Sunday morning at 05.30hrs is a good time to drive out of Conakry, capital of the Republic of Guinea. None of the usual traffic to get tangled in, just the early morning market traders to avoid as they spill on to every road.
Mountains of some of Africa’s best mangos and pineapples, interspersed with tethered sheep and goats, line the route, while Conakry’s new regular electricity supply silhouettes the dressmakers in their kiosks already hard at work.
Less easy on the eye are the endless piles of uncollected rubbish caused by Conakry’s population explosion.
We are taking a group of British contractors and suppliers to visit some of Guinea’s new or prospective bauxite mines. It helps to understand the environment and requirement when bid-ding for tenders. In my two years in Guinea I’ve visited many mines and have a mining outfit permanently tinged red with bauxite dust no matter how much washing.