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Guinea vs. Sierra Leone

Introduction

GuineaSierra Leone
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.
The British set up a trading post near present-day Freetown in the 17th century. Originally the trade involved timber and ivory, but later it expanded into slaves. Following the American Revolution, a colony was established in 1787 and Sierra Leone became a destination for resettling black loyalists who had originally been resettled in Nova Scotia. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, British crews delivered thousands of Africans liberated from illegal slave ships to Sierra Leone, particularly Freetown. The colony gradually expanded inland during the course of the 19th century; independence was attained in 1961. Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war (1991-2002) that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people (about one third of the population). The military, which took over full responsibility for security following the departure of UN peacekeepers at the end of 2005, has developed as a guarantor of the country's stability; the armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 and 2012 national elections. In March 2014, the closure of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone marked the end of more than 15 years of peacekeeping and political operations in Sierra Leone. The government's stated priorities include furthering development - including recovering from the Ebola epidemic - creating jobs, and stamping out endemic corruption.

Geography

GuineaSierra Leone
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Liberia
Geographic coordinates11 00 N, 10 00 W
8 30 N, 11 30 W
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 245,857 sq km
land: 245,717 sq km
water: 140 sq km
total: 71,740 sq km
land: 71,620 sq km
water: 120 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Oregon
slightly smaller than South Carolina
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: 1,093 km
border countries (2): Guinea 794 km, Liberia 299 km
Coastline320 km
402 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 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; summer rainy season (May to December); winter dry season (December to April)
Terraingenerally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior
coastal belt of mangrove swamps, wooded hill country, upland plateau, mountains in east
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 472 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
mean elevation: 279 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Loma Mansa (Bintimani) 1,948 m
Natural resourcesbauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
diamonds, titanium ore, bauxite, iron ore, gold, chromite
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: 56.2%
arable land 23.4%; permanent crops 2.3%; permanent pasture 30.5%
forest: 37.5%
other: 6.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land950 sq km (2012)
300 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardshot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
dry, sand-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to February); sandstorms, dust storms
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; inadequate potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage
rapid population growth pressuring the environment; overharvesting of timber, expansion of cattle grazing, and slash-and-burn agriculture have resulted in deforestation and soil exhaustion; civil war depleted natural resources; overfishing
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, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - notethe Niger and its important tributary the Milo River have their sources in the Guinean highlands
rainfall along the coast can reach 495 cm (195 inches) a year, making it one of the wettest places along coastal, western Africa

