Dust-covered “Pearl of the Night” Guinea

  The war and turmoil in Afghanistan seem to be lingering in our ears, and the coup in Guinea has begun again.
  At 8 a.m. on September 5, local time, gun battles broke out in the capital city of Conakry. Afterwards, Guinean special forces personnel rushed into the presidential palace, occupied the television station, and issued a television speech announcing the detention of Guinea’s current President Conte.
  After that, the constitution was abolished, the government was dissolved, the border was closed, and the so-called “National Unity and Development Committee” was established… On September 16, this “National Unity and Development Committee”, which was almost performing government functions, was also chaired this time. Dubuya, the leader of the Guinea coup, has initiated a national consultation meeting to meet with mining representatives from all over Guinea.
  What is going through this small West African country?
“West Africa Water Tower” and “Africa Night Pearl”

  From the map, Guinea is located on the west coast of West Africa, with a coastline of more than 300 kilometers. Although the country is small, it contains a very rich terrain: the west is a long and narrow coastal plain, the middle is a plateau, the northeast is a plateau, and the southeast is a Guinea plateau.
  The three extremely important rivers in West Africa-the Niger, the Senegal and the Gambia, all originated in Guinea. Guinea, rich in hydropower resources, is also known as the “West Africa Water Tower”.

  The Niger, Senegal and Gambia rivers all originated in Guinea.

  A more famous “nickname” than the “West Africa Water Tower” is the “Night Pearl of Africa”. Guinea is a country with extremely rich resources. The mineral resources we are familiar with, such as aluminum, iron ore, diamonds, gold, and uranium, are abundant in Guinea’s reserves and are of high quality. They are even called “geological miracles.” Taking bauxite alone, Guinea’s reserves are the largest in the world, and the reserves of diamonds and gold are also measured in units of ten million carats and hundreds of tons, which seems to be “a country rich in wealth.”
  Whenever we find that a country possesses so many resources as “God’s Appreciation”, we always think about whether it is heading towards the “resource curse” and facing the unsustainable economic development after the exhaustion of resources. But in the face of Guinea, people’s worries about the “resource curse” seem to be too advanced. This country does not seem to be able to use its abundant resources, and it is also difficult to convert them into “hard currency” for economic development and social progress. According to the UN’s “Human Development Index” report, Guinea ranks 174 among the 189 countries and regions with data in the world, making it one of the least developed countries in the world.
  If additional technologies are needed for resource extraction and processing, why can’t Guinea fill its stomach with its own agricultural development? This “West African Water Tower” has 6 million hectares of arable land and sufficient irrigation resources. Why is it that even food and clothing have become a luxury?
  One explanation is the legacy of the colonial period. Guinea was once a colony of the Third French Republic. During the long period of colonization and turmoil, “Guinea is not in chaos, France has the final say”. In addition to the political and cultural colonization and humiliation, France’s biggest influence on Guinea is to suffocate the independent economic development it should have.
  During the colonial period, France monopolized Guinea’s agriculture and mining. The locals could only produce coffee and bananas to supply the French market, and they could only do the most basic ore mining instead of processing with higher premiums. Under this kind of restraint, those shackles imposed by capital still permeate the blood of Guinea, making the “West African Water Tower” unable to nourish the poor land, and also concealing the light that the “Night Pearl of Africa” ​​should have.
“Inertial” coup

  On April 2, 1984, the Chief of Staff of the Guinea Army, Colonel Lansana Conte, launched a military coup that overthrew the rule of Luis Lansana Beavogi, the ruler of Guinea at the time.
  The next night, Lansana Conte announced the dissolution of the Democratic Party and Parliament, the abolition of the constitution, the dissolution of the government, the closure of the border, and the establishment of the so-called “National Military Commission for Reconstruction”… almost exactly the same as the coup that just happened.
  The use of force to brutally overthrow the former power holder is an extremely familiar trajectory that is being staged again today, reminding the world of some incentives for the country’s inability to move forward.

