The Republic of Guinea has endured a turbulent history, most recently as the epicenter of the West African Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015. At this moment, Guinea is at a point of relative stability and peace; its first democratically-elected president is serving his second term and local elections were held in February 2018, after a hiatus of approximately 13 years. Guinea has great economic potential, particularly in the mining, agriculture, and power sectors. While this diverse and fascinating country remains at the bottom of many lists in human and economic development, the trend is positive as its position has improved in recent years.
Guinea, having endured colonialism, followed by decades of dictatorship, mismanagement, poverty, and disease, is slowly developing its economic and democratic potential. In October 2015, President Alpha Conde was elected to his second term in office and has focused his energy on strengthening the country’s economic performance and reforming its democratic institutions. Following the official end of the West African Ebola crisis in 2016, which caused significant economic damage and took a toll on the country’s health care system, Guinea now looks to strengthen its nascent democracy as well as encourage economic and social development. Local elections took place on February 4, 2018 and were largely peaceful and transparent, but the results in a few remaining areas are still contested. Legislative elections are due to be held in 2019, but no date has been set. The next presidential election is due to be held at the end of 2020.
Guinea's Fulbright program aims to serve as a consultative system for the country's educational system. American scholars have an expertise in their fields which they can leverage to go beyond simple classroom teaching. In Guinea, Fulbright Scholars regularly serve as consultants to government ministries (health, culture, education, etc.) and can make real, concrete contributions to advance Guinea's development. Our Guinean partners recognize the quality of American scholarship and are eager to harness this quality for positive change.
Guinea's academic calendar can best be described as sporadic: classes are frequently cancelled at the last minute, and confusion and obscurity surround the exact starting and ending dates of academic terms. Fulbright Scholars must be flexible and comfortable with a significant amount of ambiguity, and are encouraged to view these unexpected delays and cancellations as opportunities to pursue their own programs. That said, classes generally begin between the beginning of October and November and end sometime in June or July.
As there is a lack of development, infrastructure, and leisure activities, Fulbright Scholars in Conakry can enjoy a close relationship with the American Embassy community if they so desire. Fulbright Scholars will be welcomed into the community and will be notified of Embassy events, outings, etc. should they wish to participate. Fulbright Scholars are always welcome to consult with the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy in the event they need guidance as to their programs or duties, or if they need advice navigating Guinea's cultural landscape.
Upon arrival, Fulbright Scholars receive a welcome orientation at the Embassy which includes a brieifing with the Ambassador or Deputy Chief of Mission, the Embassy's security officer, the Embassy's health practitioner, and the Consul or the Vice Consul.
Conakry currently has two schools approaching international standards for dependent children in grades K-12: the Lycee Albert Camus (French language instruction, with a stringent language proficiency entrance exam) and the American International School of Conakry (English-language instruction).
The Embassy encourages interested candidates to contact the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy at ConakryPD@state.gov if they have questions about the program or the country. They hope you consider choosing Guinea for your Fulbright service. What is possible in Guinea is limited only by your imagination and energy!