The coastal region of Guinea and most of the inland have a tropical climate, with a rainy season lasting from April to November, relatively high and uniform temperatures, and high humidity. Conakry's year-round average high is 29 Â°C 84.2 Â°F, and the low is 23 Â°C 73.4 Â°F; its average annual rainfall is 4,300 mm 169.3 in. The Sahelian Haute Guinee region has a shorter rainy season and greater daily temperature variations.
Guinea belonged to a series of empires until France colonized it in the 1890s, and made it part of French West Africa. Guinea declared its independence from France on 2 October 1958 and has had only two rulers since. The first president, socialist Ahmed SÃ©kou TourÃ©, faced a lot of criticism from the West for alleged human rights violations and suppression of opposition parties. He believed in building a powerful, self-sufficient nation, without reliance on foreign powers.
When he died in 1984, General Lansana ContÃ© took over. Under ContÃ©'s rule, Things did not improve, and the ideals of TourÃ© were soon left behind. And also ContÃ©, promised too many political promises, most of which were never fulfilled. In 1993, the first elections were held, though their results were disputed - as have those in all subsequent elections. ContÃ© died in 2008 without appointing a successor, leaving chaos in his wake. Immediately following ContÃ©'s death, on December 23, 2008, a man by the name of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara took power as Guinea's new President staged by a coup d'etat. Even though Camara came in as a popular figure, this has proved to be another political blow for Guinea and Guineans. Civilian protests have been often met with open fire and physical abuse at the hands of military and police personnel. On December 2009, Camara was involved in an assassination attempt, and has been out of office since then.
Guinea is a remarkable country with very warm, genuine people but little infrastructure. While they have tremendous natural resources available to them which includes around one half of the world's reserves of bauxite, and many major gold, jewel, and metal industries, they rate very poorly in the UN's quality of life index. Guinea is roughly the size of the United Kingdom.