Impact of Poverty on Rural Dwellers in Guinea
Despite its rich natural resources, Guinea is one of the poorest countries in Africa. The social development indicators are lower and the country is ranked 160th of 177 countries surveyed in 2006. Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 54 years, the rate of infant mortality is 98 per 1000 births and the overall literacy rate for adults is 37% for men against 15% for women. In this paper, we assessed the impact of poverty on rural dwellers in Guinea. Poverty affects almost 62% of the population with about 40% of Guineans living below the poverty line or less than $1 per day. Both quantitative and qualitative measurements attest to the growing incidence and depth of poverty in the country, especially in the rural areas. Rural infrastructure has long been neglected, while investments in health, education and water supply have largely been focused on the urban areas. As a result, the rural population has extremely limited access to services such as schools and health centres, and about half of the population lacks access to safe drinking water. Limited education opportunities and poor health perpetuate the poverty cycle. There are also poor road networks. Most remote communities are cut-off and are inaccessible, especially during the raining season. This paper is designed to critically evaluate the poverty with the aim of making recommendations for poverty reduction in Guinea.
Key words: Guinea, rural areas, Poverty, agriculture, food security, education, health, employment, electricity.