Happy Independence Day Guinea! The beautiful country with beautiful people became an independent republic on October 2, 1958, marking the end to the French colonial rule. Independence Day in Guinea is celebrated with great enthusiasm and celebration parades and festivals take place all over the country.
Guinea commemorates October 2 as their Day of Independence from France in 1958. This is also known as the National Day of Guinea and marks the country becoming an independent republic. The first Europeans visited the territory in the 16th century, while the French started their colonization of Guinea in the mid-19th century.
In 1958, the French Fourth Republic collapsed and was succeeded by the Fifth Republic driven by Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle offered France’s colonies a decision among independence and freedom within French Community. Guinea chose freedom and turned into an independent republic on October 2, 1958.
*Do you know? In 1958, Guinea was the only ‘brave & strong’ French colony that turned down offers of French economic and financial aid, rejected the new French constitution, and demanded freedom!
Guinea’s Independence Day honors the independence the nation gained from France. The day is marked with festivals, military parades, and public gatherings in the town halls where government officials make special independence day speeches. This is followed by cultural music and dance.
Also Read: Equatorial Guinea Independence Day
Want to skip ahead to a particular section?
- 1 Guinea Independence Day: What is the history of Guinea?
- 2 European and French Exploration of Guinea…
- 3 Samory Touré comes into the scene…
- 4 Guinea Votes For Freedom (The End of Colonial Rule)…
- 5 Independence Day Celebrations in Guinea: Life, Customs & Traditions
- 6 Here’s how Independence Day is celebrated in Guinea:
- 7 What are the Geographical Features of Guinea?
- 8 The economy of Guinea: What Does Guinea Produce?
Guinea Independence Day: What is the history of Guinea?
Archeological discoveries proof that some stone instruments found in Guinea were crafted by people who had come there from the Sahara, perhaps because of the desiccation that had happened in the Saharan district by 2000 BC. Farming was practiced along the coast of Guinea by AD 1000, with rice the staple crop.
A large portion of Upper Guinea fell inside the region influenced by the medieval empire of Ghana, yet none of present-day Guinea was actually within the empire. The northern portion of present-day Guinea was, however, within the later Mali and Songhai empires.
Malinké did not enter the base in Guinea until the 13th century, nor did the Fulani come in considerable numbers until the 17th century. In 1725, a holy war (jihad) was declared in Futa Jallon by Muslim Fulani. The invasion, coordinated against the non-Muslim Malinké and Fulani, was at last fruitful in setting up the autonomy of the Fulani of Futa Jallon and affecting their solidarity inside a theocratic kingdom under Almamy Karamoko Alpha of Timbo.
European and French Exploration of Guinea…
The first European explorations in Guinea were made by the Portuguese in the mid-15th century. By the 17th century, British, Portuguese, and French merchants and slavers were rivaling each other. When the slave trade was banned during the first half of the 19th century, the Guinea creeks managed secluded hiding spots for slavers harried by the ships of the Royal Navy. French rights along the coast were preserved by the Peace of Paris (1814), and French as well as British and Portuguese-trading activities extended in the mid-years of the 19th century, when trade in peanuts, palm oil, and rubber replaced that in slaves.
The French set up a protectorate over Boké in 1849 and united their control over the coastal territories in the 1860s. This prompted endeavors to anchor a more satisfactory arrangement with the Fulani chiefs of Futa Jallon. A protectorate was set up over the district in 1881, yet strong supremacy was not secured for an additional 15 years.
Samory Touré comes into the scene…
Resistance to the union of the French advance up Senegal and the Niger, toward Lake Chad, was made by Samory Touré, a Malinké from Upper Guinea. He had seized Kankan in 1879 and established a strong control in the area southeast of Siguiri, yet his attacks on the region drove the inhabitants to look for help from the French troops already established at Kita in French Sudan (Sudan Français, now Mali) in 1882. Samory marked treaties with the French in 1886 and again in 1890, yet on different pretexts, both he and the French later revoked them, and hostility continued. His capture in 1898 marked the end of any local resistance from the French control of Guinea, Ivory Coast (now Côte d’Ivoire), and southern Mali.
In 1891, Guinea was established as a French territory separate from Senegal, of which it had hitherto been a part. After four years, the French regions in West Africa were federated under a governor-general. The federation structure remained generously unchanged until Guinea got complete independence. In 1946, Africans in Guinea ended up French citizens, yet the franchise was at first confined to the Europeanized évoulés and was not supplanted by universal adult suffrage until 1957.