Demographics

GuineaSierra Leone
Population12,093,349 (July 2016 est.)
6,018,888 (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: 41.9% (male 1,257,997/female 1,263,961)
15-24 years: 18.57% (male 542,975/female 574,669)
25-54 years: 32.04% (male 924,331/female 1,003,895)
55-64 years: 3.74% (male 104,415/female 120,953)
65 years and over: 3.75% (male 94,520/female 131,172) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.8 years
male: 18.6 years
female: 19.1 years (2016 est.)
total: 19 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 19.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.62% (2016 est.)
2.36% (2016 est.)
Birth rate35.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
36.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
10.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-2.4 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 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 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: 70 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 78.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 61.4 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: 58.2 years
male: 55.6 years
female: 60.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.82 children born/woman (2016 est.)
4.76 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.56% (2015 est.)
1.34% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
noun: Sierra Leonean(s)
adjective: Sierra Leonean
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.)
Temne 35%, Mende 31%, Limba 8%, Kono 5%, Kriole 2% (descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area in the late-18th century; also known as Krio), Mandingo 2%, Loko 2%, other 15% (includes refugees from Liberia's recent civil war, and small numbers of Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and Indians) (2008 census)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS116,800 (2015 est.)
51,100 (2015 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 86.7%, Christian 8.9%, animist/other/none 4.4% (2012 est.)
Muslim 60%, indigenous beliefs 30%, Christian 10%
HIV/AIDS - deaths4,600 (2015 est.)
2,500 (2015 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official)
note: each ethnic group has its own language
English (official, regular use limited to literate minority), Mende (principal vernacular in the south), Temne (principal vernacular in the north), Krio (English-based Creole, spoken by the descendants of freed Jamaican slaves who were settled in the Freetown area, a lingua franca and a first language for 10% of the population but understood by 95%)
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 English, Mende, Temne, or Arabic
total population: 48.1%
male: 58.7%
female: 37.7% (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
animal contact disease: rabies
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever (2016)
Education expenditures3.2% of GDP (2014)
2.7% of GDP (2014)
Urbanizationurban population: 37.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.82% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 39.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.75% 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: 84.9% of population
rural: 47.8% of population
total: 62.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 15.1% of population
rural: 52.2% of population
total: 37.4% 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: 22.8% of population
rural: 6.9% of population
total: 13.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 77.2% of population
rural: 93.1% of population
total: 86.7% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationCONAKRY (capital) 1.936 million (2015)
FREETOWN (capital) 1.007 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate679 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
1,360 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight18.7% (2012)
18.1% (2013)
Health expenditures5.6% of GDP (2014)
11.1% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density0.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
0.4 beds/1,000 population (2006)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.9% (2014)
6.6% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 571,774
percentage: 25% (2003 est.)
total number: 573,287
percentage: 48% (2005 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.
Sierra Leone’s youthful and growing population is driven by its high total fertility rate (TFR) of almost 5 children per woman, which has declined little over the last two decades. Its elevated TFR is sustained by the continued desire for large families, the low level of contraceptive use, and the early start of childbearing. Despite its high TFR, Sierra Leone’s population growth is somewhat tempered by high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates that are among the world’s highest and are a result of poverty, a lack of potable water and sanitation, poor nutrition, limited access to quality health care services, and the prevalence of female genital cutting.
Sierra Leone’s large youth cohort – about 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – continues to struggle with high levels of unemployment, which was one of the major causes of the country’s 1991-2002 civil war and remains a threat to stability today. Its estimated 60% youth unemployment rate is attributed to high levels of illiteracy and unskilled labor, a lack of private sector jobs, and low pay.
Sierra Leone has been a source of and destination for refugees. Sierra Leone’s civil war internally displaced as many as 2 million people, or almost half the population, and forced almost another half million to seek refuge in neighboring countries (370,000 Sierra Leoneans fled to Guinea and 120,000 to Liberia). The UNHCR has helped almost 180,000 Sierra Leoneans to return home, while more than 90,000 others have repatriated on their own. Of the more than 65,000 Liberians who took refuge in Sierra Leone during their country’s civil war (1989-2003), about 50,000 have been voluntarily repatriated by the UNHCR and others have returned home independently. As of 2015, less than 1,000 Liberians still reside in Sierra Leone.
Contraceptive prevalence rate5.6% (2012)
16.6% (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: 81.9
youth dependency ratio: 77.1
elderly dependency ratio: 4.9
potential support ratio: 20.6 (2015 est.)

Government

GuineaSierra Leone
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 Sierra Leone
conventional short form: Sierra Leone
local long form: Republic of Sierra Leone
local short form: Sierra Leone
etymology: the Portuguese explorer Pedro de SINTRA named the country ""Serra Leoa"" (Lion Mountains) for the impressive mountains he saw while sailing the West African coast in 1462
"
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: Freetown
geographic coordinates: 8 29 N, 13 14 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
3 provinces and 1 area*; Eastern, Northern, Southern, Western*
Independence2 October 1958 (from France)
27 April 1961 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 2 October (1958)
Independence Day, 27 April (1961)
Constitutionprevious 1958, 1990; latest promulgated 19 April 2010, approved 7 May 2010 (2016)
several previous; latest in effect 1 October 1991; amended several times, last in 2013 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the French model
mixed legal system of English common 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 Ernest Bai KOROMA (since 17 September 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Ernest Bai KOROMA (since 17 September 2007)
cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president, approved by Parliament; the cabinet is responsible to 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 17 November 2012 (next to be on 7 March 2018)
election results: Ernest Bai KOROMA reelected president; percent of vote - Ernest Bai KOROMA (APC) 58.7%, Julius Maada BIO (SLPP) 37.4%, other 3.9%
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: unicameral Parliament (124 seats; 112 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 12 seats filled in separate elections by non-partisan members of Parliament called ""paramount chiefs;"" members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 17 November 2012 (next to be held on 7 March 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APC 69, SLPP 43
"
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): Superior Court of Judicature (consists of the Supreme Court - at the apex - with the chief justice and 4 other judges, the Court of Appeal with the chief justice and 7 other judges, and the High Court of Justice with the chief justice and 9 other judges; note – the Judicature has jurisdiction in all civil, criminal, and constitutional matters
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice and other judges of the Judicature appointed by the president on the advice of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (a 7-member independent body of judges, presidential appointees, and the Commission chairman) and subject to the approval of Parliament; all Judicature judges appointed until retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: magistrates' courts; District Appeals Court; local 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]
All People's Congress or APC [Ernest Bai KOROMA]
Sierra Leone People's Party or SLPP [Somano KAPEN]
numerous other parties
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: student unions; trade unions
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, C, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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 Bockari Kortu STEVENS (since 28 March 2008)
chancery: 1701 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 939-9261 through 9263
FAX: [1] (202) 483-1793
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 John HOOVER (since 4 November 4 December 2014))
embassy: Southridge-Hill Station, Freetown
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [232] 99 1055 00
FAX: [232] 99 515 355
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
three equal horizontal bands of light green (top), white, and light blue; green symbolizes agriculture, mountains, and natural resources, white represents unity and justice, and blue the sea and the natural harbor in Freetown
National anthem"name: ""Liberte"" (Liberty)
lyrics/music: unknown/Fodeba KEITA
note: adopted 1958
"
"name: ""High We Exalt Thee, Realm of the Free""
lyrics/music: Clifford Nelson FYLE/John Joseph AKA
note: adopted 1961
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)national colors: red, yellow, green
lion; national colors: green, 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 or grandparent must be a citizen of Sierra Leone
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

