Guinea-Bissau

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Introduction - Guinea-Bissau:
CountryGuinea-Bissau
BackgroundSince 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, VIEIRAs 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 countrys first free elections. A military mutiny and resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to VIEIRAs 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 2005, former President VIEIRA was re-elected president pledging to pursue economic development and national reconciliation.
Location - Guinea-Bissau:
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
Geographic coordinates12 00 N, 15 00 W
Map referencesAfrica
Areatotal: 36,120 sq km
land: 28,000 sq km
water: 8,120 sq km
Area comparativeslightly less than three times the size of Connecticut
Land boundariestotal: 724 km
border countries: Guinea 386 km, Senegal 338 km
Coastline350 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Terrainmostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east
Elevation extremeslowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location in the northeast corner of the country 300 m
Natural resourcesfish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum
Land usearable land: 8.31%
permanent crops: 6.92%
other: 84.77% (2005)
Irrigated land250 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardshot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
Environment current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing
Environment international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography notethis small country is swampy along its western coast and low-lying further inland
People - Guinea-Bissau:
Population1,472,780 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 41.2% (male 302,408/female 303,786)
15-64 years: 55.8% (male 394,799/female 427,055)
65 years and over: 3% (male 18,463/female 26,269) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.1 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 19.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate2.052% (2007 est.)
Birth rate36.81 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate16.29 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.995 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.924 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.703 male(s)/female
total population: 0.945 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 103.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 113.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 93.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 47.18 years
male: 45.37 years
female: 49.04 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate4.79 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rate10% (2003 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids17,000 (2001 est.)
Hiv aids deaths1,200 (2001 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
Major infectious diseasesdegree 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 (2007)
Ethnic groupsAfrican 99% (includes Balanta 30%, Fula 20%, Manjaca 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel 7%), European and mulatto less than 1%
Religionsindigenous beliefs 50%, Muslim 45%, Christian 5%
LanguagesPortuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42.4%
male: 58.1%
female: 27.4% (2003 est.)
Government - Guinea-Bissau:
Country nameconventional 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 typerepublic
Capitalname: Bissau
geographic coordinates: 11 51 N, 15 35 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 regions (regioes, singular - regiao); Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bolama, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, Tombali; note - Bolama may have been renamed Bolama/Bijagos
Independence24 September 1973 (declared); 10 September 1974 (recognized by Portugal)
National holidayIndependence Day, 24 September (1973)
Constitution16 May 1984; amended 4 May 1991, 4 December 1991, 26 February 1993, 9 June 1993, and in 1996
Legal systembased on French civil law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Joao Bernardo Nino VIEIRA (since 1 October 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Martinho NDafa CABI (since 9 April 2007)
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
election results: Joao Bernardo VIEIRA elected president; percent of vote, second ballot - Joao Bernardo VIEIRA 52.4%, Malam Bacai SANHA 47.6%
Legislative branchunicameral National Peoples Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (100 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
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 branchSupreme 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 leadersAfrican Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde or PAIGC [Carlos GOMES Junior]; Party for Social Renewal or PRS [Kumba YALA]; Democratic Social Front or FDS; Electoral Union or UE; Guinea-Bissau Civic Forum/Social Democracy or FCGSD [Antonieta Rosa GOMES]; Guinea-Bissau Democratic Party or PDG; Guinea-Bissau Socialist Democratic Party or PDSG [Serifo BALDE]; Labor and Solidarity Party or PST [Iancuba INDJAI]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Victor MANDINGA]; Party for Renewal and Progress or PRP; Progress Party or PP [Ibrahima SOW]; Union for Change or UM [Amine SAAD]; Union of Guinean Patriots or UPG [Francisca VAZ]; United Platform or UP (coalition formed by PCD, FDS, FLING, and RGB-MB); United Popular Alliance or APU; United Social Democratic Party or PUSD
Political pressure groups and leadersNA
International organization participationACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, ECOWAS, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: none; note - Guinea-Bissau does not have official representation in Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation from the usthe 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; the US Ambassador to Senegal is accredited to Guinea-Bissau
Flag descriptiontwo 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:
Economy overviewOne 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 countrys 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 countrys 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, resulted in continued low growth in 2002-06.
Gdp purchasing power parity $1.249 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $292.9 million (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate2.1% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $900 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 62%
industry: 12%
services: 26% (1999 est.)
Labor force480,000 (1999)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 82%
industry and services: 18% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 0.5%
highest 10%: 42.4% (1991)
Inflation rate consumer prices 4% (2002 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Agriculture productsrice, corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
Industriesagricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks
Industrial production growth rate4.7% (2003 est.)
Electricity production58.02 million kWh (2004)
Electricity consumption53.96 million kWh (2004)
Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2004)
Oil production0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil consumption2,500 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil exportsNA bbl/day
Oil importsNA bbl/day
Oil proved reserves0 bbl
Natural gas production0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas consumption0 cu m (2004 est.)
Exports$116 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports commoditiescashew nuts, shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn lumber
Exports partnersIndia 72.4%, Nigeria 17.2%, Ecuador 4.1% (2006)
Imports$176 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports commoditiesfoodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products
Imports partnersSenegal 22.6%, Portugal 17.7%, Italy 12.2%, Pakistan 4.3% (2006)
Debt external$941.5 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid recipient$115.4 million (1995)
Currency code Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Exchange ratesCommunaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003), 696.99 (2002)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro
Communications - Guinea-Bissau:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use10,200 (2005)
Telephones mobile cellular95,000 (2005)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: small system
domestic: combination of microwave radio relay, open-wire lines, radiotelephone, and cellular communications
international: country code - 245
Radio broadcast stationsAM 1 (transmitter out of service), FM 4, shortwave 0 (2001)
Television broadcast stationsNA (2005)
Internet country code.gw
Internet hosts5 (2006)
Internet users37,000 (2006)
Transportation - Guinea-Bissau:
Airports28 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 20 (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 3,455 km
paved: 965 km
unpaved: 2,490 km (2002)
Waterwaysrivers are navigable for some distance; many inlets and creeks give shallow-water access to much of interior (2007)
Ports and terminalsBissau, Buba, Cacheu, Farim
Military - Guinea-Bissau:
Military branchesPeoples Revolutionary Armed Force (FARP): Army, Navy, Air Force; paramilitary force
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for selective compulsory military service (2006)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 287,542
females age 18-49: 297,295 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 152,681
females age 18-49: 161,033 (2005 est.)
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 7,320 (Senegal) (2006)
Military expenditures percent of gdp3.1% (2005 est.)
Disputes internationalin 2006, political instability within Senegals Casamance region resulted in thousands of Senegalese refugees, cross-border raids, and arms smuggling into Guinea-Bissau
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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