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Tuesday 24th October
Guinea Facts
The highest point in Guinea is Mount Nimba (1,752 m).

Long before the arrival of Europeans, Guinea was controlled by three great West African empires: the "Ghana" Empire, the Mali Empire, and the Songhai Empire.

The Portuguese, the first Europeans to explore the West African coast, arrived at the end of the fifteenth century.

In 1849 the French made the coastal area of Guinea a protectorate.

A French Protectorate was proclaimed further inland in 1881.

In 1898 the French defeated the armies of Samory Toure, a leader of Malinke descent, who resisted French colonization.

French Guinea became part of French West Africa. French West Africa was formed in 1895. The Federation included Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea (French Guinea), Mali (French Sudan) and Senegal. Later members were Benin (Dahomey), Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) Mauritania and Niger. The Federation ended in 1958.

The boundaries of present-day Guinea were set at the turn of the twentieth century by France, Britain and Portugal.

Guinea achieved independence from France in 1958.

Ahmed Sekou Toure, the great-grandson of Samory Toure, was Guinea's first president.

In 1979 Guinea became the People's Revolutionary Republic of Guinea.

A cultural agreement between the Republic of the Guinea and the People's Republic of China was signed in 1981.

Lansana Conte became president, following a coup, in 1984.

The name of the country changed to the Republic of Guinea (1984).

In 2000 half a million refugees arrived in Guinea to escape fighting in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A general strike took place in Guinea in June 2006 in a dispute over wages and the cost of basic necessities.

Lansana Conte, Guinea's president of twenty-four years, died in December 2008.

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