Guinea , officially the Republic of Guinea, is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea, it is today sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbour Guinea-Bissau and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. It has a population of 10,057,975 and an area of .
Forming a crescent as it curves from its western border on the Atlantic Ocean toward the east and the south, Guinea shares its northern border with Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Mali, and its southern border with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Côte d'Ivoire. The sources of the Niger River, Gambia River, and Senegal River are all found in the Guinea Highlands.
The country is a republic. The president who is directly elected by the people, is the Head of State and Head of Government. The Unicameral National Assembly is the legislative body of the country, and its members are directly elected by the people. The judicial branch is lead by the Guinea Supreme Court, the highest and final Court of appeal in the country .
Guinea is divided into eight administrative regions and subdivided into thirty-three prefectures. Conakry is Guinea's capital, largest city, and economic centre. Nzérékoré, located in the Guinée forestière region in Southern Guinea, is the second largest city. Other major cities in the country with a population above 100,000 include Kankan, Kindia, Labe, Guéckédou, Boke, Mamou and Kissidougou. Guinea has four main regions: Maritime Guinea (La Guinée Maritime), Mid-Guinea (La Moyenne-Guinée), Upper-Guinea (La Haute-Guinée) and Forested Guinea (Guinée forestière).
Guinea is a predominantly Islamic country, with Muslims representing 85 percent of the population. Christians, mostly Roman Catholic, make up about 10 percent of the population, and are mainly found in the southern Guinée forestière region. The muslim majority and Christian minority of Guinea generally interact with each other peacefully.
Guinea's 10 million people belong to twenty-four ethnic groups. The largest and most prominent groups are the Fula (40%), who are predominantly found in the Fouta Djallon region in central Guinea. Mandingo (30%) likewise predominate in Eastern Guinea. And Susu (20%) predominate in the coastal region of northwestern Guinea.<. The population of the Guinée forestière region in Southern Guinea is largely made up of many of Guinea's minority ethnic groups, mainly from the Koniake (a sub group of the Mandinka), Guerze, Kissi, Gberese, Diakhanké (a sub group of the Mandinka), Loma, Kuranko and Yalunka.
French is the official language of Guinea, and is the main language of communication in schools, government administration, the media, and among the country's security forces. More than twenty-four indigenous languages are also spoken, of which the most common are Fula, Susu and Maninka. Fula is widely used in the Fouta Djallon region in central Guinea, Mandinka in Eastern Guinea, and Susu in the coastal region of northwestern Guinea. In the Guinée forestière region, many of the country's minority languages are widely spoken.
The issue of human rights in the country remains controversial. In its 2012 Freedom in the World report, Freedom House named the country "partly free" for the second year in a row, an improvement over its former status as one of the least free countries in Africa. The United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, which produces annual human rights reports on the country, claims the most pressing human rights issues are the use of torture by security forces, and abuse of women and children through such acts as female genital mutilation.
How places in Guinea are organized
All places in Guinea
Further information on historical place organization in Guinea