French Guiana

French Guianese, French Guianan.
/gee an"euh, gee ah"neuh/
an overseas department of France, on the NE coast of South America: formerly a French colony. 49,200; 35,135 sq. mi. (91,000 sq. km). Cap.: Cayenne.

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French Guiana

Introduction French Guiana
Background: First settled by the French in 1604, French Guiana was the site of notorious penal settlements until 1951. The European Space Agency launches its communication satellites from Kourou. Geography French Guiana -
Location: Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Suriname
Geographic coordinates: 4 00 N, 53 00 W
Map references: South America
Area: total: 91,000 sq km water: 1,850 sq km land: 89,150 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries: total: 1,183 km border countries: Brazil 673 km, Suriname 510 km
Coastline: 378 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain: low-lying coastal plains rising to hills and small mountains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m highest point: Bellevue de l'Inini 851 m
Natural resources: bauxite, timber, gold (widely scattered), cinnabar, kaolin, fish
Land use: arable land: 0.11% NEGL permanent crops: 0.03% other: 99.85% (90% forest, 10% other) (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: high frequency of heavy showers and severe thunderstorms; flooding Environment - current issues: NA
Geography - note: mostly an unsettled wilderness; the only non-independent portion of the South American continent People French Guiana
Population: 182,333 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 30.2% (male 28,140; female 26,876) 15-64 years: 64.2% (male 63,183; female 53,902) 65 years and over: 5.6% (male 5,192; female 5,040) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.57% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 21.66 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 4.78 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: 8.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.17 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/ female total population: 1.13 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 13.22 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.49 years female: 79.99 years (2002 est.) male: 73.16 years
Total fertility rate: 3.13 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA% HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: French Guianese (singular and plural) adjective: French Guianese
Ethnic groups: black or mulatto 66%, white 12%, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian 12%, other 10%
Religions: Roman Catholic
Languages: French
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 83% male: 84% female: 82% (1982 est.) Government French Guiana
Country name: conventional long form: Department of Guiana conventional short form: French Guiana local short form: Guyane local long form: none
Dependency status: overseas department of France
Government type: NA
Capital: Cayenne Administrative divisions: none (overseas department of France)
Independence: none (overseas department of France)
National holiday: Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)
Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system: French legal system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Jacques CHIRAC of France (since 17 May 1995), represented by Prefect Henri MASSE (since NA July 1999) elections: French president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; prefect appointed by the French president on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; presidents of the General and Regional Councils are appointed by the members of those councils head of government: President of the General Council Joseph HO-TEN-YOU (since NA March 2001); President of the Regional Council Antoine KARAM (since 22 March 1992) cabinet: NA
Legislative branch: unicameral General Council or Conseil General (19 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and a unicameral Regional Council or Conseil Regional (31 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) elections: General Council - last held NA March 2000 (next to be held NA 2006); Regional Council - last held 15 March 1998 (next to be held NA 2004) election results: General Council - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - PSG 5, various left-wing parties 5, independents 7, other 2; Regional Council - percent of vote by party - PS 28.28%, various left parties 22.56%, RPR 15.91%, independents 8.6%, Walwari Committee 6%; seats by party - PS 11, various left parties 9, RPR 6, independents 3, Walwari Committee 2 note: one seat was elected to the French Senate on 27 September 1998 (next to be held NA September 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; 2 seats were elected to the French National Assembly on 9 June-16 June 2002 (next to be held NA 2007); results - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA
Judicial branch: Court of Appeals or Cour d'Appel (highest local court based in Martinique with jurisdiction over Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana) Political parties and leaders: Guyanese Democratic Action or ADG [Andre LECANTE]; Guyanese Socialist Party or PSG [Marie-Claude VERDAN]; Guyana Democratic Forces or FDG [Georges OTHILY]; Popular National Guyanese Party or PNPG [Jose DORCY]; Rally for the Republic or RPR [Roland HO-WEN-SZE]; Socialist Party or PS [Pierre RIBARDIERE]; Walwari Committee [Christine TAUBIRA- DELANON] Political pressure groups and NA
leaders: International organization FZ, WCL, WFTU
participation: Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas department of France) Diplomatic representation from the none (overseas department of France)
US:
Flag description: the flag of France is used Economy French Guiana -
Economy - overview: The economy is tied closely to the French economy through subsidies and imports. Besides the French space center at Kourou, fishing and forestry are the most important economic activities. Forest and woodland cover 90% of the country. The large reserves of tropical hardwoods, not fully exploited, support an expanding sawmill industry that provides sawn logs for export. Cultivation of crops is limited to the coastal area, where the population is largely concentrated; rice and manioc are the major crops. French Guiana is heavily dependent on imports of food and energy. Unemployment is a serious problem, particularly among younger workers.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $1 billion (1998 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: NA%
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,000 (1998 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA% Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.5% (1992)
Labor force: 58,800 (1997) Labor force - by occupation: services, government, and commerce 60.6%, industry 21.2%, agriculture 18.2% (1980)
Unemployment rate: 21.4% (1998)
Budget: revenues: $225 million expenditures: $390 million, including capital expenditures of $105 million (1996)
Industries: construction, shrimp processing, forestry products, rum, gold mining Industrial production growth rate: NA% Electricity - production: 450 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 418.5 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: corn, rice, manioc (tapioca), sugar, cocoa, vegetables, bananas; cattle, pigs, poultry
Exports: $155 million (f.o.b., 1997)
Exports - commodities: shrimp, timber, gold, rum, rosewood essence, clothing
Exports - partners: France 62%, Switzerland 7%, US 2% (1997)
Imports: $625 million (c.i.f., 1997)
Imports - commodities: food (grains, processed meat), machinery and transport equipment, fuels and chemicals
Imports - partners: France 52%, US 14%, Trinidad and Tobago 6% (1997)
Debt - external: $1.2 billion (1988) Economic aid - recipient: $NA
Currency: euro (EUR); French franc (FRF)
Currency code: EUR; FRF
Exchange rates: Euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); French francs per US dollar - 5.8995 (1998), 5.8367 (1997)
Fiscal year: calendar year Communications French Guiana Telephones - main lines in use: 47,000 (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: NA
Telephone system: general assessment: NA domestic: fair open wire and microwave radio relay system international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 14 (including 6 repeaters), shortwave 6 (including 5 repeaters) (1998)
Radios: 104,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 3 (plus eight low-power repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 30,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .gf Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: 2,000 (2000) Transportation French Guiana
Railways: 0 km
Highways: total: 1,817 km paved: 817 km unpaved: 1,000 km (1998)
Waterways: 3,300 km navigable by native craft note: 460 km navigable by small oceangoing vessels and coastal and river steamers
Ports and harbors: Cayenne, Degrad des Cannes, Saint- Laurent du Maroni
Merchant marine: none (2002 est.)
Airports: 11 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 4 over 3,047 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 2 under 914 m: 1 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 7 914 to 1,523 m: 2 under 914 m: 5 (2001) Military French Guiana
Military branches: no regular indigenous military forces; French Forces, Gendarmerie Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 50,504 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 32,720 (2002 est.)
service: Military expenditures - dollar $NA
figure: Military expenditures - percent of NA%
GDP:
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of France Transnational Issues French Guiana Disputes - international: Suriname claims area between Riviere Litani and Riviere Marouini (both headwaters of the Lawa)
Illicit drugs: small amount of marijuana grown for local consumption; minor transshipment point to Europe

