Guinea : Masks, Music and Minerals
Guinea is rich, both materially and culturally, with the world’s largest bauxite reserves, gold, diamonds and iron ore. It abounds in culture and traditions and has a remarkable, if often turbulent, history. Guinea is also exceptional in that it was the first French colony proudly to declare its independence, in 1958. Thereafter, the country suffered under the tyranny of Sekou Toure. Today, headed for the first time by an elected president, Guineans are trying to put their troubled past behind them and fulfill the promise of a decent life for all.
It will not be easy. Tens of thousands perished in the years of chaos and even more human potential continues to go to waste. Guinea is the classic paradox: there are vast mineral reserves, its peoples are resourceful and the earning potential of agriculture and tourism is evident. And yet, most citizens are desperately poor and lack even the most basic services. Governance lies at the heart of this problem.
Posthumus touches on all these themes, while taking the reader to all corners of Guinea, which is captivating and exasperating in equal measure. He also highlights Guinea’s remarkable cultural accomplishments, most notably its globally renowned music.