During the Cold War, relations between Guinea and Germany fluctuated. Guinea broke off relations with the Federal Republic of Germany between 1970 and 1975. During this period, it developed active cooperation with the GDR. Following the first democratic presidential elections in 2010 and the 2013 parliamentary elections, relations stabilised. Political exchange between the two countries’ Governments intensified in 2017 thanks to cooperation between Germany as the G20 Presidency and Guinea as Chair of the African Union.
Migration is currently an important issue in relations with Guinea. At the end of 2018, there were around 16,500 Guineans in Germany. In order to improve cooperation, also as regards the return of migrants, the two Governments concluded an agreement on migration, which entered into force in February 2019.
There is potential for improvement in bilateral economic relations. A few German companies are currently active in Guinea. According to Federal Statistical Office figures, German trade with Guinea amounted to 212 million euros in 2018. In the same year, Germany imported goods worth 97 million euros from Guinea, mainly bauxite. An investment-protection agreement with Guinea has been in place since 2014. Since late 2017, Guinea has been a member of the G20 Compact with Africa, an initiative aimed at expanding private-sector investment in Africa.
Development cooperation with Guinea is focused on the priority area of basic social services and encompasses technical and financial cooperation in the fields of basic education and basic healthcare. As part of the basic education programme and to help combat the root causes of migration, Germany is currently also supporting measures to enhance employment prospects for young people in Guinea.
Other development cooperation fields include the promotion of good governance in the mining sector and of cooperation with the business sector on public-private partnerships to improve working conditions and make better use of water resources in the Niger basin, as well as a project aimed at fostering cooperation between Guinea and Mali on border issues.
Germany’s image in Guinea is shaped by the fact that it is seen not only as a leading political and economic power in Europe, but also as a nation that is highly engaged internationally, including in Africa. Guineans’ interest in studying in Germany has been substantially increasing again in recent years. In light of this, Germany is providing support to Guinea’s higher education system, particularly in teaching German as a foreign language. People in Guinea follow football in Germany.