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French Guyane Française

Overseas department (pop., 2002 est.: 172,000) of France, northeastern coast of South America.

It has an area of 33,399 sq mi (86,504 sq km) and is bounded by Brazil to the south and east, by Suriname to the west, and by the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast. The capital is Cayenne. Most of French Guiana is low-lying, with mountains in the south and a swampy coastal plain. The Maroni River forms the border with Suriname. French Guiana's population is mostly Creole. The principal languages are French (official) and creole; nine-tenths of the people are Roman Catholic. Originally settled by the Spanish, French, and Dutch, the territory of French Guiana was awarded to France in 1667, and the inhabitants were made French citizens after 1877. By 1852 the French began using the territory for penal settlement; the penal colony at Devils Island was notorious. French Guiana became a department of France in 1946; the penal colonies were closed by 1953.

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Introduction
officially  Department of Guiana ,  French  Guyane , or  Département de la Guyane 

      overseas département of France, situated on the northeastern coast of South America. French Guiana has an area of 33,399 square miles (86,504 square km) and is bounded by Brazil to the south and east, Suriname to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast. The capital is Cayenne.

Land
      Geologically, the rock underlying French Guiana forms part of the crystalline massif of the Guiana Highlands. Rivers, which flow generally northeastward to the sea, have greatly eroded the massif, and most of French Guiana is low-lying. The Maroni River forms the French Guiana–Suriname border in the west, and the Oyapock forms the border with Brazil in the east. The Tumac-Humac Mountains in the south reach an elevation of 2,300 feet (700 metres). Recent alluvial deposits have formed a swampy coastal plain southeast of Cayenne. Older alluvial deposits form a savanna west of Cayenne. Dense tropical forests (mostly hardwood) predominate outside the coastal plain and cover more than four-fifths of the land area. French Guiana is subject to heavy rainfall between December and July; annual rainfall reaches 150 inches (3,800 mm) around Cayenne and tapers off toward the northeast. High temperatures predominate, and monthly averages vary between 77 and 80 °F (25 and 27 °C) at Cayenne. Wildlife includes tapirs, caimans, ocelots, sloths, great anteaters, and armadillos.

People
      French Guiana's population is principally Creole (mixed descent) with minorities of ethnic blacks, American Indians, metropolitan French, Lebanese, Chinese, East Indians, Laotians, Haitians, Brazilians, and Vietnamese. The principal languages spoken are French (official); Creole; Taki-Taki (Sranan), spoken by the ethnic blacks; American Indian dialects; and the various languages of the immigrant communities. The principal religion is Roman Catholicism, adhered to by about 90 percent of the population. Buddhism and Islam are practiced among the East Indians and Southeast Asians. The populace is concentrated principally in and around Cayenne, the largest city, and the coastal regions; the interior is largely uninhabited. Demographic rates are those generally typical of a developing country. There was immigration from Southeast Asia, Haiti, and the French Caribbean territories beginning in the late 20th century.

Economy
      French Guiana has a developing market economy, patterned on metropolitan France and sustained by aid and technical assistance from France. Services and the production, processing, and export of agricultural, forestry, and fishing products are the largest sectors of the economy. The gross national product (GNP) per capita is one of the highest in South America.

      Agriculture produces about one-twentieth of the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about one-eighth of the registered work force as well as many small subsistence and part-time farmers. Subsistence farming predominates and centres on the growing of cassava, dasheen (taro), sweet potatoes, rice, corn (maize), and bananas and plantains. Most small farms are worked and owned by families, but there are some large estates engaged in growing cash crops, including sugarcane, limes, bananas, and tropical fruits, largely for export to France.

      Forests cover more than four-fifths of the land and contain valuable commercial species. Some forestland is reserved by the state, but most is open to exploitation. Most of the timber cut is used for industrial purposes, and of this about two-fifths is exported. Pastures support mainly cattle, pigs, and poultry. Meat and milk production is limited, and large quantities of both must be imported. Shrimps account for most of the annual fish catch.

      Mineral industries are of negligible importance, and French Guiana must import mineral fuels and metallic minerals. Gold, gravel, and sand are the only minerals extracted.

      The limited manufacturing industries are concentrated on fish, meat, and crop processing and rum and sawn-wood production. Most capital and consumer goods must be imported. Electricity is generated entirely from imported mineral fuels.

      Most of the labour force is employed in administration and public services and agriculture. Wages and benefits are legislated at the same rates as those that prevail in France. Unemployment and inflation are high.

      Although about two-fifths of the country's roads are paved, the road system is underdeveloped in the interior. Dégrad des Cannes, Larivot, Saint-Laurent du Moroni, and Kourou are principal ports. Some of the country's waterways are navigable by small oceangoing craft, but most are navigable only by shallow-draft vessels. An international airport is at Cayenne. A rocket-launching base at Kourou, used by the European Space Agency, is very important to the economy, accounting for about one-quarter of French Guiana's GDP.

      The balance of trade is unfavourable, with exports covering only about one-tenth of imports. Food products, machinery, consumer goods, and refined petroleum dominate imports; shrimps, forest products, and gold are the leading exports. Major trading partners are France and the United States.

Government and social conditions
      French Guiana is governed by the provisions of the French Constitution as an overseas département of France and, as such, forms an integral part of the French Republic. It sends two elected representatives to the National Assembly and one to the Senate. Local government is headed by a prefect and by a 19-member General Council and a 31-member Regional Council; members of both are elected by universal adult suffrage. There is a local court of appeal. The principal political party is the Guianese Socialist Party. Other political parties operate freely and include the Union for a Popular Movement, the Union for French Democracy, the Guiana Democratic Forces, and the Left Radical Party, a part of the Walwari movement.

      The social-security system of France is used in French Guiana. It provides payments for work injury, unemployment, and maternity, as well as family allowances and also old-age, disability, and survivor pensions. Health conditions are generally good. The principal causes of death are diseases of the arteries, accidents, and cancer. The Pasteur Institute, located in Cayenne, conducts research on tropical and endemic local diseases and is renowned throughout Latin America. Life expectancy averages 63 years for men and 70 years for women.

