Guinea risks becoming West Africa's next failed state. Its economy is faltering, the government has nearly ceased to provide services, and in 2004, there were isolated uprisings in at least eight towns and cities in all regions of the country. Getting it wrong in Guinea now could have disastrous consequences. Getting it right will require a greater engagement by both the Guinean population and the diplomatic and donor communities, including a focus much more on reforming institutions than on the immediate personnel issues involved in the succession to the ailing and dictatorial president, Lansana Conté.