants of the original settlers and the inhabitants of the interior. In 1980, a military coup led by Samuel DOE ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule. In December 1989, Charles TAYLOR launched a rebellion against DOE's regime that led to a prolonged civil war in which DOE was killed. A period of relative peace in 1997 allowed for an election that brought TAYLOR to power, but major fighting resumed in 2000. An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war and prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who was convicted by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague for his involvement in Sierra Leone's civil war. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF to power. She subsequently won reelection in 2011 and remains challenged to rebuild Liberia's economy, particularly following the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic, and to reconcile a nation still recovering from 14 years of fighting. The UN Security Council in September 2015 passed Resolution 2239, which renewed the mandate for the UN Mission in Liberia for another year. In July 2016, the UN handed over peacekeeping responsibility to Liberia and reduced the UN troop presence, which now serves a support role. Liberia is scheduled to hold presidential and legislative elections in October 2017. Constitutional term limits bar

Geography

GuineaLiberia
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone
Geographic coordinates11 00 N, 10 00 W
6 30 N, 9 30 W
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 245,857 sq km
land: 245,717 sq km
water: 140 sq km
total: 111,369 sq km
land: 96,320 sq km
water: 15,049 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Oregon
slightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundariestotal: 4,046 km
border countries (6): Cote d'Ivoire 816 km, Guinea-Bissau 421 km, Liberia 590 km, Mali 1,062 km, Senegal 363 km, Sierra Leone 794 km
total: 1,667 km
border countries (3): Guinea 590 km, Cote d'Ivoire 778 km, Sierra Leone 299 km
Coastline320 km
579 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 200 nm
Climategenerally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
Terraingenerally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior
mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 472 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
mean elevation: 243 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m
Natural resourcesbauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 58.1%
arable land 11.8%; permanent crops 2.8%; permanent pasture 43.5%
forest: 26.5%
other: 15.4% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 28.1%
arable land 5.2%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 20.8%
forest: 44.6%
other: 27.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land950 sq km (2012)
30 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardshot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; inadequate potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage
tropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - notethe Niger and its important tributary the Milo River have their sources in the Guinean highlands
facing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture

Demographics

GuineaLiberia
Population12,093,349 (July 2016 est.)
4,299,944 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 41.7% (male 2,547,037/female 2,495,495)
15-24 years: 19.67% (male 1,200,618/female 1,177,633)
25-54 years: 30.52% (male 1,851,200/female 1,839,952)
55-64 years: 4.46% (male 258,455/female 281,497)
65 years and over: 3.65% (male 195,054/female 246,408) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 42.3% (male 917,354/female 901,627)
15-24 years: 18.9% (male 400,013/female 412,869)
25-54 years: 31.32% (male 669,630/female 677,321)
55-64 years: 4.3% (male 89,264/female 95,519)
65 years and over: 3.17% (male 66,658/female 69,689) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.8 years
male: 18.6 years
female: 19.1 years (2016 est.)
total: 18.3 years
male: 18.1 years
female: 18.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.62% (2016 est.)
2.44% (2016 est.)
Birth rate35.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
33.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 51.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 65.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 69.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 61.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 60.6 years
male: 59 years
female: 62.2 years (2016 est.)
total population: 59 years
male: 57.3 years
female: 60.8 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.82 children born/woman (2016 est.)
4.6 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.56% (2015 est.)
1.09% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
noun: Liberian(s)
adjective: Liberian
Ethnic groupsFulani (Peul) 33.9%, Malinke 31.1%, Susu 19.1%, Guerze 6%, Kissi 4.7%, Toma 2.6%, other/no answer 2.7% (2012 est.)
Kpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, other 20.1% (2008 Census)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS116,800 (2015 est.)
30,200 (2015 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 86.7%, Christian 8.9%, animist/other/none 4.4% (2012 est.)
Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2008 Census)
HIV/AIDS - deaths4,600 (2015 est.)
1,900 (2015 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official)
note: each ethnic group has its own language
English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 30.4%
male: 38.1%
female: 22.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.6%
male: 62.4%
female: 32.8% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Education expenditures3.2% of GDP (2014)
2.8% of GDP (2012)
Urbanizationurban population: 37.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.82% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 49.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.36% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 92.7% of population
rural: 67.4% of population
total: 76.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 7.3% of population
rural: 32.6% of population
total: 23.2% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 88.6% of population
rural: 62.6% of population
total: 75.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 11.4% of population
rural: 37.4% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 34.1% of population
rural: 11.8% of population
total: 20.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 65.9% of population
rural: 88.2% of population
total: 79.9% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 28% of population
rural: 5.9% of population
total: 16.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 72% of population
rural: 94.1% of population
total: 83.1% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationCONAKRY (capital) 1.936 million (2015)
MONROVIA (capital) 1.264 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate679 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
725 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight18.7% (2012)
15.3% (2013)
Health expenditures5.6% of GDP (2014)
10% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density0.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.9% (2014)
5.8% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 571,774
percentage: 25% (2003 est.)
total number: 177,160
percentage: 21% (2007 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth18.9 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
19.2 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)
Demographic profileGuinea’s strong population growth is a result of declining mortality rates and sustained elevated fertility. The population growth rate was somewhat tempered in the 2000s because of a period of net outmigration. Although life expectancy and mortality rates have improved over the last two decades, the nearly universal practice of female genital cutting continues to contribute to high infant and maternal mortality rates. Guinea’s total fertility remains high at about 5 children per woman because of the ongoing preference for larger families, low contraceptive usage and availability, a lack of educational attainment and empowerment among women, and poverty. A lack of literacy and vocational training programs limit job prospects for youths, but even those with university degrees often have no option but to work in the informal sector. About 60% of the country’s large youth population is unemployed.
Tensions and refugees have spilled over Guinea’s borders with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire. During the 1990s Guinea harbored as many as half a million refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia, more refugees than any other African country for much of that decade. About half sought refuge in the volatile “Parrot’s Beak” region of southwest Guinea, a wedge of land jutting into Sierra Leone near the Liberian border. Many were relocated within Guinea in the early 2000s because the area suffered repeated cross-border attacks from various government and rebel forces, as well as anti-refugee violence. As of 2016, Guinea sheltered more than 7,000 Ivoirians.
Liberia’s high fertility rate of nearly 5 children per woman and large youth cohort – more than 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – will sustain a high dependency ratio for many years to come. Significant progress has been made in preventing child deaths, despite a lack of health care workers and infrastructure. Infant and child mortality have dropped nearly 70% since 1990; the annual reduction rate of about 5.4% is the highest in Africa.
Nevertheless, Liberia’s high maternal mortality rate remains among the world’s worst; it reflects a high unmet need for family planning services, frequency of early childbearing, lack of quality obstetric care, high adolescent fertility, and a low proportion of births attended by a medical professional. Female mortality is also increased by the prevalence of female genital cutting (FGC), which is practiced by 10 of Liberia’s 16 tribes and affects more than two-thirds of women and girls. FGC is an initiation ritual performed in rural bush schools, which teach traditional beliefs on marriage and motherhood and are an obstacle to formal classroom education for Liberian girls.
Liberia has been both a source and a destination for refugees. During Liberia’s 14-year civil war (1989-2003), more than 250,000 people became refugees and another half million were internally displaced. Between 2004 and the cessation of refugee status for Liberians in June 2012, the UNHCR helped more than 155,000 Liberians to voluntarily repatriate, while others returned home on their own. Some Liberian refugees spent more than two decades living in other West African countries. Liberia hosted more than 125,000 Ivoirian refugees escaping post-election violence in 2010-11; as of mid-2017, about 15,000 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberia because of instability.
Contraceptive prevalence rate5.6% (2012)
20.2% (2013)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 83.8
youth dependency ratio: 78.2
elderly dependency ratio: 5.6
potential support ratio: 17.8 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 82.9
youth dependency ratio: 77.4
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
potential support ratio: 18.2 (2015 est.)