      Education is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. Nearly all eligible children attend school. There are private colleges and several teacher-training colleges, and university education is available in France or the French Antilles. The news media are free from direct government control, but subsidies and licensing induce considerable self-control. The principal newspaper is La Presse de Guyane, published in Cayenne.

      French Guiana's cultural life reflects the diverse background of the resident ethnic communities. Indigenous and African crafts, customs, and arts predominate among American Indians and ethnic blacks. In the metropolitan areas a distinctive mixed-Creole culture is dominant, highlighted by brilliantly coloured and distinctively patterned costumes; dances reflecting African, East Indian, and French 18th-century influence; and festivals, especially the pre-Lenten Carnival, when much of the population devotes itself to costume design, musical composition, and dance competitions. Léon Damas, a French Guianese poet, was a leader of the Caribbean Modernist literary movement of the 1920s.

History
      Spaniards explored the Guiana coast in 1500 and settled the area around Cayenne in 1503. French merchants from Rouen opened a trading centre in Sinnamary in 1624, followed by others from Rouen or Paris who founded Cayenne in 1643. The Treaty of Breda (Breda, Treaty of) awarded the territory to France in 1667, and the Dutch, who had occupied Cayenne in 1664, were expelled in 1676. Inhabitants of the territory were made French citizens, with representation in the French Parliament after 1877. However, by 1852 the French began using the territory as a penal colony where deported convicts were imprisoned in dreadful conditions exemplified by the notorious Devils Island. More than 70,000 French convicts were deported to French Guiana between 1852 and 1939; the penal colony on Devils Island was abolished only after the startling exposé by Albert Londres (1884–1932). Another aspect of French Guiana, however, was the pioneering community at Mana (1827–46) founded by Anne-Marie Javouhey, mother-superior of the community of St. Joseph of Cluny, who, with Father Francis Libermann, established one of the earliest educational systems for the freed black slaves and women, in the spirit of French Roman Catholic humanism.

      French Guiana became a département of France in 1946; it was given regional status in 1974. Its general postwar economic stagnation was partially relieved by the construction of the European Space Agency's rocket-launching base and a new town at Kourou in 1968, and by the adoption in the late 1970s of the Plan Vert (“Green Plan”), which encouraged increased agricultural and forestry production. However, overall economic gains were not enduring and did not eliminate high rates of unemployment, leaving many French Guianese dissatisfied with French administration; this frustration was intensified by the desire for greater autonomy or independence for the department. These two issues continued to be a source of unrest in the 1980s, '90s, and into the 21st century, evoking many protests and demonstrations.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • French Guiana — French overseas department in NE South America, on the Atlantic: 35,135 sq mi (90,999 sq km); pop. 115,000; cap. Cayenne …   English World dictionary

  • French Guiana — Infobox French region native name = Région Guyane common name = Guyane image flag size = 130px image logo size = 100px Region flag Region logo capital = Cayenne area = 83,534 area scale = 10 Regional president = Antoine Karam (PSG) (since 1992)… …   Wikipedia

  • French Guiana — noun Overseas department of France in South America. Official name: Department of French Guiana …   Wiktionary

  • French Guiana — French′ Gui•an′a [[t]giˈæn ə, ˈɑ nə[/t]] n. geg an overseas department of France, on the NE coast of South America: formerly a French colony. 73,012; 35,135 sq. mi. (91,000 sq. km) Cap.: Cayenne French′ Guianese′, French′ Guian′an, adj. n …   From formal English to slang

  • French Guiana — French Guianese, French Guianan. /gee an euh, gee ah neuh/ an overseas department of France, on the NE coast of South America: formerly a French colony. 49,200; 35,135 sq. mi. (91,000 sq. km). Cap.: Cayenne …   Useful english dictionary

  • French Guiana — French Gui|a|na a country in northeast South America which is a ↑department of France. Population: 177,562 (2001). Capital: Cayenne …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • French Guiana — French overseas dept. NE South America; 33,399 sq. mi.; pop. 117,000; cap. Cayenne …   Webster's Gazetteer

  • French Guiana — /frɛntʃ giˈanə/ (say french gee ahnuh) noun an overseas department of France on the north eastern coast of South America; formerly a French colony. 90 000 km2. Languages: French and various Native American languages. Capital: Cayenne …   Australian English dictionary

  • French Guiana — n. French territory on the northeastern coast of South America …   English contemporary dictionary

  • French Guiana — geographical name country N South America; an overseas department of France capital Cayenne area 35,126 square miles (90,976 square kilometers), population 128,000 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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