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Brief History of Guinea:
The land that is Guinea today has been a part of different West African empires over its history. These empires include Mali, Ghana Empire, and the Songhai Empire. During the European colonial period France took control of the land. They battled the local people for control and, in 1898, defeated the armies of the primary warlord Almamy Samory Toure.
Since the area around Guinea was also controlled by the British and the Portuguese, the three countries divided up the land. The France portion was Guinea. In 1958, Guinea gained independence from France. Since then the country has been under authoritarian rule and a series of military coups and uprisings.
The Geography of Guinea
Total Size: 245,857 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Oregon
Geographical Coordinates: 11 00 N, 10 00 W
World Region or Continent: Africa
General Terrain: generally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior
Geographical Low Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Geographical High Point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
Climate: generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Major cities: CONAKRY (capital) 1.597 million (2009), Nzerekore, Kindia
The People of Guinea
Type of Government: republic
Languages Spoken: French (official); note - each ethnic group has its own language
Independence: 2 October 1958 (from France)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 2 October (1958)
Religions: Muslim 85%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 7%
National Symbol: Canje pheasant (hoatzin); jaguar
National Anthem or Song: Liberte (Liberty)
Economy of Guinea
Major Industries: bauxite, gold, diamonds; alumina refining; light manufacturing and agricultural processing industries
Agricultural Products: rice, coffee, pineapples, palm kernels, cassava (tapioca), bananas, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
Natural Resources: bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
Major Exports: bauxite, alumina, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
Major Imports: petroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
Currency: Guinean franc (GNF)
National GDP: $11,500,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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