Government

GuineaLiberia
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Guinea
conventional short form: Guinea
local long form: Republique de Guinee
local short form: Guinee
former: French Guinea
etymology: the country is named after the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel
"conventional long form: Republic of Liberia
conventional short form: Liberia
etymology: name derives from the Latin word ""liber"" meaning ""free""; so named because the nation was created as a homeland for liberated African-American slaves
"
Government typepresidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Conakry
geographic coordinates: 9 30 N, 13 42 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Monrovia
geographic coordinates: 6 18 N, 10 48 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions7 regions administrative and 1 gouvenorat*; Boke, Conakry*, Faranah, Kankan, Kindia, Labe, Mamou, N'Zerekore
15 counties; Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe
Independence2 October 1958 (from France)
26 July 1847
National holidayIndependence Day, 2 October (1958)
Independence Day, 26 July (1847)
Constitutionprevious 1958, 1990; latest promulgated 19 April 2010, approved 7 May 2010 (2016)
previous 1847 (at independence); latest drafted 19 October 1983, revised version adopted by referendum 3 July 1984, effective 6 January 1986; amended 2011; note - a series of amendment proposals approved by the Constitution Review Conference in early 2015 are pending government review (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the French model
mixed legal system of common law (based on Anglo-American law) and customary law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Alpha CONDE (since 21 December 2010)
head of government: Prime Minister Mamady YOULA (since 26 December 2015); Prime Minister Mohamed Said FOFANA (since 24 December 2010) resigned 12/23/15
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 October 2015 (next scheduled for 2020); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Alpha CONDE reelected president; percent of vote - Alpha CONDE (RPG) 57.8%, Cellou Dalein DIALLO (UFDG) 31.4%, other 10.8%
chief of state: President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president, confirmed by the Senate
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 October and 8 November 2011 (next to be held on 10 October 2017)
election results: Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF reelected president; percent of vote in second round - Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (UP) 90.7%, Winston TUBMAN (NDPL) 9.3%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral People's National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale Populaire (114 seats; 76 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote and 38 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 28 September 2013 (next scheduled for 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RPG 53, UFDG 37, UFR 10, PEDN 2, UPG 2, other parties 10
description: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats; members directly elected in 15 two-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 9-year staggered terms with half the membership renewed at 3- and 6-year intervals; eligible for a second term; and the House of Representatives (73 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 6-year terms; eligible for a second term)
elections: Senate - last held on 20 December 2014 (originally scheduled for 14 October 2014, but postponed due to Ebola-virus epidemic; next to be held in fall 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held on 10 October 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDC 29.8%, LP 11.5%, NPP 6.1%, PUP 4.9%, NDC 1.3%, other parties 11.8%, independent 24.3%; seats by party - UP 4, CDC 2, LP 2, ANC 1, NDC 1, NPP 1, PUP 1, independent 3; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - UP 17.8%, CDC 12.8%, LP 9.2%, NDC 5.7%, LTP 4.5%, PUP 3.9%, NPP 3.3%, MPC 2.4%, LDP 1.0%, NRP 0.8%, other parties 16.8% independent 19.7% ; seats by party - UP 24, CDC 11, LP 7, PUP 6, NDC 5, APD 3, NPP 3, MPC 2, LDP 1, LTP 1, NRP 1, independent 9
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (organized into Administrative Chamber and Civil, Penal, and Social Chamber; court consists of the first president, 2 chamber presidents, at least 4 councillors, the solicitor general and NA deputies); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court first president appointed by the national president after consultation with the National Assembly; other members appointed by presidential decree; members serve until age 65; Constitutional Court member appointments - 2 by the National Assembly and the president of the republic, 3 experienced judges designated by their peers, 1 experienced lawyer, 1 university professor with expertise in public law designated by peers, and 2 experienced representatives of the Independent National Institution of Human Rights; members serve single 9-year terms
