Guinea - Infrastructure, power, and communications

There has been a great improvement since the mid-1980s to Guinea's transport infrastructure . The road network has quadrupled in size and several projects are under way to further expand it. In 1996, about 16.5 percent of the country's 30,500 kilometers (18,953 miles) of main routes were paved. Most routes link urban areas to mining areas, and access to the remainder of Guinea is difficult. Half of the 80,000 vehicles on Guinean roads provide public transport.

The only functioning railway links the ports to the mines and carries no passengers. The Kamsar to Kankan railway line no longer operates. Renovation of the railway system is under consideration.

Conakry port is operating at near saturation levels, handling 94 percent of imports. Plans are afoot to build an inland container terminal and reactivate Benty port. The country has 1 international airport, with Air Guinea operating an erratic regional schedule and internal flights to a dozen airstrips around the country.

Telecoms are handled by Sotelgui, which has been managed by Telekom Malaysia since 1995. The number of telephones increased to 25,000 by 1998, up from 19,000 in 1996. Sotelgui was scheduled to introduce a mobile cellular network in late 1997. The number of telephones

Communications
Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Guinea N/A 47 41 0.0 3 0.4 2.6 0.00 5
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Nigeria 24 223 66 N/A 0 N/A 5.7 0.00 100
Guinea-Bissau 5 44 N/A N/A 0 0.4 N/A 0.13 2
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

is set to double by the end of 2000, although most are still only used in the capital. However, the system is still inadequate, and most companies continue to rely on their own communication services.

A vigorous independent press competes with a state-run newspaper. However, the broadcast media, especially influential in rural areas, are controlled largely by the state.

Guinea has no proven fossil fuel reserves but enormous hydro-electric potential. Nevertheless, firewood accounts for 85 percent of domestic energy needs, and petroleum products are imported. Of the 320 megawatts of installed energy production capacity, 40 percent is privately owned. Only 6 percent of the population receive grid electricity, and this group is mainly in the capital. Several projects are underway to increase electricity production.

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