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Guinea-Bissau

 
Flag of Guinea-Bissau
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Coordinates:
12.00 N  15.00 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Guinea-Bissau

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. Despite setting a path to a market economy and multiparty system, VIEIRA's regime was characterized by the suppression of political opposition and the purging of political rivals. Several coup attempts through the 1980s and early 1990s failed to unseat him. In 1994 VIEIRA was elected president in the country's first free elections. A military mutiny and resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to VIEIRA's ouster in May 1999. In February 2000, a transitional government turned over power to opposition leader Kumba YALA, after he was elected president in transparent polling. In September 2003, after only three years in office, YALA was ousted by the military in a bloodless coup, and businessman Henrique ROSA was sworn in as interim president. In August 2005, former President VIEIRA was re-elected president in the second round of presidential polling. Since formally assuming office in October 2005, Vieira has pledged to pursue economic development and national reconciliation.
   Geography    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
12 00 N, 15 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 36,120 sq km
land: 28,000 sq km
water: 8,120 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than three times the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 724 km
border countries: Guinea 386 km, Senegal 338 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
350 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location in the northeast corner of the country 300 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 8.31%
permanent crops: 6.92%
other: 84.77% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
250 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
this small country is swampy along its western coast and low-lying further inland
   People    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,442,029 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 41.4% (male 297,623/female 298,942)
15-64 years: 55.6% (male 384,559/female 417,811)
65 years and over: 3% (male 18,048/female 25,046) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 19 years
male: 18.4 years
female: 19.6 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.07% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
37.22 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16.53 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 105.21 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 115.53 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 94.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 46.87 years
male: 45.05 years
female: 48.75 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.86 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,200 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
African 99% (includes - Balanta 30%, Fula 20%, Manjaca 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel 7%), European and mulatto less than 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
indigenous beliefs 50%, Muslim 45%, Christian 5%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42.4%
male: 58.1%
female: 27.4% (2003 est.)
   Government    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
conventional short form: Guinea-Bissau
local long form: Republica da Guine-Bissau
local short form: Guine-Bissau
former: Portuguese Guinea
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic, multiparty since mid-1991
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Bissau
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
9 regions (regioes, singular - regiao); Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bolama, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, Tombali; note - Bolama may have been renamed Bolama/Bijagos
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
24 September 1973 (unilaterally declared by Guinea-Bissau); 10 September 1974 (recognized by Portugal)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 24 September (1973)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
16 May 1984; amended 4 May 1991, 4 December 1991, 26 February 1993, 9 June 1993, NA 1996
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA (since 1 October 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Aristides GOMES (since 2 November 2005)
cabinet: NA
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held 24 July 2005 (next to be held in 2010); prime minister appointed by the president after consultation with party leaders in the legislature
election results: Joao Bernardo VIEIRA elected president; percent of vote, second ballot - Joao Bernardo VIEIRA 52.4%, Malan Bacai SANHA 47.6%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National People's Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (100 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve a maximum of four years)
elections: last held 28 March 2004 (next to be held in 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAIGC 31.5%, PRS 24.8%, PUSD 16.1%, UE 4.1%, APU 1.3%, 13 other parties 22.2%; seats by party - PAIGC 45, PRS 35, PUSD 17, UE 2, APU 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal da Justica (consists of nine justices appointed by the president and serve at his pleasure; final court of appeals in criminal and civil cases); Regional Courts (one in each of nine regions; first court of appeals for Sectoral Court decisions; hear all felony cases and civil cases valued at over $1,000); 24 Sectoral Courts (judges are not necessarily trained lawyers; they hear civil cases under $1,000 and misdemeanor criminal cases)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde or PAIGC [Carlos GOMES Junior]; Democratic Social Front or FDS; Electoral Union or UE; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Victor MANDINGA]; Social Renovation Party or PRS [Alberto NAMBEIA]; Union for Change or UM [Jorge MANDINGA, president, Dr. Anne SAAD, secretary general]; United Platform or UP [coalition formed by PCD, FDS, FLING, and RGB-MB]; United Popular Alliance or APU; United Social Democratic Party or PUSD [Francisco Jose FADUL]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Henrique Adriano DA SILVA; note - his address is 15929 Yukon Lane, Rockville, MD 20855
mailing address: P. O. Box 33813, Washington, DC 20033
telephone: [1] (301) 947-3958
FAX: [1] (202) 347-3954
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
the US Embassy suspended operations on 14 June 1998 in the midst of violent conflict between forces loyal to then President VIEIRA and military-led junta; US Embassy Dakar is responsible for covering Guinea-Bissau: telephone - [221] 823-4296; FAX - [221] 822-5903
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and green with a vertical red band on the hoist side; there is a black five-pointed star centered in the red band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia
   Economy    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
One of the 10 poorest countries in the world, Guinea-Bissau depends mainly on farming and fishing. Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years, and the country now ranks sixth in cashew production. Guinea-Bissau exports fish and seafood along with small amounts of peanuts, palm kernels, and timber. Rice is the major crop and staple food. However, intermittent fighting between Senegalese-backed government troops and a military junta destroyed much of the country's infrastructure and caused widespread damage to the economy in 1998; the civil war led to a 28% drop in GDP that year, with partial recovery in 1999-2002. Before the war, trade reform and price liberalization were the most successful part of the country's structural adjustment program under IMF sponsorship. The tightening of monetary policy and the development of the private sector had also begun to reinvigorate the economy. Because of high costs, the development of petroleum, phosphate, and other mineral resources is not a near-term prospect. However, offshore oil prospecting has begun and could lead to much-needed revenue in the long run. The inequality of income distribution is one of the most extreme in the world. The government and international donors continue to work out plans to forward economic development from a lamentably low base. In December 2003, the World Bank, IMF, and UNDP were forced to step in to provide emergency budgetary support in the amount of $107 million for 2004, representing over 80% of the total national budget. Government drift and indecision, however, have resulted in continued low growth in 2002-05.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.185 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$280 million (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.3% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$800 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 62%
industry: 12%
services: 26% (1999 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
480,000 (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 82%
industry and services: 18% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 0.5%
highest 10%: 42.4% (1991)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4% (2002 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.7% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
56 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
52.08 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,450 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$116 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
cashew nuts, shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn lumber
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
India 68.9%, Nigeria 17.5%, Ecuador 4.6% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$176 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Senegal 35.7%, Italy 18.8%, Portugal 12.8% (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$941.5 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$115.4 million (1995)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002), 733.04 (2001)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10,600 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,300 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: small system
domestic: combination of microwave radio relay, open-wire lines, radiotelephone, and cellular communications
international: country code - 245
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1 (transmitter out of service), FM 4, shortwave 0 (2002)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
NA (2005)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.gw
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
26,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
28 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 20 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 4,400 km
paved: 453 km
unpaved: 3,947 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
four largest rivers are navigable for some distance; many inlets and creeks give shallow-water access to much of interior (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Bissau, Buba, Cacheu, Farim
   Military    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
People's Revolutionary Armed Force (FARP; includes Army, Navy, and Air Force), paramilitary force
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for compulsory military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 287,542
females age 18-49: 297,295 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 152,681
females age 18-49: 161,033 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9.46 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.1% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Guinea-Bissau Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
attempts to stem refugees and cross-border raids, arms smuggling, and political instability from a separatist movement in Senegal's Casamance region

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook