African Cup of Nations | Never-ending power supply

Conakry, Guinea | With its 3–0 defeat of Tunisia today in the African Cup of Nations, Guinea advances to the final eight as the undefeated winner of Group C. During this surprising run of supremacy, the state-operated power concern, Guinea Electricity, has discovered the importance of maintaining the power grid.

Following Guinea’s first-round defeat of South Africa, one man died in Matam as the result of rioting precipitated by power failures during the match. The company assured customers that power would be sustained during subsequent encounters and for two hours afterward.

Many homes in Conakry, according to the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, lack access to electricity mains, requiring ad hoc connections, with residents “lash[ing] cables to power lines to light their homes and small businesses for free.” Passions prompted the Conakry governor, Sory Bioubate, to ask supporters to tone down celebrations before the next match against Zambia, with some reports of looting: “We hope that our national team will win the 2006 African Nations’ Cup, but that is not to say that we must kill each other.”

1 comment on this post.
  1. Brian:

    Having lived in Guinea myself, I can tell you that electricity is indeed spotty, even in the capital Conakry, despite the country’s huge hydroelectric potential.

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