Guinea - Future trends

It is very difficult to have economic progress without a platform of political stability, as both domestic and foreign investors are unwilling to risk resources which may not be secure. Conté has improved the domestic environment for business, but conflict with rebels on Guinea's borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia continues to dominate the political scene, though most regional leaders are expected to work together to try to restore stability. Rebel groups from Liberia have destroyed several towns in Guinea. Refugee transfer has started, with the aid agencies struggling to cope with the numbers. ECOWAS troop deployment in the region is attempting to restore order.

Most of the population of Guinea will continue to depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, and progress in this sector is expected to be slow. Guinea's undoubted mineral wealth has created income for only a small section of the community and does little to improve living standards or reduce poverty.

The IMF has pledged further support, and as a highly indebted poor country Guinea is expecting further debt relief. Aluminum companies are showing renewed interest in the country, but realization of investment plans will depend on improving regional stability. The United Nations has asked for stricter diamond controls to keep gems out of the hands of rebel groups in Sierra Leone who are looking for sources of income.

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