Guinea says economic growth to dip to 5.8% in 2018

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Guinea’s economy will grow 5.8 percent in 2018, down from an expected 6.7 percent in 2017, the budget minister said on Tuesday, as it struggles with low commodity prices and unrest that has interrupted bauxite mining.

The forecast is lower than the 7 percent growth target authorities had been hoping to exceed in 2018, Budget Minister Mohamed Lamine Doumbouya told repoters in the capital Conakry.

The minister did not give a reason for the expected slowdown in an economy dogged in recent years by the Ebola epidemic and price drops for key commodities like iron ore and bauxite.

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But a high-ranking state official told Reuters it is linked to riots that hit the bauxite-mining Boke region last month, when angry youths blocked trains and railroads to protest against joblessness, electricity cuts and pollution.

“Mining is the main sector that really supports current growth. If there are problems in this sector, there are repercussions on the whole economy,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Boke is home to Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee (CBG), major companies that each produce 15 million tonnes of the aluminium ore per year.

Reporting by Saliou Samb; writing by Sofia Christensen; editing by Edward McAllister

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