GUINEA: Toure's Troubles

When Sékou Touré of Guinea in 1958 visited his brother African leader, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, he ran his fingers over the furniture in Nkrumah's Christiansborg Castle in awe, saying, "The British left everything, even the ashtrays!" Things had been different when Touré demanded and got independence for Guinea, making it the only African state to secede from De Gaulle's French Community. Petulantly, the departing French took everything—the telephones and electric-light sockets, typewriters, chairs, tables, even the government records—leaving Guinea (pop. 2,800,000) to start building a nation from scratch.

When the West was slow with offers of aid, Leftist Touré...

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