Country FilesWestCountry Profile 2014: GUINEA

Mon,20Nov2017

Posted on Sunday, 09 February 2014 10:58

Country Profile 2014: GUINEA

Win some, lose others

The government enters 2014 on sounder footing. The delayed 28 September 2013 legislative elections ended the country’s transition from military rule, but it will not be a remedy for a country dependent on foreign aid. The government is still trying to build a state able to satisfy the basic needs of its citizens,but it will have more money to spend on infrastructure and other development projects because it reached the completion point of the Heavily Indebted Poor Country debt-relief initiative in September 2012.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

> TOP GUINEAN COMPANIES

> TOP GUINEAN BANKS

 

ar-infographie-guinea-2014Win some, lose others

Condé and his allies won the contested September 2013 legislative vote

Uncertainty surrounds major mining projects as investors weigh reforms

The government enters 2014 on sounder footing. The delayed 28 September 2013 legislative elections ended the country’s transition from military rule, but it will not be a remedy for a country dependent on foreign aid. The government is still trying to build a state able to satisfy the basic needs of its citizens,but it will have more money to spend on infrastructure and other development projects because it reached the completion point of the Heavily Indebted Poor Country debt-relief initiative in September 2012.

All of President Alpha Condé’s major initiatives are in complete. His government agreed a pay rise of 50% for public-sector workers in December 2012 but has had difficulty balancing that with a need to create jobs and reduce spending. The implementation of reforms will depend in part on the government’s capacity to establish a climate of trust amidst political, ethnic and other tensions. Inter-ethnic conflict led to the death of more than 50 people in Nzérékoré in July 2013.

POLLING FRAUD ALLEGED

The September legislative polls were a preview of the presidential elections planned for 2015. Condé’s Rassemblement du Peuple de Guinée and its allies in the Arc-En-Ciel coalition took 60 of 114 seats in the national assembly. The Union des Forces Démocratiques de Guinée and the Union des Forces Républicaines, the leading opposition parties, took 37 and 10 seats respectively. They contested the results and said the polls were fraudulent. They then filed a complaint with the supreme court in October.

There were violent clashes throughout 2013 in the run-up to the polls. Condé’s reforms of the military, meanwhile, have made some progress, but they have not resolved all tensions within the armed forces. Representatives of the military launched a coupin December 2008 and managed the transition until Condé took power in December 2010. The latest round of promotions in June and July attracted criticism because Condé chose several soldiers from his Malinké ethnic group that are seen as being close to the ruling party.

The government has also launched a programme to improve the management of the mining sector. This began in September 2011 with the approval of a new mining code that strengthened the role of the state. However, companies complained and the government made amendments to the code in April 2013. The Comité Technique de Revue des Titres et Conventions Miniers says that it expects to complete its review of current mining licences by December 2013.

AIM TO SOOTH CONCERNS

Most investors have adopted a wait-and-see attitude due to governance concerns and the reforms the government hopes to complete. On the positive side, the government announced in September that it had agreed to China Power Investment’s plans to build an alumina refinery at Boffa. Irish oil company Tullow purchased a stake in SCS Corporation in December 2012, providing a major boost to the oil industry, which so far has not recorded any major finds. Tullow and its partners plan to launch a new round of exploration in April 2014.

In order to assuage investors’ concerns in late 2013, the government told Rio Tinto, which holds Blocks 3 and 4 of the Simandou iron ore mine, that it would abandon its attempts to hold a 51% stake in infrastructure projects linked to Simandou if the companies mobilise the resources and complete the planning needed to make the project viable.

On the other hand, a French commercial tribunal demanded in October that French company Bolloré pay its rival Necotrans €2.1m ($2.8m) in a dispute related to the government’s cancellation of Necotrans’s rights to operate the container port at Conakry and their subsequent award to Bolloré. President Condé’s government is also now engaged in a confrontation with Israeli mining company BSG Resources, which the government claimed had bribed local officials in order to obtain Simandou’s Blocks 1 and 2.

Conakry experienced regular blackouts throughout 2013, and the government decided to pay for expensive temporary electricity generation measures as a stopgap solution in August. The Kaleta hydroelectric power plant, which is under construction, is set to produce 280MW and help reduce the energy deficit.

TOP GUINEAN COMPANIES

No companies from Guinea featured in The Africa's Report's Top 500 Companies in Africa 2013.

TOP GUINEAN BANKS

No banks from Guinea featured in The Africa's Report's Top 200 Banks in Africa 2012.



Subscriptions Digital EditionSubscriptions PrintEdition

FRONTLINE

NEWS

POLITICS

HEALTH

SPORTS

BUSINESS

SOCIETY

TECHNOLOGY

COLUMNISTS

Music & Film

SOAPBOX

Newsletters

Keep up to date with the latest from our network :

subscribe2

Connect with us