In 2018, Alpha Conte, President of Guinea

On September 5, 2021, after the arrest of Guinean President Alfa Conte, people flocked to the streets to celebrate with members of the armed forces of Guinea

  Guinea once had the opportunity to escape the shadow of colonization and live a good life. In 1958, the then leader of Guinea and Prime Minister Ahmed Segou Toure came to power. He did not want to succumb to France any more, and became a “canary” for the colonists to live their lives in panic, calling on the people to “poverty in freedom rather than rich in enslavement.” He led Guinea to withdraw from the French currency system, and tried his best to learn from the reform models of China and the Soviet Union at that time, in order to quickly bring Guinea onto the right track. It’s just that although he changed his eagerness, the effect was still not significant, and in the face of doubt, Durr showed his fatal weakness-dictatorship.
  Nepotism, party formation, suppression of any opposition, system obscuration… Corruption and factional struggles are breeding in Guinea, reform is still underway, but these negative factors have swallowed up those small progress.
  After Durr’s death, Prime Minister Luis Lansana Beavoggi once succeeded him as the acting president. However, the chaos of the army and the imbalance in the distribution of power allowed Colonel Lansana Conte to end the Durr era with a coup. This result is also due to the embarrassing closed loop formed by Durr’s long-term authoritarian rule: Despotism brings absolute force. When prestige is not enough to suppress force, a coup is staged and another person is replaced to continue the autocracy.
  Lansana Conte passed away on December 22, 2008. The next day, his son-in-law Camara launched a coup, and the familiar “National Commission for Democracy and Development” was still taking over the power.
  In 2010, Alpha Conte, the current ruler of Guinea (compared to the late former President Lansana Conte, the two “Conte” are just similar pronunciations and have different surnames) won the election and became the first in Guinea. The elected president. Originally, Alpha Conte might end this autocratic cycle. Unexpectedly, in 2020, this “Guinean Mandela” amended the constitution and tried to continue his rule… So this year, the coup happened again, and Alpha Conte became the one captured.

  In the Guinea coup, which has almost become an “inertial operation”, the lives of the people have become a broken backdrop.
Blur the future

  The coup in Guinea this time also made everyone understand for the first time this country that seems to be in the “other world”. But in fact, China and Guinea have a deeper relationship than imagined. As early as 1959, shortly after Dore came to power, he established diplomatic relations with China; in the long years since then, China has often given this “West African brother” as much care and care as possible in the field of infrastructure within its own capacity.
  The Kareta Hydropower Station, printed on Guinea’s 20,000 banknote, was built by China.
  At that time, President Conte, who has been reduced to a “prisoner of the ranks” today, has not mobilized his power to dominate his mind. Facing the power shortage in Guinea, he proposed that “If there is no electricity, Africa will not develop” and included the construction of hydropower stations as an important development. Target. Located in the middle reaches of the main stream of the Koncure River, the Kareta Hydropower Station was built by a Chinese company. It was the top priority for the development of Guinea at that time and was called the “Presidential Project.”

The Simandou iron mine in Guinea, China won the largest development right of the iron mine in 2019

Carreta Hydropower Station undertaken by a Chinese company

  In the Guinea coup that has almost become an “inertial operation”, the lives of the people have become a broken backdrop.

  Guinea has a hot climate and difficult conditions. The challenges faced by the Chinese construction team are not only high temperatures, but also the 2014 Ebola virus. Chinese craftsmen worked hard to shorten the construction period by half a year, and the hydropower station was officially put into operation in September 2015. Since then, Chinese companies have undertaken a larger-scale Suapiti Water Control Project in Guinea. These huge infrastructures have brought immortal electric lights to the people of Guinea and increased the possibility of development.
  In addition to helping the “West Africa Water Tower” realize its inherent potential, China is also helping Guinea excavate massive minerals and build a railway network. In 2019, Chinese companies won the largest development rights for the Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea. This iron ore is located on a 110-kilometer mountain range in the southeastern inland of Guinea. The quality of iron ore exceeds that of deposits in Australia and Brazil. It can be called a world-class large-scale high-quality open-pit hematite.
  The mining of this iron ore and the infrastructure project represented by the railway around the mining area are gradually blowing away the dust of the “night pearl” of Guinea. But the coup has once again made the prospects of these ongoing projects convoluted. The high temperature and the unstoppable footsteps of the virus seemed to hesitate in the face of the chaotic situation. Today, although Dubuya has stated many times that Chinese companies can normally mine, produce, and construct, the turbulent political situation is always a hanging sword.
  On September 17, local time, a high-level delegation from the Economic Community of West African States met with the coup soldiers in Conakry, capital of Guinea, and met with the detained President Conte. Where this “inertial” coup will lead is also related to the results of the mediation of international parties.
  When can “Yemingzhu” use its own brilliance to reap value and get rich? When will Guinea get rid of the cycle of coup and turmoil and embark on the road of becoming rich by exporting as a coastal country?