GuineaSierra Leone
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.
Sierra Leone is extremely poor and nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. The country possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, but it is still recovering from a civil war that destroyed most institutions before ending in the early 2000s.

In recent years economic growth has been driven by mining - particularly iron ore. The country’s principal exports are iron ore, diamonds, and rutile, and the economy is vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices. Until 2014, the government had relied on external assistance to support its budget, but it was gradually becoming more independent. The Ebola outbreak of 2014 and 2015, combined with falling global commodities prices, caused a significant contraction of economic activity in all areas. While the World Health Organization declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in November 2015, low commodity prices in 2015-2016 contributed to the country’s biggest fiscal shortfall since 2001. In 2017, increased iron ore exports are expected to support modest economic growth. Non-mining activities will remain constrained by inadequate infrastructure, such as power and roads, even though power sector projects may provide some additional electricity capacity in the near term.

Continued economic growth will depend on rising commodities prices and increased efforts to diversify the sources of growth. Pervasive corruption and undeveloped human capital will continue to deter foreign investors. Sustained international donor support in the near future will partially offset these fiscal constraints.
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
$10.64 billion (2016 est.)
$10.2 billion (2015 est.)
$12.92 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.8% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)
1.1% (2014 est.)
4.3% (2016 est.)
-21.1% (2015 est.)
4.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,300 (2016 est.)
$1,300 (2015 est.)
$1,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$1,700 (2016 est.)
$1,600 (2015 est.)
$2,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 19.7%
industry: 37.7%
services: 42.6% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 71.1%
industry: 7.9%
services: 21% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line47% (2006 est.)
70.2% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2007)
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 33.6% (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)7.9% (2016 est.)
8.1% (2015 est.)
7.1% (2016 est.)
8% (2015 est.)
Labor force5.392 million (2016 est.)
2.678 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 76%
industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)
agriculture: 61.1%
industry: NA%
services: 33.4% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
9.1% (2014 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index39.4 (2007)
40.3 (1994)
34 (2011)
62.9 (1989)
Budgetrevenues: $1.421 billion
expenditures: $1.857 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $558.1 million
expenditures: $738.6 million (2016 est.)
Industriesbauxite, gold, diamonds, iron ore; light manufacturing, agricultural processing
diamond mining; iron ore, rutile and bauxite mining; small-scale manufacturing (beverages, textiles, footwear)
Industrial production growth rate6.2% (2016 est.)
14% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, coffee, pineapples, mangoes, palm kernels, cocoa, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
rice, coffee, cocoa, palm kernels, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; poultry, cattle, sheep, pigs; fish
Exports$1.705 billion (2016 est.)
$1.611 billion (2015 est.)
$886.4 million (2016 est.)
$569.4 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesbauxite, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
iron ore, diamonds, rutile, cocoa, coffee, fish
Exports - partnersIndia 22.1%, Spain 8.2%, Ireland 7.3%, Germany 6.3%, Belgium 5.5%, Ukraine 5.3%, France 4.1% (2015)
China 31.4%, Belgium 27.9%, Romania 11.4%, US 7.3% (2015)
Imports$2.185 billion (2016 est.)
$2.173 billion (2015 est.)
$1.303 billion (2016 est.)
$1.575 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels and lubricants, chemicals
Imports - partnersChina 20.5%, Netherlands 5.4%, India 4.4% (2015)
China 23.1%, India 8%, US 6.5%, Netherlands 5.1% (2015)
Debt - external$1.332 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.329 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.561 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.403 billion (31 December 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.)
leones (SLL) per US dollar -
6,201.4 (2016 est.)
5,080.8 (2015 est.)
5,080.8 (2014 est.)
4,524.2 (2013 est.)
4,344 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Current Account Balance-$839 million (2016 est.)
-$1.363 billion (2015 est.)
-$767 million (2016 est.)
-$742 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$6.754 billion (2016 est.)
$4.289 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$67.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$67.3 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$9.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate22.25% (31 December 2005)
NA%
Commercial bank prime lending rate22% (31 December 2016 est.)
23% (31 December 2015 est.)
18.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
18.78% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.757 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.863 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$505.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$501.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.701 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.658 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$444 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$458.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.093 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.175 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$967.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$904.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues21% of GDP (2016 est.)
13% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
-4.2% of GDP (2016 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: 83.7%
government consumption: 9.5%
investment in fixed capital: 33.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 15.2%
imports of goods and services: -42.2% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving3.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
-8.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
-8% of GDP (2014 est.)
2% of GDP (2016 est.)
2.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
-7.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

