Sunday, March 29, 2009

[Guinean news] Junta announces election dates

The CNDD junta announced that legislative elections will be held on October 11 of this year and that the first round of presidential elections will be held two months later on December 13.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

[Artistic news] Guinean music scene

The excellent public radio program Afropop Worldwide has a look at the Guinean music scene.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

[FOG/PC Guinea news] FOG funds projects

From Projects' Director Claire Lea:

FOG provided some classroom technology to a private school in Conakry. This school, in the Petit Simbaya neighborhood, was started by the Amazonian Initiative, and is a bi-lingual school that instructs in both English and French. The students are a mix of Guinean, Sierra Leonian, and Liberian. FOG provided a new LCD projector and a gently used laptop (procured by Mackenzie Dabo) to help computer instruction. The total cost of the donation was $846. Mackenzie brought the items to Conakry during the Christmas holiday.

School director James Koundouno writes that thanks to the donation: "…the school is relieved from the stress of queuing in a line for school documents to be processed on the computer at the cyber cafes. Every Friday, we have what we call in the school the Literary and Debating Society program where the children participate in different school programs and for this time round, the laptop computer and projector are used to show some school literature documentaries that are on DVD/VCD plates; also other documentaries are shown through the help of this computer. We usually do a computer course without any computer in the classrooms. For now we are using the one computer and projector to do some basic practical tutoring on computer through the PowerPoint program and it is shown on the wall where everybody sees whatever the teacher is discussing/teaching. This has motivated students in the computer classes, and they are very happy to participate and never want to miss any computer practicals…we want to once more say we are very happy for the donations and this will go down in the history of the school."

FOG also helped fund two current volunteer projects. The first is a project that will repair a primary school roof. PCV Samantha Levin, a Public Health Volunteer, is coordinating this project. FOG donated $400 and THIS PROJECT STILL NEEDS YOUR HELP! You can donate directly to PCPP through their website, or call 800.424.8580 ext. 2170.

Here’s a link to more info on Samantha's project:

The second project aims at the development of an eco-tourism site in the Fouta. PCV Catherine (Katy) Murtaugh, a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer, is coordinating this project FOG donated $1000 to this project and we are waiting for feedback.

Finally, we gave the Volunteers in Guinea 14 new DVDs to update the collection in the Conakry house, per request of the PCVs, at a total cost of $206.

There is one CURRENT VOLUNTEER PROJECT on PC Partnership Program THAT NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT. Link directly at:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

[African news] 100 Best Blogs for Learning about Africa

I just ran across this post from LearnGasm with the 100 best blogs for learning about Africa. Nothing on Guinea, though, what gives? Still, a useful resource!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

[Guinean news] Is Guinea Africa's second narcostate?

Guinea-Bissau, where the president and army chief were recently assassinated, has often been described as Africa's first narcostate. There are increasing fears that neighboring Guinea is becoming the second.

Last month, several senior police officials along with the son of the late Gen. Lansana Conté were arrested on allegations of collaboration with South American cocaine cartels.

This Associated Press article shares details of Ousmane Conté's confession and the troubling admissions contained therein.

A junior police officer claimed "Eighty percent of the men in uniform lived off of" drug money.

Some snipets from the AP piece:

When planes loaded with cocaine arrived, Guinea's presidential guard secured the cargo. Drug deals were conducted inside the first lady's private residence and in the president's VIP salon at the airport. To avoid detection, cocaine was sent to Europe in the country's diplomatic pouch.


The confessions [of Ousmane Conté and other former top officials] paint a picture of an illicit trade conducted with total impunity, with the help of officials, members of the president's family and security forces. They also show the large role Guinea and other West African countries are playing as drug hubs, and how vulnerable they are to the corrupting influence of drug dollars.


The inner circle of former dictator Lansana Conté, who ruled Guinea for 24 years until his death, was deeply corrupt, with officials driving opulent SUVs in a capital where most people live without electricity.


In a jailhouse interview this week with The Associated Press, [Ousmane] Conté explained how he did it. He said a friend brought in "medicine" for his humanitarian foundation, using a Red Cross plane that landed at night at the international airport in the capital, Conakry. When the plane arrived, his friend called to wake him. Conté then went to the airport accompanied by the presidential guard to secure the cargo, he said.

Conté claimed he did not know at first that the cargo contained cocaine. But his friend later told him, he said, and Conte accepted a $300,000 bribe.


The late president's brother-in-law said he met with Latin American drug dealers inside a villa owned by his sister, the former first lady. The head of the country's intelligence unit said he personally accompanied a convoy of trucks containing drugs to the capital. The former head of the police force was challenged to account for the source of funds for a university he is building.

Even the former head of the country's anti-drug unit was interrogated on state TV for his alleged role. The unit was in charge of seizing drugs when a cache was found. But instead of securing and destroying the drugs, the cocaine was often "recycled," said top police officials and foreign diplomats.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

[Guinean news] Reported attempt on life of naval chief

According to a Reuters report, the Guinean junta claims that a junior officer tried to kill the head of the Guinean navy.

The non-commissioned officer, who military sources said was disgruntled because he did not get a promotion after the coup, fired gunshots inside the Navy headquarters last week, smashing windows and hitting vehicles, officers said.

The report adds that many members of the CNDD junta received promotions and that this caused dissatisfaction among military members who were not promoted.