subordinate courts: includes Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; courts of first instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; High Court of Justice or Cour d'Assises; labor court; military tribunal; justices of the peace; specialized courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief justice and 4 associate justices); note - the Supreme Court has jurisdiction for all constitutional cases
judge selection and term of office: chief justice and associate justices appointed by the president of Liberia with consent of the Senate; judges can serve until age 70
subordinate courts: judicial circuit courts; special courts including criminal, civil, labor, traffic; magistrate and traditional or customary courts
Political parties and leadersLiberal Block or BL [Faya MILLIMONO]
National Party for Hope and Development or PEDN [Lansana KOUYATE]
Rally for the Guinean People or RPG [Alpha CONDE]
Union for the Progress of Guinea or UPG
Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea or UFDG [Cellou Dalein DIALLO]
Union of Republican Forces or UFR [Sidya TOURE]
Alliance for Peace and Democracy or APD [Marcus S. G. DAHN]
Alternative National Congress or ANC [Orishil GOULD]
Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [George WEAH]
Liberia Destiny Party or LDP [Nathaniel BARNES]
Liberia Transformation Party or LTP [Julius SUKU]
Liberty Party or LP [J. Fonati KOFFA]
Movement for Progressive Change or MPC [Simeon FREEMAN]
National Democratic Coalition or NDC [Dew MAYSON]
National Democratic Party of Liberia or NDPL [D. Nyandeh SIEH]
National Patriotic Party or NPP
National Reformist Party or NRP [Maximillian T. W. DIABE]
National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP [Victor BARNEY]
People's Unification Party [Isobe GBORKORKOLLIE]
Unity Party or UP [Varney SHERMAN]
Political pressure groups and leadersNational Confederation of Guinean Workers-Labor Union of Guinean Workers or CNTG-USTG Alliance (includes National Confederation of Guinean Workers or CNTG, Labor Union of Guinean Workers or USTG)
Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG
other: demobilized former military officers
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mamady CONDE (since 14 July 2014)
chancery: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 986-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 986-3800
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jeff Gongoer DOWANA (since 12 April 2017)
chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437
FAX: [1] (202) 723-0436
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Dennis B. HANKINS (since December 2015)
embassy: Koloma, Conakry, across from the Radio Television de Guinee
mailing address: P.O. Box 603, Transversale No. 2, Centre Administratif de Koloma, Commune de Ratoma, Conakry
telephone: [224] 655-10-40-00
FAX: [224] 655-10-42-97
chief of mission: Ambassador Christine A. ELDER (since 23 June 2016)
embassy: U.S. Embassy, 502 Benson Street, Monrovia
mailing address: P.O. Box 98, Monrovia
telephone: [231] 77-677-7000
FAX: [231] 77-677-7370
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; red represents the people's sacrifice for liberation and work; yellow stands for the sun, for the riches of the earth, and for justice; green symbolizes the country's vegetation and unity
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the reverse of those on the flags of neighboring Mali and Senegal
11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a white five-pointed star appears on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the stripes symbolize the signatories of the Liberian Declaration of Independence; the blue square represents the African mainland, and the star represents the freedom granted to the ex-slaves; according to the constitution, the blue color signifies liberty, justice, and fidelity, the white color purity, cleanliness, and guilelessness, and the red color steadfastness, valor, and fervor
note: the design is based on the US flag
National anthem"name: ""Liberte"" (Liberty)
lyrics/music: unknown/Fodeba KEITA
note: adopted 1958
"
"name: ""All Hail, Liberia Hail!""
lyrics/music: Daniel Bashiel WARNER/Olmstead LUCA
note: lyrics adopted 1847, music adopted 1860; the anthem's author later became the third president of Liberia
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)national colors: red, yellow, green
white star; national colors: red, white, blue
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Guinea
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: na
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Liberia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 2 years

