The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is a country on the Atlantic coast of western Africa. The small country, a former Portuguese colony, is bounded on the north by Senegal, to the south and east by Guinea, and to the west by the Atlantic. Its capital is Bissau.

Repùblica da Guiné-Bissau
coat of arms
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Xxxxx
Official language Portuguese
Capital Bissau
President Henrique Rosa
Prime minister Artur Sanhá
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 133rd
36,120 km²
12% / Negligible
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
Ranked xth
 - Declared
 - Recognised
(from Portugal)
24 Sep 1973
10 Sep 1974
Currency CFA franc
Time zone UTC
National anthem Esta é a Nossa Pátrai Bem Amada
Internet TLD .gw
Calling Code245

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Regions
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 External Links


Main article: History of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau was once the kingdom of Gabù, part of the Mali Empire; parts of the kingdom subsisted until the 18th century. Though the rivers and coast of this area were among the first places colonized by the Portuguese, and they began the slave trade in the 17th century, they did not explore the interior until the 19th century. A rebellion beginning in 1956 by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) consolidated its hold on the country by 1973. Independence came with the Portuguese revolution of 1974. The country was controlled by a revolutionary council until 1984. The first multi-party elections were held in 1994, but an army uprising in 1998 led to the president's ouster and a bloody civil war. Elections were held in 2000 and Kumba Yala was elected. In September 2003 a coup took place in which the military arrested Yala, because "he was unable to solve the problems". It is unclear if the elections, planned for October 12 after they had been postponed four times, will take place or not.


Main article: Politics of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau has a multi-party National People's Assembly, as well as a president, both elected by popular vote. The president appoints the prime minister after consultation with the parties in the assembly. The former president, Kumba Yala, belongs to the Social Renovation Party or PRS; other parties in the assembly include the Guinea-Bissau Resistance and PAIGC.


Main article: Regions of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is divided into nine regions (regiões):


Main article:
Geography of Guinea-Bissau

This small, tropical country lies at a low altitude; its highest point is 300 metres. The interior is savanna, and the coast line is swampy plain. Its monsoon-like rainy season alternates with periods of hot, dry harmattan winds blowing from the Sahara. The Bijagos Archipelago extends out to sea.


Main article: Economy of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is among the 20 poorest countries of the world. Its farming and fishing economy was badly disrupted by the 1998-99 civil war. It has a foreign debt of $US 921 million and is subject to an IMF structural adjustment program.


Main article: Demographics of Guinea-Bissau

The population of Guinea-Bissau is ethnically diverse with distinct languages, customs, and social structures. Most people are farmers, with traditional religious beliefs (animism); 45% are Muslim, principally Fula and Mandinka-speaker concentrated in the north and northeast. Other important groups are the Balanta and Papel, living in the southern coastal regions, and the Manjaco and Mancanha, occupying the central and northern coastal areas.


Main article: Culture of Guinea-Bissau

DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks
September 24Independence DayDate of unilaterally-declared independence from Portugal

Miscellaneous topics

External Links

Community of Portuguese Language Countries  |  Countries of the world  |  Africa