Guinean transition and structural reform of the economy

16 May 2023


As soon as he came to power in September 2021, the president of the Guinean transition, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, built his discourse around a more inclusive development, promising to put an end to endemic corruption, to preserve national interests and to redistribute wealth. These promises have since been turned into reforms launched by the man who has pledged to leave power at the end of the year 2024.

Anti-corruption and public financial management

The fight against corruption has been one of the main concerns of the transitional government since it came to power. To break with the institutional weaknesses of the former regime, the executive created the Court of Repression of Economic and Financial Offences (CRIEF) in December 2021. However, some believe it was created to crack down on political opponents. Indeed, since its creation, several former executives and senior officials of the Alpha Condé regime who were suspected of having participated in financial misappropriation have been arrested. But they are not the only ones who have been targeted. A few weeks after Doumbouya came to power, corruption relating to a 2021 finance law came to light with some €470 million missing from the national treasury. The government has since announced that it has started to repay these arrears in order to reduce the country's public debt, which shows a decrease of $180 million between the first and second quarters of 2022. Discussions are also underway with some donors. Following a visit in June 2022, the IMF had praised the resilience of the country's economy. Two months later, the government secured $520 million in financing from the World Bank to strengthen its economy.  

Restoring Guinea's mining sovereignty

In the aftermath of the coup, the transition identified the mining industry as a key priority for the economy. The government regained control of the sector. In November 2021, Soguipami (the state-owned company managing the state's shares in the mines) and the National Agency for the Development of Mining Infrastructure (ANAIM) were placed under the supervision of the presidency. To develop a sector that “responds to the interests of Guineans” - Doumbouya's slogan - the government has insisted on strengthening transparency, with stricter mechanisms for quantitative and qualitative control of resources exported by mining companies, and the promotion of local content. In September 2022, a law on local content was adopted. The government has also committed to developing value chains in the sector by requiring foreign companies to build processing and refining plants for mined minerals. These demands are mostly the result of long and difficult negotiations between the government and the mining operators. Other important demands include increased royalties, improved working and environmental conditions and, in some cases, increased and respected rights for the state as a joint shareholder.  

Popularity of the transition among the population and perception of the private sector

According to the latest Afrobarometer survey in Guinea, dating from August 2022, 46.4% of Guineans trusted the transitional president (of which 31.9% trusted him “a lot” and 14.5% partially), a score that has fallen slightly since he came to power, which can be explained in particular by the duration of the transition and the repression of demonstrations. However, Guineans seem to have confidence in the transition with regard to the reforms undertaken. For example, 52% of Guineans believe that the current government is doing a good job in the fight against corruption in public administration. Moreover, Guineans are relatively optimistic about the country's economic future: 48.1% of the population expects economic conditions to be better in 12 months (compared to 31% worse). Local public opinion and the private sector also agree that reforms and decisions in all areas are much faster under the current government than under the previous one.  

What is next?

Despite the efforts made on the economic front, the political situation in Guinea remains uncertain. Although the transitional president and his government have pledged to resign “by the end of 2024” and “not to be part of the post-transition period”, many uncertainties remain. The timeline decided by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and the transitional government is being closely scrutinised by international observers and Guinean civil society. Furthermore, although peaceful and fluid until now, negotiations between the opposition and the government are likely to intensify as the deadline approaches. Finally, on the socio-economic level, the decisions of the transitional government will be scrutinised. The cost of living and unemployment are major concerns. The government will also have to ensure that access to and quality of public services are improved. In recent months, problems of access to electricity in particular have been the cause of several demonstrations in urban centres.  

About the author

Carine Gazier is a project consultant at Concerto, she focuses on political-economic issues and the energy sector in Africa. For further insights and analysis, or to better understand how Concerto can support your business, please email