Sunday, July 22, 2007

[Guinean news] Conakry airport becomes a gathering place for students

The Associated Press did a story on how the parking lot of the Gbessia International Airport in Conakry has become a hub for students who want to study.

The airport is one of the few places in the capital where the lights don't go out.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

[Guinean news] New bac unique debuts

Guinéenews reports that the first single nationwide baccalauréat was recently held for the first time since Gen. Lansana Conté's reign began in 1984. All high school students throughout Guinea took the same exam in the hopes of being awarded a high school diploma.

Education officials seized student cell phones during the course of the exam and returned them at the end.

Nearly 500,000 students took the bac, over 21 percent more than attempted it last year.

The new national education minister called for introducing a new spirit of "professionalism in the Guinean educational system to install a culture of merit, transparency and to give a chance to everyone."

Friday, July 20, 2007

[Help needed] Female genital mutilation and forced marriage in Guinea

FOG secretary Annie Kneedler reports:

Michelle Rivero, an immigration attorney in St. Paul, is looking for help with a case. She is representing a victim of FGM [female genital mutiliation]and forced marriage and would like:

"a letter confirming the prevalence of FGM and forced marriage in Guinea and also discussing whether the government can protect victims or prevent family members from forcing their female relatives (children and adults) to engage in these customary practices"

If you would be able to provide assistance to Michelle, or have a recommendation of an NGO or organization that might be able to help her, please get in touch with her at:

Michelle C. Rivero
Rivero Law Office LLC
26 E. Exchange St. Suite 316
St. Paul, MN 55101

ph. 651-291-0054
fax. 651-291-1466
cell 651-214-2759


Thursday, July 19, 2007

[PC Guinea news] PCVs to return to Guinea in July

FOG newsletter editor Woody Collahan reports:

Nicole Lewis of Peace Corps' Africa Section has asked me to pass on the following announcement:

"Due to a strike and civil unrest, Peace Corps/Guinea Volunteers went on standfast on January 10, 2007 and were subsequently consolidated in Mali, near Bamako, on January 25, 2007. Due to the ongoing strikes and civil unrest, the U.S. Embassy in Conakry issued an ordered departure from Guinea for U.S. Mission eligible family members on February 12, 2007. Since that time, the Peace Corps/Guinea program has been temporarily suspended.

"The U.S. Embassy in Conakry lifted the ordered departure on April 10, 2007. Peace Corps has determined that the situation in Guinea has stabilized and welcomes the reinstatement of former Peace Corps/Guinea Volunteers at the end of July 2007. In December 2007, Peace Corps/Guinea will further welcome 36 new trainees that will work in the areas of public health, business and natural resource management."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

[Guinean media] Live Guinean TV available online

A live feed of the RTG, Guinean state television, is apparently available on line at

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

[RPCV news] Death of Two Sons on TV in NYC

RPCV Micah Schaffer notes that his powerful documentary film Death of Two Sons will makes its television premier on Thursday August 2 at 10:00 PM. It will air on WNET-Channel 13 in the NY-NJ-CT tri-state area.

He reports:

August is a milestone month for “Death of Two Sons.” The T.V. premiere will take place on August 2nd as part of a great weekly series, “Reel New York.” The Reel New York website will also have some special features for the film during that week.

We are also happy to announce that the “Death of Two Sons” DVD will be available for sale to the public on October 1st (details to follow soon).

We are still accepting donations. If you haven’t supported this film financially, please consider doing so. We are still paying hefty fees for several songs critical to the emotion of the film. Information on how to donate can be found at

Monday, July 16, 2007

[Help wanted] Seeking a Toma speaker near NYC

Lily Dalke from Human Rights First's Refugee Protection Program has issued the following request.

Dear Friends of Guinea,

I work for a program that helps asylum seekers in the New York City region find pro bono legal representation.

We have a client who speaks only Toma who is having difficulty communicating with her lawyers. We are looking for someone who is fluent in both Toma and English to translate between them over the course of her case. The law firm will compensate the interpreter for his or her services, and the time commitment is several meetings to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time over the course of the next few months. They would like the interpreter to begin as soon as possible, as they are currently communicating via two interpreters (Toma to French and French to English).

Please let me know if you know of anyone who might be interested and available to assist with this. Please feel free to forward my contact information.


Telephone: 212-845-5231
Fax: 212-845-5299

Thursday, July 05, 2007

[Guinean news] Unions slam prime minister

Reuters reports that Guinean trade unions have launched a broadside against the country's consensus prime minister, whom they helped bring to power earlier this year, for failing to tackle the high cost of basic goods and utilities.

In a letter to head of government Lansana Kouyaté, the main CNTG and USTG union federations said, "You make public statements which you then do not respect. This is the case with water, electricity, transport, the price of basic foodstuffs at market and the valuation of the national currency."

This came after several protests in the Conakry suburbs about increasing cost of living.

Inflation in Guinea is estimated at around 30 percent.