GuineaSierra Leone
Electricity - production1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
300 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption900 million kWh (2014 est.)
200 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 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.)
100,000 kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels67.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
33.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants32.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
66.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption16,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
7,500 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.)
7,354 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
1.4 million 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: 5,800,000
electrification - total population: 5%
electrification - urban areas: 11%
electrification - rural areas: 1% (2013)

Telecommunications

GuineaSierra Leone
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 18,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2011 est.)
total subscriptions: 17,000
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: 5.657 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 96 (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: marginal telephone service with poor infrastructure
domestic: the national microwave radio relay trunk system connects Freetown to Bo and Kenema; while mobile-cellular service is growing rapidly from a small base, service area coverage remains limited
international: country code - 232; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2010)
Internet country code.gn
.sl
Internet userstotal: 554,000
percent of population: 4.7% (July 2015 est.)
total: 147,000
percent of population: 2.5% (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)
1 government-owned TV station; 3 private TV stations; a pay-TV service began operations in late 2007; 1 government-owned national radio station; about two-dozen private radio stations primarily clustered in major cities; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2016)

Transportation

GuineaSierra Leone
Roadwaystotal: 44,348 km
paved: 4,342 km
unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)
total: 11,300 km
paved: 904 km
unpaved: 10,396 km (2002)
Waterways1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft in the northern part of the Niger River system) (2011)
800 km (600 km navigable year round) (2011)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Conakry, Kamsar
major seaport(s): Freetown, Pepel, Sherbro Islands
Airports16 (2013)
8 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
total: 1
over 3,047 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: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2013)

Military

GuineaSierra Leone
Military branchesNational Armed Forces: Army, Guinean Navy (Armee de Mer or Marine Guineenne, includes Marines), Guinean Air Force (Force Aerienne de Guinee) (2009)
Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF): Army (includes Maritime Wing and Air Wing) (2013)
Military service age and obligationno compulsory military service (2017)
18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); women are eligible to serve; no conscription; candidates must be HIV negative (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP3.85% of GDP (2014)
3.09% of GDP (2013)
2.98% of GDP (2012)
0.82% of GDP (2015)
0.97% of GDP (2014)
0.64% of GDP (2013)
0.78% of GDP (2012)
0.87% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

GuineaSierra Leone
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
Sierra Leone opposes Guinean troops' continued occupation of Yenga, a small village on the Makona River that serves as a border with Guinea; Guinea's forces came to Yenga in the mid-1990s to help the Sierra Leonean military to suppress rebels and to secure their common border but have remained there even after both countries signed a 2005 agreement acknowledging that Yenga belonged to Sierra Leone; in 2012, the two sides signed a declaration to demilitarize the area

Source: CIA Factbook