For the first time since independence, Guinea finds itself at an optimistic crossroads, with concrete opportunities for political and socio-economic development. December 2010 saw the inauguration of the first democratically elected president in the country’s history, marking Guinea’s emergence from more than a half century of dictatorships and political repression. Recent economic management and policy reforms resulted in 4 to 5 percent GDP growth in 2011 and 2012 and has ushered in both international debt relief and foreign investment that could drastically improve economic conditions for all Guineans. Additionally, abundant land and extensive water resources provide Guinea with the potential to serve as a West African bread basket, and its vast tracts of forest land could provide a buffer against climate change.
However, despite its potential and rich mineral resources—including bauxite, iron ore, gold and diamond reserves—Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world, lagging behind in basic infrastructure, health, technology, employment, industrial and agricultural production. In 2012, Guinea ranked 178th of 187 countries on the Human Development Index.
The United States has played a key role in Guinea’s transition to democratic governance and progress toward sustainable development. Now that progress must be consolidated by increasing the participation of women and minorities in political processes, holding legislative elections and strengthening the capacity of the legislative body, and empowering civil society to hold government more accountable for providing social services. USAID’s program spans health, democracy and governance, economic growth, agriculture and environment.
Last updated: October 23, 2014