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Guinea-Bissau

 

Guinea-Bissau
Introduction Guinea-Bissau
--------------------------
Background: In 1994, 20 years after independence
from Portugal, the country's first
multiparty legislative and
presidential elections were held. An
army uprising that triggered a
bloody civil war in 1998, created
hundreds of thousands of displaced
persons. The president was ousted by
a military junta in May 1999. An
interim government turned over power
in February 2000 when opposition
leader Kumba YALA took office
following two rounds of transparent
presidential elections. Guinea-
Bissau's transition back to
democracy will be complicated by its
crippled economy devastated in the
civil war.

Geography Guinea-Bissau
-----------------------
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North
Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and
Senegal
Geographic coordinates: 12 00 N, 15 00 W
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 36,120 sq km
water: 8,120 sq km
land: 28,000 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly less than three times the
size of Connecticut
Land boundaries: total: 724 km
border countries: Guinea 386 km,
Senegal 338 km
Coastline: 350 km
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate: 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: mostly low coastal plain rising to
savanna in east
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location in
the northeast corner of the country
300 m
Natural resources: fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite,
unexploited deposits of petroleum
Land use: arable land: 10.67%
permanent crops: 1.78%
other: 87.55% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 170 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may
reduce visibility during dry season;
brush fires
Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion;
overgrazing; overfishing
Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Law of the Sea, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of
the selected agreements
Geography - note: this small country is swampy along
its western coast and low-lying
further inland

People Guinea-Bissau
--------------------
Population: 1,345,479 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 41.9% (male 281,394;
female 282,641)
15-64 years: 55.2% (male 353,755;
female 388,968)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male
17,130; female 21,591) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.23% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 38.95 births/1,000 population (2002
est.)
Death rate: 15.05 deaths/1,000 population (2002
est.)
Net migration rate: -1.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population
(2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/
female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 108.54 deaths/1,000 live births
(2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 49.8 years
female: 52.2 years (2002 est.)
male: 47.47 years
Total fertility rate: 5.13 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.5% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 14,000 (1999 est.)
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,300 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Guinean (s)
adjective: Guinean
Ethnic groups: African 99% (Balanta 30%, Fula 20%,
Manjaca 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel
7%), European and mulatto less than
1%
Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Muslim 45%,
Christian 5%
Languages: Portuguese (official), Crioulo,
African languages
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
and write
total population: 34%
male: 50%
female: 18% (2000 est.)

