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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!