Microlithic stone implements are found together with
ground axes and ceramics from the 4000s BC. Guinea was
probably a major center for the development of food
production in West Africa; from the late 4000s, jams and
palm oil probably dominated. Along the coast of Guinea,
there are also chip tools and kitchen fittings from about
4000-2000 BC. found.
Guinea's original population was expelled to the coast in
the 7th century by immigrants, especially Susu and Malinke,
who established the smaller kingdom in the interior of
Guinea. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Guinea. Around 1000-1550, the area was dominated by the
great West African kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songhai. An
extensive immigration of fulani took place from the 16th
The first Europeans came to the coast of Guinea in 1445.
Portuguese mariners pulled Guinea into international trade
with Europe, thereby strengthening the kingdoms on the
coast. The European traders offered, among other things,
alcoholic beverages, textiles and firearms in exchange for
gold and slaves. Early in the 19th century French and
British trading colonies were established on the coast of
Guinea. In the interior of Guinea (Fouta Djallon) a Muslim
Fulan kingdom emerged, which in 1725 started a holy war to
convert the surrounding population. The kingdom was
disbanded by internal strife and finally conquered by
France. In 1895 Guinea was incorporated under the name of
French Guineain French West Africa. The French
colonial rule brought significant political and social
changes. A solid state power and administration was
established, and the school system was expanded. A local,
French-educated elite emerged, and part of the earth was
privatized. An export-oriented tropical agriculture was
developed. At the same time, the majority population was
oppressed, and opposition to colonial power grew.
In 1946, Guinea achieved French overseas territory.
The Party of Democratique de Guinée (PDG) was
established the following year, and under the leadership of
Sékou Touré, the party fought for Guinea's independence,
which reached October 2, 1958. The relationship with France
was severed, and almost all financial and technical
assistance ceased. President Touré's ideas of independent
"African socialism" gave Guinea a special political role
among the young African states. However, economic
development went poorly; political oppression hardened and
systematized. After 1960, several coup attempts were made
against Touré, and a large part of the population fled the
country from Touré's dictatorial rule.
After Touré's death in 1984, a military coup was
conducted under the command of Officer Lansana Conté. The
new regime liberalized the economy. Politics was also
liberalized, but not in line with the economy. The military
regime held on to power, sometimes hard-handed, and the
promised transition to civilian multi-party system had to
wait. After several postponements, presidential elections
were held in December 1993. Despite accusations of electoral
fraud, Conté was declared victorious even after the first
round. It was not until June 1995 that parliamentary
elections were held. The government party Party of
l'unité et du progrès(PUP) gained a large majority, but
the election was questioned by opposition parties and
foreign observers. In general, after the introduction of the
multi-party system, domestic politics has been characterized
by frequent government transformations, party fragmentation
and accusations against opposition leaders for stamping
against the regime. Conté and PUP retained power in a series
of later elections, all of which were strongly questioned.
The civil war in neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone
contributed to increased social and military concerns in the
early 1990s. An armed uprising broke out in 2000 in the
border areas of southeastern Guinea. The government blamed
the Burkina Faso and Liberia regimes and the Sierra Leonean
rebel movement RUF for supporting Guinean regime opponents.
By the end of 2001, around 100,000 people had become
homeless as a result of the fighting and several aid
organizations were forced to discontinue their operations.
Guinean flights attack rebel-controlled areas inside Sierra
Leone. The fighting raised strong concerns about
destabilization of the entire region, but weakened since the
civil war in Sierra Leone had ended. However, the conflicts
in Liberia and Ivory Coast led to continued problems with
large refugee flows in southeastern Guinea.
Guinea became increasingly unstable in the mid-1990s,
when President Conté's failing health triggered a power
struggle in both the military and political leadership ahead
of his expected resignation. At his death in December 2008,
soldiers under the command of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara
took power in a bloodless coup. They formed a junta called
the National Council for Democracy and Developmentand
set up a civil-led but militarily dominated government.
Since about 150 junta-critical protesters were shot dead by
soldiers in September 2009, Guinea was subjected to harsh
international sanctions. Dissatisfaction with the junta
increased, and after Camara was shot dead in a murder trial
in December 2009 and forced to seek care abroad, other
members of the junta began to prepare for the return to
civilian rule. The new junta leader Sékouba Konaté invited
the civil opposition to appoint a prime minister for a broad
unity government that would lead the country to new
elections. Presidential elections in two rounds were held in
June and October 2010 and ended with victory for the
72-year-old opposition politician Alpha Condé.
Condé's party, the Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée
(RPG), also won in the parliamentary elections that could
ultimately be held in July 2013. The results in both
elections were contested by the opposition, which is
dominated by the former prime minister and the barely
defeated second in the 2010 presidential election, Cellou
Dalein Diallo and his party of the Union des forces
democratique Guinea (UFDG). The contradictions have
several times resulted in violent deaths. The 2015
presidential election was also characterized by violent
contradictions between the government and the opposition.
See also State Condition and Politics.
In early 2014, Guinea's largest outbreak of ebola fever
was discovered in Guinea, which spread to the neighboring
countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia in the following
months. Only in the second half of 2015 did we notice a
significant slowdown in the number of new cases.
The epidemic has hit Guinea hard. In total, over 2,500
people have died due to the disease. The number of deaths in
malaria also increased dramatically when the health care
system was overloaded and people refrained from seeking help
because of fear of being infected by Ebola fever. The
country's economy has also been hampered by the epidemic.