Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is a tropical country on West Africa’s Atlantic coast that’s known for national parks and wildlife. The forested, sparsely populated Bijagós archipelago is a protected biosphere reserve. Its main island, Bubaque, forms part of the Orango Islands National Park, a habitat for saltwater hippos. On the mainland, the capital, Bissau, is a port with Portuguese colonial buildings in its old city center.

A neighbor of Senegal and Guinea in West Africa, on the Atlantic coast, Guinea-Bissau is about half the size of South Carolina. The country is a low-lying coastal region of swamps, rain forests, and mangrove-covered wetlands, with about 25 islands off the coast. The Bijagos archipelago extends 30 mi (48 km) out to sea.

Key Cities

Key cities in Guinea-Bissau include: Bissau, Bafata, Gabu, Bissora, Bolama, Cacheu, Catio, Bubaque, Mansoa, and Buba.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

In 1879, the connection with the islands was broken. The African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (another Portuguese colony) was founded in 1956, and guerrilla warfare by nationalists grew increasingly effective. The new republic took the name Guinea-Bissau.

Some of the more prominent groups are Fula, Mandinka, Balanta, Papel, Manjaco, and Mancanha, who live in different regions. Much of the remainder of the population is a mix of African and Portuguese descent. There is also a Cape Verdean minority. Music is a big part of life in Guinea-Bissau.

Brief Country History

The first European to encounter Guinea-Bissau was the Portuguese explorer Nuño Tristão in 1446; colonists in the Cape Verde islands obtained trading rights in the territory, and it became a center of the Portuguese slave trade. In 1879, the connection with the islands was broken.

From the viewpoint of European history, the Guinea Coast is associated mainly with slavery. Indeed, one of the alternative names for the region is the Slave Coast. But the link is entirely the result of the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. Before that period the slave trade, centuries-old in the interior of Africa, is not yet a significant feature of the coastal economy. The change occurs after the Portuguese reach this region in 1446.

The Portuguese use slave labor to grow cotton and indigo in the previously uninhabited Cape Verde islands. They then trade these goods, in the estuary of the Geba River, for slaves captured in local African wars and raids. The slaves are sold in Europe and, from the 16th century, in the Americas.

 Language (s) Written & Spoken

The official language of Guinea-Bissau is Portuguese. Portuguese is spoken by 91% of the population. French is also learned in schools, as Guinea-Bissau is surrounded by French-speaking countries and is a full member of the Francophonie as well as the CPLP.

In Guinea-Bissau the spoken language is Portuguese and the written language is Portuguese.

Important Types of Commerce in Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is one of the least developed countries and also among the 10 poorest in the world. After the country’s independence, the first president, Luis Cabral, tried to impose a planned economy and also supported a socialist model, leaving the country’s economy ruined. Guinea-Bissau has a history of political instability including the coup d’etat including the 2012 coup which resulted in a -1.5% growth of the GDP. In 2013, the GDP grew by only 0.9%. The slow growth of the economy is also attributed to low administrative efficiency and a lack of sufficient investment as a result of political instability. In May 2015, Guinea-Bissau hosted a donor conference in Belgium. During the conference, several partners and donors pledged to support the country’s strategic and operational plan popularly known as “Terra Ranka” (A fresh start). Here are the biggest industries in Guinea-Bissau that play an important role in the country’s underdeveloped economy.

  • Agriculture
  • Fishing
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing

Language Services US and others will provide working with Guinea-Bissau

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