Government Guinea-Bissau
------------------------
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of
Guinea-Bissau
conventional short form: Guinea-
Bissau
local short form: Guine-Bissau
local long form: Republica da Guine-
Bissau
former: Portuguese Guinea
Government type: republic, multiparty since mid-1991
Capital: Bissau
Administrative divisions: 9 regions (regioes, singular -
regiao); Bafata, Biombo, Bissau,
Bolama, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara,
Tombali; note - Bolama may have been
renamed Bolama/Bijagos
Independence: 24 September 1973 (unilaterally
declared by Guinea-Bissau); 10
September 1974 (recognized by
Portugal)
National holiday: Independence Day, 24 September
(1973)
Constitution: 16 May 1984, amended 4 May 1991, 4
December 1991, 26 February 1993, 9
June 1993, and 1996
Legal system: NA
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Kumba YALA
(since 18 February 2000)
elections: president elected by
popular vote for a five-year term;
election last held 28 November 1999
and 16 January 2000 (next to be held
NA 2004); prime minister appointed
by the president after consultation
with party leaders in the
legislature
election results: Kumba YALA elected
president; percent of vote, second
ballot - Kumba YALA (PRS) 72%, Malan
Bacai SANHA (PAIGC) 28%
cabinet: NA
head of government: Prime Minister
Alamara Intchia NHASSE (since 7
December 2001)
Legislative branch: 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 November
1999 (next to be held NA 2003)
election results: percent of vote by
party - NA%; seats by party - PRS
37, RGB 27, PAIGC 25, 11 remaining
seats went to 5 of the remaining 10
parties that fielded candidates
Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal da
Justica (consists of nine justices
who are 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: African Party for the Independence
of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde or
PAIGC [Francisco BENANTE]; Front for
the Liberation and Independence of
Guinea or FLING [Francois MENDY];
Guinea-Bissau Resistance-Ba Fata
Movement or RGB-MB [Helder Vaz
LOPES]; Guinean Civic Forum or FCG
[Antonieta Rosa GOMES];
International League for Ecological
Protection or LIPE [Alhaje Bubacar
DJALO, president]; National Union
for Democracy and Progress or UNDP
[Abubacer BALDE, secretary general];
Party for Democratic Convergence or
PCD [Victor MANDINGA]; Social
Renovation Party or PRS [Kumba
YALA]; Union for Change or UM [Jorge
MANDINGA, president, Dr. Anne SAAD,
secretary general]; United Social
Democratic Party or PUSD [Victor
Sau'de MARIA]
Political pressure groups and NA
leaders:
International organization ACCT, ACP, AfDB, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO,
participation: FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM,
IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO,
IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU,
NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW (signatory), UN,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WADB
(regional), WAEMU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador
(vacant); Charge d'Affaires Henrique
Adriano DA SILVA
chancery: c/o P. O. Box 33813,
Washington, DC 20033-3813
telephone: [1] (301) 947-3958
FAX: [1] (391) 947-3958
Diplomatic representation from the the US Embassy suspended operations
US: on 14 June 1998 in the midst of
violent conflict between forces
loyal to then President VIEIRA and
military-led junta; for the time
being, US embassy Dakar is
responsible for covering Guinea-
Bissau: [221] 823-4296
Flag description: 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
---------------------
Economy - overview: 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 1999-2001.
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, unexploited
offshore oil reserves could provide
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.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.2
billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 7.2% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $900 (2001
est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 54%
industry: 15%
services: 31% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 0.5%
percentage share: highest 10%: 42.4% (1991)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 480,000
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 82% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Budget: revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital
expenditures of $NA
Industries: agricultural products processing,
beer, soft drinks
Industrial production growth rate: 2.6% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production: 60 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption: 55.8 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: rice, corn, beans, cassava
(tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts,
palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
Exports: $80 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: cashew nuts 70%, shrimp, peanuts,
palm kernels, sawn lumber
Exports - partners: India 51.4%, Italy 2.7%, South Korea
2.0%, Belgium 2.0% (2000)
Imports: $55.2 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and transport
equipment, petroleum products
Imports - partners: Portugal 30%, Senegal 14.6%,
Thailand 8.5%, China 5.7% (2000)
Debt - external: $931 million (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $115.4 million (1995)
Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine
franc (XOF); note - responsible
authority is the Central Bank of the
West African States; previously the
Guinea-Bissau peso (GWP) was used
Currency code: XOF; GWP
Exchange rates: Communaute Financiere Africaine
francs (XOF) per US dollar - 742.79
(January 2002), 733.04 (2001),
711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95
(1998), 583.67 (1997)
note: as of 1 May 1997, Guinea-
Bissau adopted the XOF franc as the
national currency; since 1 January
1999, the XOF franc is pegged to the
euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs
per euro
Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications Guinea-Bissau
----------------------------
Telephones - main lines in use: 10,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular: NA
Telephone system: general assessment: small system
domestic: combination of microwave
radio relay, open-wire lines,
radiotelephone, and cellular
communications
international: NA
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1 (transmitter out of service),
FM 4, shortwave 0 (2002)
Radios: 49,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations: NA (1997)
Televisions: NA
Internet country code: .gw
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2002)
Internet users: 1,500 (1999)

Transportation Guinea-Bissau
----------------------------
Railways: 0 km
Highways: total: 4,400 km
paved: 453 km
unpaved: 3,947 km (1996)
Waterways: several rivers are accessible to
coastal shipping
Ports and harbors: Bissau, Buba, Cacheu, Farim
Merchant marine: none (2002 est.)
Airports: 28 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 20 (2001)

Military Guinea-Bissau
----------------------
Military branches: People's Revolutionary Armed Force
(FARP; includes Army, Navy, and Air
Force), paramilitary force
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 313,573 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 178,404 (2002 est.)
service:
Military expenditures - dollar $5.6 million (FY01)
figure:
Military expenditures - percent of 2.8% (FY01)
GDP:

Transnational Issues Guinea-Bissau
----------------------------------
Disputes - international: Senegalese separatists disrupt legal
border trade with smuggling, cattle
rustling, and other illegal
activities
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