Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy (?) birthday Guinea

There were celebrations in Guinea yesterday as the country marked its 50th birthday. Guinea was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to declare independence from the French empire. Several regional heads of state attended the festivities.

Radio France International had a look back (in French) at Guinea's first half century of independence, as well as interviews with Guineans of all sorts.

In August 1958, future Guinean leader Sékou Touré famously told the visiting French President de Gaulle that Guineans "preferred poverty in liberty over prosperity in slavery."

As this BBC analysis points out, the promise was only half delivered. The first 50 years have given Guineans plenty of poverty but precious little liberty.



At 4:35 PM, Blogger Koranteng said...

I spent the past few days overdosing on the music of Bembeya Jazz National and Guinean bands - you should do it if haven't, very comforting. I like to think that like most African countries, the next 50 years for Guinea will be more promising than the previous. Maybe it was the music that got me feeling optimistic.


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