Date published: March 15, 2018
One World Week: From Conakry to Manchester
One World Week is a week-long celebration of different cultures.
As part of One World Week, we've asked some of our students to write us a guest blog post about where they’re from, their culture and their experiences at Salford.
Today we're featuring a blog post from Camara, a student from Guinea.
My name is Ansoumane Camara, Student Representative for MSc Databases and Web-Based Systems. I am from Conakry, Guinea and started my course in January 2017.
I am also a member of the Guinean Society of Greater Manchester.
Guinea is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea, it is often referred to as Guinea – Conakry to distinguish it from other countries with “Guinea” in the name.
Conakry is the Capital of the country and its largest city. It is the central hub of major businesses, economy, education, commerce and culture.
Guinea gained its independence on 2nd October 1958 from the French, after voting “no” to “more autonomy in a new French community” in the referendum held on 28th September 1958 under the leadership of Ahmed Sekou Toure, who went on to become the first president of the country.
The country is divided into four natural regions:
- Maritime Guinea (Guinée Maritime), with Conakry as its largest city and dominated by the Soussou ethnic group.
- Middle Guinea (Moyenne Guinée), with Labe as its largest city and dominated by the Fulas ethnic group.
- Upper Guinea (Haute Guinée), with Kankan as its largest city and dominated by the Malinké ethnic group.
- Forested Guinea (Guinée Forestière), with NZérékoré as its largest city and dominated by the Guerzé, Kissi and Toma ethnic groups.
French is the official language of the country, but there are some other significant local languages such as Pular, Maninka, Soussou, Kissi, Toma etc…
The population is predominantly Muslim (85%), followed by Christian (10%) and other religions (~5%).
Guinea qualifies as a geological scandal. The country is the 12th leading source of rough diamond, it has over 25% of the world’s bauxite reserves, an estimated 700 tonnes of gold and is a substantial source of iron, uranium and cement - to name a few. Guinea also has great potential for hydroelectric power.
Despite its abundant natural assets, the country is amongst the poorest in the world, due to poor governance, political instability and widespread corruption.
The population of the country is young and talented, but they lack the necessary support.
The current president Alpha Conde was the president of the African Union for 2017.
Mr Makan Doumbouya, a statistician at the Central Bank of Guinea, was awarded Best Young Statistician by the International Association of Official Statistics in Durban, South Africa.
The Sylla Brothers, Guinean acrobats, won the first edition of Africa’s Got Incredible Talent.
Naby Keita is a midfielder set to join Liverpool FC for the 2018 – 2019 season for a record £48m and is one of the finest in Europe.
Life in the UK
The UK isn’t the first country I’ve visited outside of Guinea, but it is my first time in a developed one.
Everything is quite different here compared to home and I needed some time to adjust to my new life.
The first thing I struggled with was the weather (I’m still struggling today), as it is usually around 30 degrees in my country.
Second was the British accent. It was new and a bit unfamiliar, but I gradually got the grasp of it. This wasn’t easy though as English is not my first language.
I like the country and its people, most are very friendly. Being a part of the GSGM (Guinean Society of Greater Manchester) has allowed me to meet a lot of Guineans, and we often meet to talk about community issues or celebrate religious festivals, it’s like a home away from home.
Recently, I had the opportunity to enter the Theatre of Dreams (Manchester United Stadium) and live one of my own. It was amazing!
My Journey at Salford University
My time at Salford University has been good so far - I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people from many different countries.
The University has given me the opportunity to work as a student host and I have been involved in activities such as Welcome Week and this year’s Student Voice promotion, both ofwhich were great experiences. I enjoyed them and I feel like I learned a lot.
The course content is as described and, although I was expecting something more industry-oriented, I have gained a lot of new skills and improved on my existing ones.
The Careers and Enterprise team, with special thanks to Tahira Majothi, have helped me improve my job seeking and application skills.
I like the University’s facilities, especially the amazing New Adelphi and the brand-new library layout.
The University’s Faith Centre has allowed me to practice my faith and meet all kinds of wonderful people.
I am also able to play football, thanks to the Give Sport a Go sessions and Jungle football on Saturdays.
My course ends on the 31st May 2018, and I hope the skills and experience I have gained from the University will help me achieve my goals and improve the status of my country.