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Guinea Facts for Kids

Guinea is also known as the Republic of Guinea, it is a West African country that shares a border with Guinea-Bissau and Senegal to the west, Mali to the north, Cote d’Ivoire to the east, Liberia to the southeast, and Sierra Leone to the south.

The country was formerly called French Guinea, the country is now sometimes known as the Guinea-Conakry.

Guinea Facts for Kids

  • The country’s total land area is 245,836 sq km (94, 918 sq miles)
  • The capital city is Conakry and it is also the largest city.
  • The total population of the country is 12,395,924 (est. in 2016).
  • The official language is French.
  • The country gained independence on October 2, 1958, from France.
  • The national anthem is called “Liberte” (Freedom).
  • The national motto is “Travail, Justice, Solidarite” (Work, Justice, Solidarity).
  • The people of Guinea are called Guinean with the major religion being Islamic.
  • The currency used is called the Guinean franc (GNF).
  • The natural resources of the country include Fish, Bauxite, salt, Uranium, iron ore, hydropower, gold and Diamond.
  • The major industries are gold, alumina refining, agricultural processing industries, light manufacturing, bauxite, gold, and diamond.
  • The country makes $2.115 billion (est. in 2017) on the exportation of Alumina, coffee, agricultural products, fish, bauxite, gold, and diamond while it spends $2.475 billion (est. in 2017) on the importation of Transport equipment, metals, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs and petroleum products.
  • Between the 13th to 15th centuries, The Mali Empire which covered most of western Africa had Guinea has part of it then the Guinea coastal region was settled into by the Portuguese and other European traders in the mid 14th century, the French took over the country in 1891.
  • Guinea was the first among the French colonized countries to fight for independence and be granted in 1958 under sekor toure’s leadership. The country rejected a commonwealth offer by the French and demanded total independence saying “We prefer poverty in liberty to riches in slavery”, france then decided to cut off the technical and financial aid causing a huge flight of capital.
  • The law in Guinea prohibits polygamy but it has been reported by the UNICEF that 53.4% of the women in the country between the ages of 15-49 are currently in polygamous marriage. The men in wealth in both the urban and rural areas use their wealth as means to marry another wife.
  • Guinea has a set of cultural rule that they follow, like compliment a new baby is regarded as big luck so it’s better to say the baby is ugly or when talking to an elder, a young man or woman should never stare into the eyes of the elder but instead face downward and in some situations, the elder should be addressed through an intermediary. The mother-in-law should always be treated with great respect and should not be addressed with familiarity by the son-in-law.
  • Three are also food consumption taboo and customs like when a visitor comes into your house while you are eating or in the process of dishing your meal, it is common to offer him some. It is considered rude to eat while walking. Most families eat in big communal bowls with spoons but in largest families, the men will eat from one bowl and the women will eat from another.
  • The country has an obvious preference to the male gender with more men being educated than women and having wider range of job opportunities. The men are also more likely to speak several other languages than the women. The men are also giving absolute control over their wives, daughters and sisters; they are made the head of households.
  • The country’s Islamic restrictions are not as strict as in other countries and the women are not required to live in seclusion or well full hijab. Most Christians are mostly from the coastal region where the missionaries of Christianity had the most success and there are also smallest local animist beliefs and also traditional beliefs are quite common. The Muslims and Catholics are known to even wear amulet or charms.
  • The words “cousin” and “sister” are used on people that have no blood relation with the speaker. The words are used as a sign of respect and affection.
  • The country has a low doctor patient ratio, low life expectancy and infant mortality rates are also high.
  • The Bagas in the coastal region have a nimbi which is a wooden headdress that indicates fertility has been made the countries national symbol.