Economy

GuineaLiberia
Economy - overviewGuinea is a poor country of approximately 12.9 million people in 2016 that possesses the world's largest reserves of bauxite and largest untapped high-grade iron ore reserves, as well as gold and diamonds. In addition, Guinea has fertile soil, ample rainfall, and is the source of several West African rivers, including the Senegal, Niger, and Gambia. Guinea's hydro potential is enormous and the country could be a major exporter of electricity. The country also has tremendous agriculture potential. Gold, bauxite, and diamonds are Guinea’s main exports. International investors have shown interest in Guinea's unexplored mineral reserves, which have the potential to propel Guinea's future growth.

Following the death of long-term President Lansana CONTE in 2008 and the coup that followed, international donors, including the G-8, the IMF, and the World Bank, significantly curtailed their development programs in Guinea. However, the IMF approved a 3-year Extended Credit Facility arrangement in 2012, following the December 2010 presidential elections. In September 2012, Guinea achieved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries completion point status. Future access to international assistance and investment will depend on the government’s ability to be transparent, combat corruption, reform its banking system, improve its business environment, and build infrastructure. In April 2013, the government amended its mining code to reduce taxes and royalties. In 2014, Guinea also complied with requirements of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by publishing its mining contracts and was found to be compliant. Guinea completed its program with the IMF in October 2016 even though some targeted reforms have been delayed. Currently Guinea is negotiating a new IMF program which will be based on Guinea’s new five-year economic plan, focusing on the development of higher value-added products, including from the agro-business sector and development of the rural economy.

The biggest threats to Guinea’s economy are political instability, a reintroduction of the Ebola virus epidemic, and low international commodity prices. Economic recovery will be a long process while the government adjusts to lower inflows of international donor aid following the surge of Ebola-related emergency support. Ebola stalled promising economic growth in 2014-15 and impeded several projects, such as offshore oil exploration and the Simandou iron ore project. The economy, however, grew by 5.2% in 2016, mainly due to growth from bauxite mining and thermal energy generation as well as the resiliency of the agricultural sector. The economy is projected to grow by 4.6% in 2017. The 240 megawatt Kaleta Dam, inaugurated in September 2015, has expanded access to electricity for residents of Conakry. An enduring legacy of corruption, inefficiency, and lack of government transparency, combined with fears of Ebola virus, continue to undermine Guinea's economic viability.

Guinea’s iron ore industry took a hit in 2016 when investors in the Simandou iron ore project announced plans to divest from the project. In 2017, agriculture output and public investment will boost economic growth while the mining sector continues to play a prominent role in economic performance.

Successive governments have failed to address the country's crumbling infrastructure. Guinea suffers from chronic electricity shortages; poor roads, rail lines and bridges; and a lack of access to clean water - all of which continue to plague economic development. The present government, led by President Alpha CONDE, is working to create an environment to attract foreign investment and hopes to have greater participation from western countries and firms in Guinea's economic development.
Liberia is a low income country that relies heavily on foreign assistance and remittances from the diaspora. It is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. Its principal exports are iron ore, rubber, diamonds, and gold. Palm oil and cocoa are emerging as new export products. The government has attempted to revive raw timber extraction and is encouraging oil exploration.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially infrastructure in and around the capital. Much of the conflict was fueled by control over Liberia’s natural resources. With the conclusion of fighting and the installation of a democratically elected government in 2006, businesses that had fled the country began to return. The country achieved high growth during 2010-13 due to favorable world prices for its commodities. However, during the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis, the economy declined and many foreign-owned businesses departed, taking capital and expertise with them. The epidemic forced the government to divert scarce resources to combat the spread of the virus, reducing funds available for needed public investment. The cost of addressing the Ebola epidemic coincided with decreased economic activity reducing government revenue, although higher donor support significantly offset this loss. During the same period, global commodities prices for key exports fell and have yet to recover to pre-Ebola levels.

