Guinea is located on the West Coast of Africa, about 10 degrees north of the equator. It is a country roughly the size of Oregon in the U.S., covering 94,926m² (245,854km²). It is bordered by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Guinea has four natural geographical regions: the coastal plains, the mountainous highlands of the Fouta Jallon, the flat savannas of Upper Guinea, and the hills of the Forest region. Its capital city, Conakry, is located on the coast and is home to about 1.5 million people.
About twelve million people call Guinea home. There are three major ethnic groups in Guinea, and another twenty-one smaller groups. The Fulbe are the largest of these groups, making up roughly a third of the population. The Maninka are the next largest at roughly 25%, then come the Sousou at about 15%. Of the Forest peoples, the Kissi are the largest people group. Other ethnic groups include the Baga, Jalonke, Kpelle (Guerzé), Mano and Toma.
Guinea is a resource-rich country, holding the worlds second largest deposits of bauxite, which is used to make aluminum. It also has iron ore and smaller quantities of uranium, diamonds and gold. It has abundant water, being known as “The Water Tower of West Africa” and fertile land, yet it has failed to live up to it’s potential. It continues to find itself near the bottom of the rankings on the U.N.’s annual Quality of Life survey.