Guinea Votes For Freedom (The End of Colonial Rule)…
In September 1958, Guinea participated in the referendum on the new French constitution. On acknowledgment of the new constitution, French overseas territories had the option of continuing their current status, to advance toward full reconciliation into metropolitan France, or to obtain the status of an independent republic in the new Quasi-Federal French Community.
Assuming, in any case, they dismissed the new constitution, they would become an independent state. French President Charles de Gaulle said that a nation demanding independence would never again receive any sort of French economic and financial aid or hold French specialized and administrative officers. The electorate of Guinea rejected the new constitution with a great majority, and Guinea turned into the Independent Republic of Guinea on 2 October 1958, with Ahmed Sékou Touré, as president.
Guinea was the sole French West African colony to vote for complete independence, as opposed to enrollment of the French Community, and soon thereafter France pulled back all aid and help to the new republic. The other French colonies had to wait another two years before they gained their independence.
So this is how Guinea became a country, and this is how the nation got successful in their road towards independence. The Republic of Guinea celebrates its Independence Day annually on October 2.
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Guinea National Flag: Colors & Symbolism
The National Flag of Guinea was officially adopted on November 10, 1958. The design is a tricolor. The flag features the Pan-African colors of red, yellow, and green.
Here’s what the colors of Guinea’s National Flag represent:
Red color – represents the blood of martyrs who died from slavery and wars
Yellow color – represents the sun and the riches of the country
Green color – represents the country’s vegetation
*Interesting Fact: The colors of Guinea’s national flag from left to right are the reverse of the flag of Mali.
Coat of Arms Of Guinea & National Motto
The present-day coat of arms of Guinea was adopted in 1993. The coat of arms of Guinea is composed of a dove carrying a golden olive branch in its beak over a ribbon displaying the national motto – Travail, Justice, Solidarite. The colors of Guinea’s National Flag (Pan-African colors of red, yellow, and green) are also used in the coat of arms.
National Motto: Travail, Justice, Solidarite meaning “Work, Justice, Solidarity”
Independence Day Celebrations in Guinea: Life, Customs & Traditions
October 2nd marks the anniversary of Guinea’s independence from France – its former colonial master. The Republic of Guinea was one of the early nations to proclaim its independence from France, with a strong speech by the president of that time: “We prefer poverty in liberty than riches in slavery.”
The Independence Day in Guinea is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pride. The Guineans observe this day remembering their ancestors that struggled for a ‘separate’ homeland for their next generation.
Guinea made a gradually expanding influence with French-African colonies gaining independence in 1960 including the Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast and Nigeria continuing on throughout the continent in the 60s and 70s.
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Here’s how Independence Day is celebrated in Guinea:
The Independence Day celebrations start with prayers for peace, progress, and development in the country. The center of celebrations is Conakry, the country’s capital city, where a public gathering is organized for elders and government officials in the City Hall.
There are special Independence Day speeches and seminars arranged by key officials, where past incidents are recalled and tribute is paid to all those who gave their lives to see Guinea as an independent nation.
There’s a military parade in the capital, attended by many citizens, wearing the colors of their national flag and showing their utmost love and respect for their country. Many Guineans show their patriotism by decorating their streets and towns with flag pennants, while some also organize independence day marches on the road, carrying the country’s national flag and seem to be in high spirits!
Next are lovely music and dance activities. Men and women wear traditional Guinean clothing and head out to some specific spots where they engage in cultural dances and enjoy concerts by traditional singers. The dance activities are followed by a jumbo feast comprising of delicious African dishes along with local specialties and international fare.
What are the Geographical Features of Guinea?
Guinea is a country located on the Atlantic coast of West Africa. It shares its northern border with Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Senegal, its southern border with Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra, and Leone, and its western border with the Atlantic Ocean. The sources of the Niger River, Senegal River, and Gambia River are all found in the Guinea Highlands.
The Republic of Guinea is roughly the size of the United Kingdom and divided into four main regions with distinct human, geographic, and climatic characteristics:
- Upper Guinea (La Haute-Guinée) covers 38% of the country.
- Middle Guinea (La Moyenne-Guinée) covers 20% of the country.
- Maritime Guinea (La Guinée Maritime) covers 18% of the country.
