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Guinea vs. Mali

Economy

GuineaMali
Economy - overview

Guinea 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 complied with requirements of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by publishing its mining contracts. 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.

Political instability, a reintroduction of the Ebola virus epidemic, low international commodity prices, and an enduring legacy of corruption, inefficiency, and lack of government transparency are factors that could impact Guinea’s future growth. 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 the 2014-15 period and impeded several projects, such as offshore oil exploration and the Simandou iron ore project. The economy, however, grew by 6.6% in 2016 and 6.7% in 2017, mainly due to growth from bauxite mining and thermal energy generation as well as the resiliency of the agricultural sector. The 240-megawatt Kaleta Dam, inaugurated in September 2015, has expanded access to electricity for residents of Conakry. An 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 boosted economic growth, while the mining sector continued 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.

Among the 25 poorest countries in the world, landlocked Mali depends on gold mining and agricultural exports for revenue. The country's fiscal status fluctuates with gold and agricultural commodity prices and the harvest; cotton and gold exports make up around 80% of export earnings. Mali remains dependent on foreign aid.

Economic activity is largely confined to the riverine area irrigated by the Niger River; about 65% of Mali’s land area is desert or semidesert. About 10% of the population is nomadic and about 80% of the labor force is engaged in farming and fishing. Industrial activity is concentrated on processing farm commodities. The government subsidizes the production of cereals to decrease the country’s dependence on imported foodstuffs and to reduce its vulnerability to food price shocks.

Mali is developing its iron ore extraction industry to diversify foreign exchange earnings away from gold, but the pace will depend on global price trends. Although the political coup in 2012 slowed Mali’s growth, the economy has since bounced back, with GDP growth above 5% in 2014-17, although physical insecurity, high population growth, corruption, weak infrastructure, and low levels of human capital continue to constrain economic development. Higher rainfall helped to boost cotton output in 2017, and the country’s 2017 budget increased spending more than 10%, much of which was devoted to infrastructure and agriculture. Corruption and political turmoil are strong downside risks in 2018 and beyond.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$27.97 billion (2017 est.)
$25.84 billion (2016 est.)
$23.39 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$41.22 billion (2017 est.)
$39.1 billion (2016 est.)
$36.97 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
8.2% (2017 est.)
10.5% (2016 est.)
3.8% (2015 est.)
5.4% (2017 est.)
5.8% (2016 est.)
6.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$2,200 (2017 est.)
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$1,900 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$2,200 (2017 est.)
$2,100 (2016 est.)
$2,100 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 19.8% (2017 est.)
industry: 32.1% (2017 est.)
services: 48.1% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 41.8% (2017 est.)
industry: 18.1% (2017 est.)
services: 40.5% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
47% (2006 est.)
36.1% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2007)
lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 25.8% (2010 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
8.9% (2017 est.)
8.2% (2016 est.)
1.8% (2017 est.)
-1.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force
5.558 million (2017 est.)
6.447 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 76%
industry: 24% (2006 est.)
agriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate
2.7% (2017 est.)
2.8% (2016 est.)
7.9% (2017 est.)
7.8% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
39.4 (2007)
40.3 (1994)
40.1 (2001)
50.5 (1994)
Budget
revenues: 1.7 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 1.748 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 3.075 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 3.513 billion (2017 est.)
Industries
bauxite, gold, diamonds, iron ore; light manufacturing, agricultural processing
food processing; construction; phosphate and gold mining
Industrial production growth rate
11% (2017 est.)
6.3% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
rice, coffee, pineapples, mangoes, palm kernels, cocoa, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
cotton, millet, rice, corn, vegetables, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats
Exports
$3.514 billion (2017 est.)
$1.954 billion (2016 est.)
$3.06 billion (2017 est.)
$2.803 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
bauxite, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
cotton, gold, livestock
Exports - partners
China 35.8%, Ghana 20.1%, UAE 11.6%, India 4.3% (2017)
Switzerland 31.8%, UAE 15.4%, Burkina Faso 7.8%, Cote d'Ivoire 7.3%, South Africa 5%, Bangladesh 4.6% (2017)
Imports
$4.799 billion (2017 est.)
$4.43 billion (2016 est.)
$3.644 billion (2017 est.)
$3.403 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
petroleum, machinery and equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners
Netherlands 17.2%, China 13.2%, India 11.8%, Belgium 10%, France 6.9%, UAE 4.5% (2017)
Senegal 24.4%, China 13.2%, Cote d'Ivoire 9%, France 7.3% (2017)
Debt - external
$1.458 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.462 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.192 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.981 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Guinean francs (GNF) per US dollar -
9,230 (2017 est.)
9,085 (2016 est.)
9,085 (2015 est.)
7,485.5 (2014 est.)
7,014.1 (2013 est.)
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
605.3 (2017 est.)
593.01 (2016 est.)
593.01 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
calendar year
Public debt
37.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
41.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
35.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
36% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$331.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$383.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$647.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$395.7 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$705 million (2017 est.)
-$2.705 billion (2016 est.)
-$886 million (2017 est.)
-$1.015 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$10.25 billion (2017 est.)
$15.37 billion (2017 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$3.174 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.391 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.845 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.266 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$1.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$69.19 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$286.2 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$62.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares

NA

NA

Central bank discount rate
22.25% (31 December 2005)
16% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
22.2% (31 December 2017 est.)
22.2% (31 December 2016 est.)
5.2% (31 December 2017 est.)
5.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$1.762 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.931 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.972 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.891 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$1.84 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.61 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.04 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.553 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$1.84 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.61 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.04 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.553 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
16.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
20% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-0.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-2.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 1%
male: 1.5%
female: 0.6% (2012 est.)
total: 16.9%
male: 15.3%
female: 18.8% (2018 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 80.8% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 6.6% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 9.1% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 18.5% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 21.9% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -36.9% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 82.9% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 17.4% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 19.3% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -0.7% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 22.1% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -41.1% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
5.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
-6.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
-5.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
16.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
15.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook