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GUINEA
Society

Society

State structure

The Constitution of the Third Republic was adopted in 1990 and promulgated in 1991. In 1992, a law was promulgated providing for the establishment and registration of an unlimited number of political parties, which necessitated a revision of the constitution in terms of a two-party system. The president is the head of state and can only be elected by an absolute majority of votes. If none of the candidates achieves an absolute majority, a second round of elections takes place. The President is the head of government and appoints the ministers in this capacity. The legislative power is the National Assembly, which consists of 114 members. One third of these are elected as representatives of the various constituencies; the others are elected according to a system of proportional representation. The country is divided into seven administrative regions.

Politics

The parties in Guinea are mostly based on ethnic lines. The largest opposition party, the Rassemblement du Peuple de Guinée (RPG), for example, receives most of its support from the Malinké group in north-east Guinea, while the Parti de Renouveau et du Progrès (PRP) and the Union pour la Nouvelle République (UNR) are supported by the Peul, an ethnic group that settled in Guinea from the north (Sahel) in the 19th century. There are differences of opinion between the different parties and within parties, which have weakened joint action considerably. The opposition cannot make a fist against the powerful executive. The head of state is now of advanced age and in very poor health (diabetes and a kidney disease). The uncertainty created by this situation has largely paralysed the political decision-making process. Potential successors have no chance to develop. General Conté's death could therefore lead to major domestic instability. Presumably, after the death of the president, the army will seize power and appoint a (military) successor.

The current political situation is described in the history section.

Economy

Guinea is still trying to escape the consequences of a centrally planned economy where the state controlled all economic activities and private initiative was discouraged. A major exception is the privately owned mining industry, which developed independently from the rest of the economy and is still the largest source of income today. In addition, the agricultural sector is of great importance to Guinea's economy. During the planned economy, agriculture was severely neglected by the farmers themselves due to government-imposed underpricing, government control and the levying of production taxes. The separation from France immediately after independence also had a negative impact on Guinea's economic development; an alternative had to be found for the sale of export products.

The CMRN, together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international organisations, initiated an economic and financial reform programme to gain international confidence and remove obstacles to economic growth. The first phase of the programme focused on the devaluation of the Guinean franc, privatisation of state-owned enterprises, trade liberalisation, the removal of price controls and the development of a commercial banking system. In the second phase, more attention was paid to the tax system and strict control of public finances. Implementation of the programme was not successful, so it was discontinued. In the 1990s, there were occasional attempts to introduce some reforms, but they were not very successful. After a few reasonable years in the mid-1990s, the economy went downhill again. Incomes fell and the state was less and less able to carry out its normal tasks. Fuel prices rose, drinking water became increasingly scarce, as did electricity. All this led to the necessary unrest and discontent among the population, especially in the capital Conakry. Due to a sharp increase in inflation, the prices of rice, which is important for the primary livelihood, rose sharply. To keep the population calm, the government is distributing imported rice. It is unclear how long the financing of these distributions can be maintained.

The relationship with the IMF has been under pressure in recent years. The very poor state of state finances will force the government to resume formal relations with the IMF. Some current (2017) figures on Guinea's economy are:

GDP is $2,200 per capita per year. (One of the poorer countries in the world).
Economic growth 8.2%
47% of the population lives below the poverty line

Sources

Elmar Landeninformatie

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated December 2022
Copyright: Team The World of Info