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Liberia vs. Guinea

Introduction

LiberiaGuinea
BackgroundSettlement 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 but was 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. In July 2016, the UN handed over peacekeeping responsibility to Liberia and reduced the UN troop presence, which now serves a support role. Constitutional term limits barred President JOHNSON SIRLEAF from running for re-election. The November 2017 presidential runoff election was halted pending a ruling on fraud allegations.
Guinea is at a turning point after decades of authoritarian rule since gaining its independence from France in 1958. 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 peaked in September 2009 when presidential guards opened fire on an opposition rally killing more than 150 people. In early December 2009, 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 country 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.

Geography

LiberiaGuinea
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
Geographic coordinates6 30 N, 9 30 W
11 00 N, 10 00 W
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 111,369 sq km
land: 96,320 sq km
water: 15,049 sq km
total: 245,857 sq km
land: 245,717 sq km
water: 140 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Tennessee
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundariestotal: 1,667 km
border countries (3): Guinea 590 km, Cote d'Ivoire 778 km, Sierra Leone 299 km
total: 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
Coastline579 km
320 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Terrainmostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
generally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 243 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,447 m
mean elevation: 472 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
Natural resourcesiron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
Land useagricultural land: 28.1%
arable land 5.2%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 20.8%
forest: 44.6%
other: 27.3% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 58.1%
arable land 11.8%; permanent crops 2.8%; permanent pasture 43.5%
forest: 26.5%
other: 15.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land30 sq km (2012)
950 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsdust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
Environment - current issuestropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage
deforestation; inadequate potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage
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, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
party 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
Geography - notefacing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture
the Niger and its important tributary the Milo River have their sources in the Guinean highlands
Population distributionmore than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-km radius of Monrovia
areas of highest density are in the west and south; interior is sparsely populated

Demographics

LiberiaGuinea
Population4,689,021 (July 2017 est.)
12,413,867 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 43.82% (male 1,038,452/female 1,016,491)
15-24 years: 19.56% (male 457,806/female 459,289)
25-54 years: 30.33% (male 699,879/female 722,244)
55-64 years: 3.43% (male 82,616/female 78,003)
65 years and over: 2.86% (male 65,979/female 68,262) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 41.52% (male 2,603,506/female 2,550,714)
15-24 years: 19.73% (male 1,236,092/female 1,212,936)
25-54 years: 30.59% (male 1,905,249/female 1,892,638)
55-64 years: 4.48% (male 266,848/female 289,697)
65 years and over: 3.67% (male 201,598/female 254,589) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 17.8 years
male: 17.5 years
female: 18 years (2017 est.)
total: 18.9 years
male: 18.7 years
female: 19.1 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate2.5% (2017 est.)
2.61% (2017 est.)
Birth rate38.3 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
35.1 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate7.6 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
9 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate-5.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat 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.)
at 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.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 52.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 56.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 47.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 50 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 52.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 47.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 63.3 years
male: 61.2 years
female: 65.5 years (2017 est.)
total population: 61 years
male: 59.5 years
female: 62.6 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate5.06 children born/woman (2017 est.)
4.77 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.6% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Liberian(s)
adjective: Liberian
noun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
Ethnic groupsKpelle 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)
Fulani (Peul) 32.1%, Malinke 29.8%, Susu 19.8%, Guerze 6.2%, Kissi 4.7%, Toma 2.8%, other/no answer 4.6% (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS43,000 (2016 est.)
120,000 (2016 est.)
ReligionsChristian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2008 Census)
Muslim 86.2%, Christian 9.7%, animist/other/none 4.1% (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths2,800 (2016 est.)
5,800 (2016 est.)
LanguagesEnglish 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence
French (official)
note: each ethnic group has its own language
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.6%
male: 62.4%
female: 32.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 30.4%
male: 38.1%
female: 22.8% (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 expenditures2.8% of GDP (2012)
3.2% of GDP (2014)
Urbanizationurban population: 50.5% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.24% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 38.2% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 3.73% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
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.)
improved:
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.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
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.)
improved:
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.)
Major cities - populationMONROVIA (capital) 1.264 million (2015)
CONAKRY (capital) 1.936 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate725 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
679 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight15.3% (2013)
18.7% (2012)
Health expenditures10% of GDP (2014)
5.6% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)
0.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate9.9% (2016)
7.7% (2016)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 177,160
percentage: 21% (2007 est.)
total number: 571,774
percentage: 25% (2003 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth19.2 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)
18.9 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
Demographic profileLiberia’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 12,000 Ivoirian refugees were still living in Liberia as of October 2017 because of instability.
Guinea’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.
Contraceptive prevalence rate20.2% (2013)
5.6% (2012)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 83.2
youth dependency ratio: 77.6
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
potential support ratio: 18.1 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 84.2
youth dependency ratio: 78.6
elderly dependency ratio: 5.6
potential support ratio: 17.8 (2015 est.)

Government

LiberiaGuinea
Country name"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
"
conventional 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
Government typepresidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Monrovia
geographic coordinates: 6 18 N, 10 48 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Conakry
geographic coordinates: 9 30 N, 13 42 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions15 counties; Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe
7 regions administrative and 1 gouvenorat*; Boke, Conakry*, Faranah, Kankan, Kindia, Labe, Mamou, N'Zerekore
Independence26 July 1847
2 October 1958 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 26 July (1847)
Independence Day, 2 October (1958)
Constitutionhistory: previous 1847 (at independence); latest drafted 19 October 1983, revised version adopted by referendum 3 July 1984, effective 6 January 1986
amendments: proposed by agreement of at least two-thirds of both National Assembly houses or by petition of at least 10,000 citizens; passage requires at least two-thirds majority approval of both houses and approval in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of registered voters; amended 2011; note - a series of amendment proposals approved by the Constitution Review Conference in early 2015 are pending a referendum ahead of October 2017 elections (2017)
history: previous 1958, 1990; latest promulgated 19 April 2010, approved 7 May 2010
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly or by the president of the republic; consideration of proposals requires approval by simple majority vote by the Assembly; passage requires approval in referendum; the president can opt to submit amendments directly to the Assembly, in which case approval requires at least two-thirds majority vote (2017)
Legal systemmixed legal system of common law (based on Anglo-American law) and customary law
civil law system based on the French model
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief 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 10 October 2017 (run-off scheduled for 26 December 2017); the runoff originally scheduled for 7 November 2017 was been halted pending a ruling on fraud allegations
election results: George WEAH elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - George WEAH (Coalition for Democratic Change) 38.4%, Joseph BOAKAI (UP) 28.8%, Charles BRUMSKINE (LP) 9.6%, Prince JOHNSON (MDR) 8.2%, Alexander B. CUMMINGS (ANC) 7.2%, other 7.8%; percentage of vote in second round - George WEAH 61.5%, Joseph BOAKAI 38.5%; note - WEAH will be sworn in on 22 January 2018
note: Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF is the first elected female head of state in Africa
chief of state: President Alpha CONDE (since 21 December 2010)
head of government: Prime Minister Mamady YOULA (since 26 December 2015)
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%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats; members directly elected in 15 2-seat districts by simple majority vote to serve 9-year staggered terms; each district elects 1 senator and elects the second senator 3 years later, followed by a 6-year hiatus, after which the first Senate seat is up for election) and the House of Representatives (73 seats; members directly elected in single-seat districts 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 October 2020); House of Representatives - last held on 10 October 2017 (next to be held in October 2023)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CDC 29.8%, UP 10.3%, LP 11.5%, NPP 6.1%, PUP 4.9%, ANC 4.2%, NDC 1.3%, other 7.6%, 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/coalition - Coalition for Democratic Change 15.6%, UP 14%, LP 8.7%, ANC 6.1%, PUP 5.9%, ALP 5.1%, MDR 3.4%, other 41.2%; seats by party/coalition - Coalition for Democratic Change 21, UP 19, PUP 5, LP 3, ALP 3, MDR 2, independent 12, other 6, vacant 2
description: 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 to be held in 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
Judicial branchhighest 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
highest 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
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Peace and Democracy or APD [Marcus S. G. DAHN]
All Liberian Party or ALL [Benoi UREY]
Alternative National Congress or ANC [Orishil GOULD]
Coalition for Democratic Change [George WEAH] (includes CDC, NPP, LPDP)
Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [George WEAH]
Liberia Destiny Party or LDP [Nathaniel BARNES]
Liberia National Union or LINU [Nathaniel BLAMA]
Liberia Transformation Party or LTP [Julius SUKU]
Liberian People Democratic Party or LPDP [Alex J. TYLER]
Liberian People's Party or LPP
Liberty Party or LP [J. Fonati KOFFA]
Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction or MDR [Prince Y. JOHNSON]
Movement for Economic Empowerment [J. Mill JONES, Dr.]
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 [Jewel HOWARD TAYLOR]
National Reformist Party or NRP [Maximillian T. W. DIABE]
National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP [Victor BARNEY]
People's Unification Party or PUP [Isobe GBORKORKOLLIE]
Unity Party or UP [Varney SHERMAN]
United People's Party [MacDonald WENTO]
Victory for Change Party [Marcus R. JONES]
Bloc Liberal 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]
Political pressure groups and leadersLiberian Federation of Labor Unions or LFLU [Aloysius KIE]
MCSS Teachers Association
National Health Workers Association of Liberia
National Teachers Association of Liberia or NTAL [Mary MULBAH]
other: demobilized former military officers
National Confederation of Guinean Workers-Labor Union of Guinean Workers or CNTG-USTG Alliance
Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG
International organization participationACP, 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)
ACP, 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
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Lois Cheche BRUTUS (since 29 November 2017)
chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437
FAX: [1] (202) 723-0436
consulate(s) general: New York
chief 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
Diplomatic representation from the USchief 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
chief 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
Flag description11 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
three 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
National anthem"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
"
"name: ""Liberte"" (Liberty)
lyrics/music: unknown/Fodeba KEITA
note: adopted 1958
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)white star; national colors: red, white, blue
elephant; national colors: red, yellow, green
Citizenshipcitizenship 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
citizenship 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

