I am proud of my country. This year, Guinea had its first democratic elections. And though it seemed at some point that ethnic division would replace unity and advancement, thankfully that was not the case.
Were we all scared? Of course, what with all the talks of one group trying to poison the other, attacks being made, people losing their lives, who wouldn’t be?
I had the opportunity to go back for the holidays this year and the overall feeling I got was that everyone is hoping that within 5 years, Guinea will experience a big change. The population is really counting on the newly elected President, Alpha Conde, to make some positive changes in the country. Simple things such as providing inhabitants with basic necessities: water and electricity!! These are still scarce commodities in a country that has known recent political instability, corruption and overall lack of development.
I was quite disappointed that still today, even after the outcome of the elections have been accepted; one gets a sense of divide in Guinea, with people from the opposite ethnic group badmouthing the other. My friend actually sat down in a hair salon and listened to a conversation two hairdressers were having (not knowing she spoke all three major languages). One of them was asking her friend if she had “those people” living in her apartment complex as well. She was referring to Malinkes (It seems that a lot of the Sousous and Malinkes voted for the current President). She then went on to curse all Malinkes and say that they had stolen the presidency from the Peuhls (who had widely voted for the opposing party’s candidate, Cellou Dalein). Seriously? We’re all better than that. I just hope that the current President will really keep to his promise and make the changes necessary to show the rest of the world Guinea’s true potential. After all, isn’t that the most important?