In 2017, gold is expected to be a key driver of growth, as a new mining project begins its first full year of production, and iron ore exports are also expected to improve as Arcelor Mittal opens new mines at Mount Gangra. The completion of the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Dam in 2017 will increase electricity production to support ongoing and future economic activity, although electricity tariffs remain high relative to other countries in the region and transmission infrastructure is limited. Scheduled presidential and legislative elections in October 2017 will generate election-related spending pressures. Revitalizing the economy in the future will depend on economic diversification, increasing investment and trade, higher global commodity prices, sustained foreign aid and remittances, development of infrastructure and institutions, combating corruption, and maintaining political stability and security.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$16.08 billion (2016 est.)
$15.49 billion (2015 est.)
$15.47 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$3.787 billion (2016 est.)
$3.806 billion (2015 est.)
$3.806 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.8% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)
1.1% (2014 est.)
-0.5% (2016 est.)
0% (2015 est.)
0.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,300 (2016 est.)
$1,300 (2015 est.)
$1,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$900 (2016 est.)
$900 (2015 est.)
$900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 19.7%
industry: 37.7%
services: 42.6% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 44.7%
industry: 6.8%
services: 48.5% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line47% (2006 est.)
54.1% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2007)
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 30.1% (2007)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)7.9% (2016 est.)
8.1% (2015 est.)
8.8% (2016 est.)
7.8% (2015 est.)
Labor force5.392 million (2016 est.)
1.654 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 76%
industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)
agriculture: 70%
industry: 8%
services: 22% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
2.8% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index39.4 (2007)
40.3 (1994)
32 (2014)
38.2 (2007)
Budgetrevenues: $1.421 billion
expenditures: $1.857 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $560.2 million
expenditures: $600.2 million (2016 est.)
Industriesbauxite, gold, diamonds, iron ore; light manufacturing, agricultural processing
mining (iron ore and gold), rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds
Industrial production growth rate6.2% (2016 est.)
-4.7% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, coffee, pineapples, mangoes, palm kernels, cocoa, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
Exports$1.705 billion (2016 est.)
$1.611 billion (2015 est.)
$370.4 million (2016 est.)
$499.4 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesbauxite, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
Exports - partnersIndia 22.1%, Spain 8.2%, Ireland 7.3%, Germany 6.3%, Belgium 5.5%, Ukraine 5.3%, France 4.1% (2015)
Poland 32.9%, China 20.7%, India 9.4%, US 5%, Greece 4.6%, France 4.3% (2015)
Imports$2.185 billion (2016 est.)
$2.173 billion (2015 est.)
$1.885 billion (2016 est.)
$2.541 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
Imports - partnersChina 20.5%, Netherlands 5.4%, India 4.4% (2015)
Singapore 28.8%, China 16%, South Korea 15.3%, Japan 10.3%, Philippines 6.7% (2015)
Debt - external$1.332 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.329 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$501.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
$383.8 million (30 November 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesGuinean francs (GNF) per US dollar -
8,230 (2016 est.)
7,485.5 (2015 est.)
7,485.5 (2014 est.)
7,014.1 (2013 est.)
6,986 (2012 est.)
Liberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar -
92.33 (2016 est.)
85.3 (2015 est.)
85.3 (2014 est.)
83.893 (2013 est.)
73.52 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Current Account Balance-$839 million (2016 est.)
-$1.363 billion (2015 est.)
-$530 million (2016 est.)
-$718 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$6.754 billion (2016 est.)
$2.112 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$67.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$67.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$201 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$201 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate22.25% (31 December 2005)
3.2% (2016)
Commercial bank prime lending rate22% (31 December 2016 est.)
23% (31 December 2015 est.)
13.59% (31 December 2016 est.)
13.61% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.757 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.863 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$622.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
$564.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.701 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.658 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$398.4 million (30 November 2016 est.)
$463.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.093 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.175 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$609.8 million (30 November 2016 est.)
$685.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues21% of GDP (2016 est.)
26.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
-1.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 1%
male: 1.5%
female: 0.6% (2012 est.)
total: 5.1%
male: 3.4%
female: 6.6% (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 97.2%
government consumption: 8.4%
investment in fixed capital: 13.3%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 23.5%
imports of goods and services: -42.4% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 128.8%
government consumption: 16.7%
investment in fixed capital: 19.5%
investment in inventories: 6.7%
exports of goods and services: 17.5%
imports of goods and services: -89.2% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving3.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
-8.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
-8% of GDP (2014 est.)
NA% (2016 est.)
-41% of GDP (2015 est.)
-2.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

