What is the change? The Republic of Guinea has adopted new work permit rules that require employers hiring foreign workers to train local workers. The government has also increased the annual duty on work permits and designated certain jobs for Guinean workers only.
What does the change mean? Employers hiring foreign nationals must obtain authorization from the public employment service and the Guinean Agency for the Promotion of Employment (AGUIPE) and submit an Africanization plan that sets out the employer’s steps to train Guinean nationals for jobs held by foreign workers.
Implementation time frame: Immediate. Companies currently employing foreign workers who were hired before the new rule was adopted will have 90 days to submit Africanization plans.
Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
Who is affected: Companies hiring foreign nationals. Nationals of ECOWAS member states are not affected.
Impact on processing times: The requirement that employers submit an Africanization plan may lengthen the overall process.
Business impact: The measures seek to protect the local work force and make sure employers have plans to transition skills to Guinean workers.
Next steps: Companies with foreign staff holding supervisory and senior executive roles should prepare their Africanization plans. Companies already employing foreign nationals must submit the plans within the 90-day deadline. Companies applying for work permits must submit the plan with their applications.
Background: According to a ministerial order on regulating foreign labor, employers must submit Africanization plans to train Guinean nationals for jobs held by foreigners. Plans must be executed within two years for supervisory positions and four years for senior executives. AGUIPE will review the plans before issuing work permits.
In other changes, the government has increased the annual duty that employers must pay each year on work permits from US$300 to US$1,000 and has issued a list of protected jobs that may only be occupied by Guinean nationals. The list includes jobs in manufacturing, maintenance and repair, transport, construction, agriculture and others.
BAL Analysis: Employers should be aware of the new requirements to put in place training and transition programs. To avoid potential delays in processing, companies should make their Africanization plans available as soon as possible.

Arrest of Muslim cleric incites unrest in Conakry The arrest of a Muslim cleric involved in the burial of a suspected Ebola victim sparked widespread unrest in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, on 9 February. Protesters took to the streets of an undisclosed area of the capital and blockaded roads with burning tyres and other debris. Several vehicles, including a bus owned by a local hotel, was attacked and vandalised in the unrest. At least 12 people were wounded in clashes which ensued between protesters and riot police deployed to disperse the unrest. The aforementioned incident highlights how small-scale protests can violently escalate with little to no warning in Guinea. Indeed, issues linked to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the country, which has placed restrictions on burial practices, is particularly emotive and has often prompted outbreaks of violent unrest. Foreign nationals have often been targeted in such unrest amid local beliefs that the Ebola virus is a foreign disease which was brought to the country by Western nationals. Consequently, foreign nationals in Guinea are advised to maintain a low profile and should defer travel to areas affected by civil unrest, particularly if such agitation is linked to the Ebola outbreak.