NYHQ2008-1775

Guinea is a country rich in resources. It is a place where bauxite, diamonds, iron ore, copper, uranium, nickel and gold all can be found in abundance.

Yet it remains one of the top ten poorest countries in the world. Infant mortality in Guinea is very high while the standards for education remain very low. Locals sift through murky water in hopes of striking it big by finding important minerals. Poverty in Guinea is rampant.

So why is there such a stark contrast? Many point to corruption. Large international corporations have flooded the country to mine the natural resources. Guineans, unequipped and unable to mine on their own, are being cut out of this beneficial operation.

Guinean President Alpha Conde aims to correct this corruption by making his people more involved in the mining sector. The first democratically elected president notes that the corruption Guinea faces is structurally woven into the way business is handled.

“Contracts aren’t signed on the basis of capability to deliver but on the size of the bribe that goes with it. Corruption is the essence of the contract,” Conde said.

Conde and Guinea have requested that the G8 intervene in monitoring the financial transactions of the shell companies in the country. A grand jury in the United States has recently been listening to testimony regarding the corruption in Guinea.

– William Norris

Sources: Channel 4 News, Defence Web
Photo: UNICEF