Guinea Bissau

Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Capital: Bissau Nationality: Guinean Population: 1,565,126
Currency: CFA(XOF) Off. Lang: Portuguese Area: 36,125 sq km
Internet DM: gw GDP: $1.784 billion Life Exp: 48.3 years
Literacy: 42.4% Location: 12 00 N, 15 00 W Calling Code: 245

Guinea Bissau (gin-ee-bi-sou) is a west African country bordered by Senegal to the north, Atlantic Ocean to the west, and southeast Guinea. The location is 12 00 N, 15 00 W. The country has an area of 36,125 sq km. Bissau is the capital.





The population is at 1,565,126, with a life expectancy of 48.3 years. The ethnic breakdown is 30% Balanta, 20% Fula, 14% Manjaca, 13% Mandinka, 7% Papel,  16% other.


Guinea Bissau was part of the Mali Empire. When Mali declined the Kingdom of Kaabu emerged, ruled at Kansala. Kaabu would eventually be defeated by the Fulani from Fouta Djalon. The first Europeans arrived in 1456. By 1500, large group of Portuguese and mixed Portuguese population sprang up. Trade in gold was initially significant but later replaced with trade in slaves. Slavery was abolished by the 1840s. In 1884, Guinea Bissau became a Portuguese colony.  Eventually, groundnuts and palm oil became a major source of trade for the region. In 1963 armed rebellion for independence took place. Independence was achieved in 1974, after which numerous coups ensued. In 1998, the country experienced civil war, which ended in 1999. Kumba Yala was elected in 2003 and later ousted by Joao Vieira. Joao Vieira was assasinated in 2009. Malam Bacai Sanha was democratically elected.


Works Cited

CIA, factbook, Guinea Bissau

US Department of State, Guinea Bissau

Hudgens, Jim and Trillo, Richard(2003). Rough Guide to West Africa. ISBN 1843531186, 9781843531180