Business environment in Guinea Conakry

Art.1 Historical introduction

Historically, Guinea has been the main agricultural producer among the French colonies in West Africa. The sector is subsequently collapsed, making this country a net importer of food, despite many small landowners with its huge agricultural potential. The increase of foreign direct investment mainly to mining, have discouraged other foreign companies seeking to invest in agricultural projects in Guinea, such as the production of rice in the northern region of Boké.

The producers of Guinea have little or no access to finance for which it is difficult for them to plan improvements in their farms. Other problems include lack of existence of infrastructure, roads and services for the fast shipping of the goods perishable food, lack of cold storage suitable for this specific role, therefore, is difficult to have the products in local markets before they start to begin to spoil, not imagine what kind of difficulties the transport abroad can create. Some manufacturers are gearing up for the sale of dried food products, which are easier to carry, but they lack the machinery for the complete dehydration and skills necessary to make this a large-scale operation.

While foreign manufacturers are more sophisticated knowledge of sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, it is unlikely that the producers of Guinea can meet the standards required at this time. The possibility exists in Guinea to export bananas, pineapple, potato, mango, other fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants if these problems are overcome. These could act as a significant investment opportunities for businesses.

Main imports are food products (in pounds net, as of 2011): Rice (452 ​​million) Sugar (134 million), wheat flour (233 million) Cooking Oil (38 million), dairy products (€ 8 million)the largest providers of Guinea rice are Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan, China and Taiwan. Flour Imports come mostly in France. Suppliers of sugar Highlights include Belgium, France, Brazil and Senegal. Periodically, the government takes measures to protect domestic agricultural production. For example, in 2011 the government banned many agricultural exports, especially rice, believing that this would keep domestic prices.

Art.2 Natural resources

The Countryis a developing country that is richly endowed with natural resources, especially minerals, it possesses over 25 billion tonnes (Mt) of bauxite, it is believed that contains half of the world’s reserves. In addition, the country also has more than 4 billion tons of high quality iron ore, gold has a significant presence, and there are also reserves of diamonds, uranium reserves indeterminate and potential oil fields. Thanks to the favorable climate and geography Guinea has considerable potential for growth in agricultural and fishing. Are growing projects to invest in hydroelectric plants, in fact, the heavy rains and abundant waterways have a strong potential to generate enough electricity to power all over the country and even other surrounding countries.

Art.3 Infrastructure

The Guinea lacks the infrastructure capacity needed to support business activities advanced. Electrical service is uneven across the capital Conakry, which operate only three or four hours a day in some areas. Water service in the capital is also intermittent, and largely unsafe for consumption. In the interior of the country, access to electricity and water is widely available. Transport infrastructure, including roads, rail, and port system, is irregular and rapid deterioration, if the Government of Guinea has targeted the improvement of infrastructure as a priority for the coming years. Operating costs of telecommunications are high and the service is slow and subject to black-out because of the lack of equipment and an addiction to use satellite for the telephone connection and internet.

Art.4 Current framework

We have an important aspect to mention but without considering the merits is the strong dependence of the quarry Rio Tinto, but it have basically announced that it had frozen their investments in Guinea, Claiming That they are waiting for them to more stable and secure legal framework by the government , said a senior government official, Requesting anonymity. This element should not be underestimated both by the Government that by the fact that foreign investors will lead the government to orientate on the diversification of production sources and other investors may find fertile ground in other areas are still virgin.

Another key element is that in May 21, 2013 The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the second review of Guinea’s economic performance under a program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The completion of the review enables the disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 18.36 million (about 27.4 million U.S. dollars).Guinea also has a considerable reduction of its foreign debt after reaching the completion point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative “(HIPC Iniaitiative) in September 2012. Continued strong commitment to the program policies and structural reforms will be necessary to consolidate macroeconomic stability, maintain debt sustainability, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth.So further progress in implementing structural reforms, will need to obtain a strong and sustainable growth and reduce poverty. Reforms key should continue to focus on improving the business climate and the electricity sector, and the management of the mining sector.All this aspects create favorable conditions for starting a business in Guinea.

Art.5.1 Starting a business

The technical process of starting a business in Guinea is theoretically simple. According to regulations of Guinea, the process is centralized at the Agency for the promotion of private investment (APIP), the office of central business registration. However, the largest investments have recently started directly via the Office of the President. The new government is eager to attract foreign investment and has made efforts to improve the process, certainly successful projects tend to be those that establish strong relationships with potential local partners.

Art.5.2 Marketing and communication strategies

Distribution and Sales Channels Each sector has its own policy and network of sales and distribution. Sales of communications products usually occur through wholesalers who import in bulk for resale to small traders or distributors within the country. Retailers often import directly luxury consumer goods. In general, mining, utilities, and industrial companies conduct purchases of heavy equipment directly through suppliers. Service to the customer and should not ordinarily be expected, and are only possible if negotiated at the time of sale. Guinea has many outdoor markets, numerous small shops, and a couple of grocery stores of medium size.
Selling Factors / Techniques
The country’s official language is French, although many large traders are not flowing, and prefer to use local languages ​​(Peular, Malinke and Soussou). In addition, the literacy rate in Guinea is very low, with estimates that only 30% of the population is considered literate. Very few Guineans use English in business discussions. The friendship and trust are very important in the culture of Guinea. It takes time to build a relationship of successful work in Guinea. Effort, patience, and face to face contact are required to make a success of your business operations.
The new government is committed to address these problems, making the discussions and contract negotiations more transparent and spread between relevant ministries, but progress towards transparency has been slow.

Although there is limited internet connectivity available in Guinea, it is still a viable method or possible trade and promotion. Although work is underway to connect Guinea to the submarine fiber optic cable off the coast, the project should not be completed until 2014. Most households and businesses in Guinea have difficulty in obtaining electricity and do not have internet. Internet cafes exist in some of the larger towns, but they are too expensive for most consumers of Guinea.
Guinea is a cash economy. Most of the trade of Guinea is informal and transactions are mostly completed with cash. At present, the banking systems can not support e-commerce, nor guarantee the reliability or security of transactions with credit cards or debit cards. More monetary amounts are moved through a system of money transfer like Western Union or MoneyGram.
Trade promotion and advertising
The printing of Guinea operates with little government interference officer. The majority of the population of Guinea is illiterate, so the best and most preferred for advertising and commercial promotion is through the radio. In 2006, the government liberalized airwave frequencies, and today there are about 30 radio stations operating in Guinea, many of which provide substantial air time to advertising products and services. The national print media has low circulation and public limited due to the high cost of printing materials and the rate of illiteracy.
The major newspapers in Guinea include a daily publication Government, one eight large independent daily, weekly, and several other independent newspapers that are published intermittently. Advertising in printed media is rather limited, although many newspapers would probably be receptive to advertising revenues. There are no regular publications in English. The government-run television station, Radio Television Guinee (RTG), is the oldest television station. There are a couple of independent television stations rising too but most of Guinea do not have access to television broadcasts.


As stated above, you can see a business perspective in the following fields:

A) Construction of new infrastructure to improve the displacement of  transport means;

B) Development of new communication networks such as the stable use of internet;

C) Development of agricultural resources.


I'm a professional sales manager, I have always worked in the commercial sector, examining and analyzing all facets of business relationships. I worked as an employee in commercial area for Santander Consumer Bank S.p.A.; and Linea S.p.A. (now acquired in Compass S.p.A.), instead today as a freelancer I work with many multinational companies with purpose to create nets sale.

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