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Guinea – End of the Ebola epidemic declared (June 1, 2016)

The World Health Organization declared the end of the Ebola epidemic in Guinea on June 1.

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France and Guinea

Political relations

Guinea gained independence in 1958 after declining the proposal to integrate the French Community and has kept its distance from France to a certain extent, and, more broadly, from the outside world. The debate on Iraq at the UN in 2003 (Guinea then held the presidency of United Nations Security Council) has contributed to a rapprochement between the two countries.

Following the massacre of 28 September 2009, France suspended its military cooperation. On 30 October 2009, it suspended all institutional cooperation with the government authorities which involved a dozen technical assistants seconded to the Guinean administration, as well as financing for the construction project of the Tombo-Gbessia urban motorway in Conakry. So as not to penalize the Guinean population, however, cooperation projects directly benefiting the population have been maintained. On 16 February 2010, following the announcement of the forming of the National Unity Government, France decided to resume institutional cooperation with Guinea.

The President of the French Republic and President Alpha Condé have met on nine occasions since 2011. The French President visited Conakry on 28 November 2014 to demonstrate France’s solidarity with the countries affected by the Ebola epidemic. This was the first presidential visit since 1999.

President Condé visited Paris on 19 January 2015 to show his solidarity following the terrorist attacks in Paris. He also met the French Foreign Minister on 5 March 2015 and the French President on 26 October 2015 and 27 January 2016.

Website of the French Embassy in Guinea and Sierra Leone

Economic relations

The volume of French exports to Guinea reached €127 million in 2014. Our main export items are pharmaceuticals and industrial and agricultural machinery. Our imports from Guinea reached €80 million in 2014. Guinean exports to France include oil and metal products in particular.

On the initiative of MEDEF (French business confederation) and the Employers’ Confederation of Guinea (CPEG), several French investment projects were implemented in Guinea (urban waste treatment market in Conakry for IKOS International; memorandum of understanding with Saur on emergency action to restructure the water network in Conakry), and many prospects have opened up for French companies. MEDEF led a delegation of some 30 French business leaders to Conakry from 1 to 3 July 2014. It intends to organize a new mission to Guinea in 2016.
With the exception of the Castel Group breweries and Sogea-Satom (VINCI Group) in the building and public works sector, the French presence is concentrated mainly in the services and logistics sectors with: Bolloré Africa Logistics, Air France, France Telecom Orange, fuel distribution by the French company TOTAL, CFAO (automobile distribution), LABOREX (distribution of pharmaceutical and parapharmaceutical products), the banks BNP Paribas and Société Générale, the Gras Savoye insurance broker, Accor, Sodexo, and Bureau Veritas.

Many small companies under local law belong to French natural persons in partnership or not with Guineans. They contribute actively to France’s economic presence in catering, the sale and leasing of vehicles, construction and maintenance, information technology, freight shipping, etc.). The Technip company is a member (contributing approximately €400 million) of the Global Alumina (GlobAl) consortium which has signed a $1.5 billion contract for the production of alumina.

http://www.tresor.economie.gouv.fr/Pays/guinee (in French)

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

In 2013, Guinea was ranked 178th in the UNDP Human Development Index, placing it among the least developed countries. For France, Guinea is a priority poor country which received $77.02 million in French ODA in 2014. France is the leading bilateral donor (ahead of Japan and the United States).

The election of President Condé signalled a deepening of our cooperation with Guinea. It focuses on the priorities agreed by Guinea, including security sector reform (national action service for development), financial governance (deployment of technical assistants) and agriculture.

A partnership framework document signed in September 2014 for the period 2014-2016 organizes bilateral cooperation around four focal sectors (democratic governance, education, agriculture and rural development, energy) which were extended to health following the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic. The appropriations for cooperation committed by France in Guinea for the three-year period 2014-2016 amount to €99 million.

France and Guinea, a poor country which is a priority for French official development assistance, signed a debt reduction and development contract (C2D) worth €171 million on 24 June 2013, in the context of a further effort to cancel Guinea’s debt to France. The contract provides most of the resources of our bilateral cooperation in addition to the cancellation effort by France which is Guinea’s main creditor country within the Paris Club (€229.3 million excluding interest).

The first C2D contract concerns the period 2013-2016 for an amount of €75 million and focuses on four sectors (agriculture, local development, pre-university education and vocational training) with an overall budget support for the education sector. €5 million was also earmarked for the first C2D and allocated to the fight against Ebola.
The second C2D contract, covering a period of 4 to 5 years from 2017 and worth €96 million, will focus on the sectors of vocational training, agriculture and rural development, education and governance.

Furthermore, following the settlement of the issue of the debts of Electricité de Guinée (EDG), sovereign loans will be granted in the energy sector: the first, adopted on 28 January 2016 by the Board of Directors of the French Development Agency (AFD), is worth €50 million (of which €20 million for delegating management to the European Union) and allocated to the rehabilitation and extension of the Conakry electricity networks.

Fight against the Ebola epidemic

Whereas Guinea was declared Ebola free by WHO on 29 December 2015, new cases were reported in March 2016. The re-emergence of the epidemic shows that the disease poses the risk of a chronic outbreak and that current efforts should be maintained.

France has been a major player in the fight against Ebola. Its contribution for the period 2014-2015 totalled €158 million and mobilized hundreds of health and security professionals. Emergency arrangements have gradually given way to sustainable projects implemented by our operators (Expertise France and the AFD) and which specifically target the sectors of detection, prevention and research (including the future Pasteur Institute of Guinea).

France also mobilized €150 million at the conference organized by the UNSG on 10 July 2015 in New York, for allocation to post-Ebola reconstruction.

Updated: 04/04/2016

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