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Guinea Geography and Population

Guinea - geography

Guinea Geography

Guinea is the world's second largest bauxite producer (after Australia), and a large part is smelted into aluminum in the country. The bauxite sector dominates a small area around Boké and Fria towards the NW, and over 70% of the country's exports come from the mining sector, but otherwise Guinea is an agricultural country, characterized by large regional differences.

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The Fouta Djalon massif is the central region of the country, the Middle Guinea. Here live the majority of the country's population; it is especially peul (or fulani), which makes up the largest ethnic group in Guinea (2.4 million). They are cattle breeders who take advantage of the tropical climate with rich grazing opportunities for their low-bred n'dama cattle. In addition, they grow grain on the slopes as well as vegetables and rice in the valleys. The rainy season lasts from May to November, when 2000 mm falls on average. The soil erosion is extensive and the large amounts of precipitation create several spectacular waterfalls and form the source rivers to the large West African rivers Senegal and Gambia. In the dry season, the harmattan blowsfrom the Sahara, and the climate is relatively cool. The mountains are divided by deep gorges and valleys with considerable agriculture.

Basse Guinée is the 60 km wide coastal plain below Fouta Djallon. The coast has many deep bays and wide estuaries overgrown with mangroves; behind it is deciduous forest, the so-called guineasavanne. Here live behind the people and the Muslim susu, who are farmers with rice as their main crop. The climate is characterized by high humidity throughout the year, and during the rainy season, 3000-4000 mm of rain falls. In this region are the major bauxite deposits, and here lies the capital Conakry, the country's only major city and the only city with a certain industrial sector.

East of Fouta Djalon lies the Haute Guinée, a plateau that slopes north and is drained by the source rivers of Niger. On the plateau there is savannah, and malinké farms here with rice and millet as the main crops. In some places, gold and diamonds are mined.

To the SE, on the border of Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, lies the rainforest region, Guinée Forestière, with Mt. Nimba (1752 m). The scattered population is made up of a number of smaller peoples. Agriculture and logging are pushing back the rainforest.

Guinea - population

Population growing by just over 2.5% per year (2006). The birth rate is high, the women get on average. 5-6 children, but infant mortality is among the highest in the world. Up to 10% of children die within the first year of life. Similarly, life expectancy is only 53.5 years (2005).

Guinea Population

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Guinea - language

Guinea - language, spoken approx. 25 Niger-Kordofan languages in the country, half of the male, half of the West Atlantic language family. Most important is fulani, spoken by approx. 40%, and the male languages maninka and susu, spoken by resp. 25 and 10% of the population. French is the official language.

 
 
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