Energy

GuineaLiberia
Electricity - production1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
70.07 million kWh
note: according to a 2014 household survey, only 4.5% of Liberians use Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC)power. 4.9% use a community generator, 4.4% have their own generator, 3.9% use vehicle batteries, and 0.8% use other sources of electricity. 81.3% have no access to electricity. LEC accounts for roughly 70 million kWh of ouput. (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption900 million kWh (2014 est.)
39 million kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity500,000 kW (2014 est.)
60,000 kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels67.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
63.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants32.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
36.7% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption16,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
6,600 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports16,130 bbl/day (2013 est.)
6,611 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
600,000 Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 8,700,000
electrification - total population: 26%
electrification - urban areas: 53%
electrification - rural areas: 11% (2013)
population without electricity: 3,900,000
electrification - total population: 10%
electrification - urban areas: 17%
electrification - rural areas: 3% (2013)

Telecommunications

GuineaLiberia
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 18,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2011 est.)
total subscriptions: 9,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 10.764 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91 (July 2015 est.)
total: 3.652 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 87 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: huge improvement over the last 10 years; the capital and the regional administrative centers have 3G access
domestic: there is national coverage and Conakry is reasonably well-served; coverage elsewhere remains inadequate but is improving; fixed-line teledensity less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership is expanding rapidly and exceeds 90 per 100 persons
international: country code - 224; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2017)
general assessment: the limited services available are found almost exclusively in the capital, Monrovia; fixed-line service stagnant and extremely limited; telephone coverage extended to a number of other towns and rural areas by 4 mobile-cellular network operators
domestic: mobile-cellular subscription base growing and teledensity reached 85 per 100 persons in 2015
international: country code - 231; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.gn
.lr
Internet userstotal: 554,000
percent of population: 4.7% (July 2015 est.)
total: 248,000
percent of population: 5.9% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediagovernment maintains marginal control over broadcast media; single state-run TV station; state-run radio broadcast station also operates several stations in rural areas; a steadily increasing number of privately owned radio stations, nearly all in Conakry, and about a dozen community radio stations; foreign TV programming available via satellite and cable subscription services (2011)
8 private and 1 government-owned TV station; satellite TV service available; 1 state-owned radio station; 19 independent radio stations broadcasting in Monrovia, with another 77 local stations operating in other areas; transmissions of 4 international broadcasters are available (2017)

Transportation

GuineaLiberia
Railwaystotal: 1,086 km
standard gauge: 279 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 807 km 1.000-m gauge (2017)
total: 429 km
standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 84 km 1.067-m gauge
note: most sections of the railways inoperable due to damage sustained during the civil wars from 1980 to 2003, but many are being rebuilt (2008)
Roadwaystotal: 44,348 km
paved: 4,342 km
unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)
total: 10,600 km
paved: 657 km
unpaved: 9,943 km (2000)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Conakry, Kamsar
major seaport(s): Buchanan, Monrovia
Airports16 (2013)
29 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 14 (2013)

Military

GuineaLiberia
Military branchesNational Armed Forces: Army, Guinean Navy (Armee de Mer or Marine Guineenne, includes Marines), Guinean Air Force (Force Aerienne de Guinee) (2009)
Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Navy, Air Force (2014)
Military service age and obligationno compulsory military service (2017)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP3.85% of GDP (2014)
3.09% of GDP (2013)
2.98% of GDP (2012)
0.62% of GDP (2016)
0.66% of GDP (2015)
0.71% of GDP (2014)
0.78% of GDP (2013)
0.87% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

GuineaLiberia
Disputes - internationalSierra Leone considers Guinea's definition of the flood plain limits to define the left bank boundary of the Makona and Moa Rivers excessive and protests Guinea's continued occupation of these lands, including the hamlet of Yenga, occupied since 1998
"as the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) continues to drawdown prior to the 1 March 2018 closure date, the peacekeeping force is being reduced to 434 soldiers and two police units; some Liberian refugees still remain in Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Ghana; Liberia shelters almost 15,000 Ivoirian refugees, as of May 2017; in 2017, Liberia's 3 refugee camps will be converted into ""settlements"" and remaining Ivoirian refugees will be integrated into local communities
"

Source: CIA Factbook