Economy

LiberiaGuinea
Economy - overviewLiberia 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 the period 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 with their capital and expertise. 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 was a key driver of growth, as a new mining project began its first full year of production; iron ore exports are also increased as Arcelor Mittal opened new mines at Mount Gangra. The completion of the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydroelectric Dam increased 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. Presidential and legislative elections in October 2017 generated 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.
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 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 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 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 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.906 billion (2017 est.)
$3.808 billion (2016 est.)
$3.871 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$26.45 billion (2017 est.)
$24.8 billion (2016 est.)
$23.26 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.6% (2017 est.)
-1.6% (2016 est.)
0% (2015 est.)
6.7% (2017 est.)
6.6% (2016 est.)
3.5% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$900 (2017 est.)
$900 (2016 est.)
$900 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$2,000 (2017 est.)
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$1,900 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 36.1%
industry: 10.5%
services: 53.4% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 19.5%
industry: 38.4%
services: 42.1% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line54.1% (2014 est.)
47% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 30.1% (2007)
lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2007)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)12.8% (2017 est.)
8.8% (2016 est.)
8.5% (2017 est.)
8.2% (2016 est.)
Labor force1.677 million (2017 est.)
5.558 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 70%
industry: 8%
services: 22% (2000 est.)
agriculture: 76%
industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate2.8% (2014 est.)
2.8% (2017 est.)
2.4% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index32 (2014)
38.2 (2007)
39.4 (2007)
40.3 (1994)
Budgetrevenues: $626.1 million
expenditures: $727.6 million (2017 est.)
revenues: $1.559 billion
expenditures: $1.868 billion (2017 est.)
Industriesmining (iron ore and gold), rubber processing, palm oil processing, diamonds
bauxite, gold, diamonds, iron ore; light manufacturing, agricultural processing
Industrial production growth rate3.2% (2017 est.)
8% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productsrubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
rice, coffee, pineapples, mangoes, palm kernels, cocoa, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
Exports$202.1 million (2017 est.)
$169.8 million (2016 est.)
$2.115 billion (2017 est.)
$1.954 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesrubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
bauxite, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
Exports - partnersPoland 18.5%, Switzerland 9.7%, UAE 9.4%, Netherlands 8.9%, Germany 6.1%, US 5.9%, South Africa 5%, China 4.4%, Ghana 4.2% (2016)
China 24.6%, Ghana 17.9%, Switzerland 10.1%, UAE 7.7%, France 5.2%, Spain 4.3%, India 4.1% (2016)
Imports$1.247 billion (2017 est.)
$1.21 billion (2016 est.)
$2.475 billion (2017 est.)
$2.109 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
Imports - partnersSouth Korea 38.3%, Singapore 18%, China 15.9%, Japan 10.9% (2016)
Netherlands 14.6%, China 13.5%, India 12.4%, Belgium 8.6%, France 6.9%, UAE 5.4%, Singapore 4.9% (2016)
Debt - external$1.049 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$938.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.53 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.462 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesLiberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar -
109.4 (2017 est.)
93.4 (2016 est.)
93.4 (31 December 2015 est.)
85.3 (2014 est.)
83.893 (2013 est.)
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.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt46.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
42.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
56% of GDP (2016 est.)
54.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$571 million (2017 est.)
-$520 million (2016 est.)
-$2.297 billion (2017 est.)
-$2.706 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$2.14 billion (2016 est.)
$9.183 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$201 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$201 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$69.91 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$69.19 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate3.2% (2016)
22.25% (31 December 2005)
Commercial bank prime lending rate15.2% (31 December 2017 est.)
13.59% (31 December 2016 est.)
21.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
21.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$706.1 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$789.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.808 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.931 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$425.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$436.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.771 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.61 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$557 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$639 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.315 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.12 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues29.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
17% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
-3.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 6%
male: 4.3%
female: 7.6% (2010 est.)
total: 1%
male: 1.5%
female: 0.6% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold 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.)
household consumption: 106.1%
government consumption: 7.6%
investment in fixed capital: 13.6%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 33.3%
imports of goods and services: -60.6% (2017 est.)
Gross national savingNA% (2017 est.)
-21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-2.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
-1.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
-6.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
-8.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