- Forested Guinea (Guinée forestière) covers 23% of the country. It is forested and mountainous.
The capital Conakry is Guinea’s largest city and economic zone with a population of 1.67 million.
The economy of Guinea: What Does Guinea Produce?
The Republic of Guinea is among those few nature-blessed countries that have a considerable potential for growth in agriculture, farming, and fishing sectors. The country has perfect soil, water, and climatic conditions.
Guinea has abundant natural resources including more than 25% of the world’s known bauxite reserves. As of latest, the country possesses over 25 billion tonnes of bauxite and up to one-half of the world’s reserves. The country is also rich in diamonds, gold, and other metals.
Guinea’s major exports are Bauxite, Alumina, Diamonds, and Gold. Some other industries include processing plants for soft drinks, tobacco, beer, and juices.
*Do You Know? In Guinea, agriculture employs 80% of the nation’s labor force!
Is Guinea a Rich Country?
How wealthy is Guinea? Guinea is a nature-blessed country, possessing over 25 billion tones of bauxite and surprisingly one-half of the world’s reserves. The country’s mineral wealth includes more than 4 billion tonnes of high-grade iron ore, huge quantities of uranium, and vast diamond and gold deposits.
Potential outcomes for investment and business activities exist in every one of these zones, yet Guinea’s poor infrastructure, lack of development, and government corruption keep on displaying hindrances to large-scale investment projects.
Unfortunately, the nation’s independence has not halted the trials and struggles of the citizens. Since its freedom, Guinea has had dictatorial rulers who have made Guinea one of the poorest nations on the planet.
Intense financial issues, instability among its neighbors and uncertainty over a successor to its anti-democratic president have incited a European research organization, the Crisis Group, to warn that Guinea risk turning into a “failed state”.
Interesting Facts About Guinea
- Total Population:4 million
- What language do they speak in Guinea? The official language of Guinea is French. Other commonly spoken languages are Pular, Susu, Maninka, Kissi, Loma, and Kpelle.
- Religion in Guinea: More than 85% of the population in Guinea is Muslim, 8% Christians, and the remaining 7% adhere to indigenous African beliefs.
- National Currency of Guinea: Guinean franc
- National Dish of Guinea: Cassava (Other famous cuisines include tapalapa bread, jollof rice, maafe)
- Most Common Staple: Rice
- Capital City: Conakry
- People of Guinea are called: Guinean
- Guinea Independence Day: 2 October 1958
- GDP (PPP) – Total: $26.451 billion, Per Capita: $2039
- GDP (nominal) – Total: $9.183 billion, Per Capita: $707
- What’s the Climate of Guinea: Humid and Hot
- Favorite sports played in Guinea: Football is the favorite sport of Guineans. Their national football team is called Syli Nationale which literally means National Elephant!
- Guinea was known as French Guinea before the Republic of Guinea.
- Since independence, Guinea has Autocratic leadership and corrupt political elite.
- Guinea has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Primary education is compulsory for 6 years, but most children don’t even attend for that long!
- Malnutrition is a serious problem in Guinea.
- Malaria is common in Guinea, and transmitted year round with peak transmission from July to October.
- In Guinea, almost all cultures, religions and ethnicities practice female genital mutilation. According to the 2005 Health Survey, 96% of women have gone through this operation!
- Guinea has a rich musical tradition
- Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Papua New Guinea are four different countries. To distinguish Guinea (country) from other parts of the wider region of the same name, the country is sometimes referred to as Guinea-Conakry.
- The Conakry Grand Mosque in the capital city is the 4th largest mosque in Africa and the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Poverty in Guinea: Why is Guinea Poor?
Guinea is rich in mineral resources, possessing one-half of the world’s proven resources of bauxite, more than 1.8 billion metric tons of high-grade iron ore, world’s top diamond and gold deposits, and undetermined quantities of uranium.
Guinea’s mineral wealth makes it one of the world’s richest countries, but its people are among the poorest in the whole world.
The poor condition of this ‘mineral-rich’ state is due to the autocratic rulers and corrupt political elites who made Guinea one of the poorest nations in the world. The vast majority of people here live below the poverty line. Guineans are not poor but several impoverished. Low literacy levels, malnutrition, and disease are instead the hallmarks of this resource-rich nation.
On Guinea Independence Day, please keep the people of Guinea in your thoughts and prayers. There are a lot of lovely people here, and we hope Independence Day soon brings some promise for this nation.