LiberiaGuinea
Electricity - production70.07 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.)
1 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption39 million kWh (2016 est.)
930 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
0 bbl (1 January 2017 es)
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 capacity125,000 kW (2015 est.)
740,000 kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels63.3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
50% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants36.7% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
49.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
0.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption6,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
16,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports6,611 bbl/day (2014 est.)
16,130 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy600,000 Mt (2013 est.)
1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 3,900,000
electrification - total population: 10%
electrification - urban areas: 17%
electrification - rural areas: 3% (2013)
population without electricity: 8,700,000
electrification - total population: 26%
electrification - urban areas: 53%
electrification - rural areas: 11% (2013)

Telecommunications

LiberiaGuinea
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 8,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 0
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 3,834,600
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 89 (July 2016 est.)
total: 10.8 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 89 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral 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 four mobile-cellular network operators
domestic: mobile-cellular subscription base growing and teledensity approached 90 per 100 persons in 2016
international: country code - 231; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general 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 now approaches 90 per 100 persons
international: country code - 224; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2017)
Internet country code.lr
.gn
Internet userstotal: 314,717
percent of population: 7.3% (July 2016 est.)
total: 1,185,148
percent of population: 9.8% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast media8 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)
government 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)

Transportation

LiberiaGuinea
Railwaystotal: 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)
total: 1,086 km
standard gauge: 279 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 807 km 1.000-m gauge (2017)
Roadwaystotal: 10,600 km
paved: 657 km
unpaved: 9,943 km (2000)
total: 44,348 km
paved: 4,342 km
unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Buchanan, Monrovia
major seaport(s): Conakry, Kamsar
Merchant marinetotal: 3,296
by type: bulk carrier 984, container ship 892, general cargo 120, oil tanker 750, other 550 (2017)
total: 1
by type: other 1 (2017)
Airports29 (2013)
16 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 14 (2013)
total: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixA8 (2016)
3X (2016)

Military

LiberiaGuinea
Military branchesArmed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Navy, Air Force (2014)
National Armed Forces: Army, Guinean Navy (Armee de Mer or Marine Guineenne, includes Marines), Guinean Air Force (Force Aerienne de Guinee) (2009)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
no compulsory military service (2017)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP0.62% of GDP (2016)
0.66% of GDP (2015)
0.71% of GDP (2014)
0.78% of GDP (2013)
0.87% of GDP (2012)
2.49% of GDP (2016)
3.31% of GDP (2015)
2.97% of GDP (2014)
3.16% of GDP (2013)
2.98% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

LiberiaGuinea
Disputes - international"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
"
Sierra 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

Source: CIA Factbook