GUINEA-BISSAU (/ˈɡɪni bɪˈsaʊ/ ( listen ), GI-nee-bi-SOW ),
officially the REPUBLIC OF GUINEA-BISSAU (Portuguese : República da
Guiné-Bissau, pronounced ), is a country in West
Only 14% of the population speaks noncreolized Portuguese ,
established as both the official and national language. Portuguese
exists in creole continuum with Crioulo , a Portuguese creole spoken
by half the population (44%) and an even larger number speaks it as
second tongue, the remainder speak a variety of native African
languages. There are diverse religions in Guinea-
* 1 History
* 1.1 Independence (1973) * 1.2 Vieira years
* 2 Politics
* 2.1 Foreign relations * 2.2 Military * 2.3 Administrative divisions
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Climate * 3.2 Environmental issues
* 4 Economy
* 5 Society
* 5.1 Demographics
* 6 Culture
* 6.1 Media * 6.2 Music * 6.3 Cuisine * 6.4 Film * 6.5 Sports
* 7 See also * 8 References * 9 Further reading * 10 External links
Early reports of Europeans reaching this area include those of the
Alvise Cadamosto 's voyage of 1455, the 1479–1480 voyage
by Flemish-French trader
Eustache de la Fosse , and
Diogo Cão . In
the 1480s this Portuguese explorer reached the
Congo River and the
Although the rivers and coast of this area were among the first
places colonized by the Portuguese, who set up trading posts in the
16th century, they did not explore the interior until the 19th
century. The local African rulers in Guinea, some of whom prospered
greatly from the slave trade , controlled the inland trade and did not
allow the Europeans into the interior. They kept them in the fortified
coastal settlements where the trading took place. African communities
that fought back against slave traders also distrusted European
adventurers and would-be settlers. The Portuguese in
For a brief period in the 1790s, the British tried to establish a
rival foothold on an offshore island, at
Bolama . But by the 19th
century the Portuguese were sufficiently secure in
An armed rebellion beginning in 1956 by the African Party for the
Independence was unilaterally declared on 24 September 1973. Recognition became universal following 25 April 1974 socialist-inspired military coup in Portugal, which overthrew Lisbon's Estado Novo regime .
Luís Cabral , brother of Amílcar and co-founder of PAIGC, was
appointed the first President of Guinea-
The country was controlled by a revolutionary council until 1984. The
first multi-party elections were held in 1994. An army uprising in May
1998 led to the Guinea-
In September 2003, a military coup was conducted. The military arrested Ialá on the charge of being "unable to solve the problems". After being delayed several times, legislative elections were held in March 2004. A mutiny of military factions in October 2004 resulted in the death of the head of the armed forces and caused widespread unrest.
An abandoned tank from the 1998–1999 civil war in the capital
In June 2005, presidential elections were held for the first time since the coup that deposed Ialá. Ialá returned as the candidate for the PRS, claiming to be the legitimate president of the country, but the election was won by former president João Bernardo Vieira , deposed in the 1999 coup. Vieira beat Malam Bacai Sanhá in a runoff election. Sanhá initially refused to concede, claiming that tampering and electoral fraud occurred in two constituencies including the capital, Bissau.
Despite reports of arms entering the country prior to the election and some "disturbances during campaigning," including attacks on government offices by unidentified gunmen, foreign election monitors described the 2005 election overall as "calm and organized".
Three years later, PAIGC won a strong parliamentary majority, with 67 of 100 seats, in the parliamentary election held in November 2008. In November 2008, President Vieira's official residence was attacked by members of the armed forces, killing a guard but leaving the president unharmed.
On 2 March 2009, however, Vieira was assassinated by what preliminary reports indicated to be a group of soldiers avenging the death of the head of joint chiefs of staff, General Batista Tagme Na Wai , who had been killed in an explosion the day before. Vieira's death did not trigger widespread violence, but there were signs of turmoil in the country, according to the advocacy group Swisspeace . Military leaders in the country pledged to respect the constitutional order of succession. National Assembly Speaker Raimundo Pereira was appointed as an interim president until a nationwide election on 28 June 2009. It was won by Malam Bacai Sanhá of the PAIGC, against Kumba Ialá as the presidential candidate of the PRS.
On 9 January 2012, President Sanhá died of complications from diabetes, and Pereira was again appointed as an interim president. On the evening of 12 April 2012, members of the country's military staged a coup d\'état and arrested the interim president and a leading presidential candidate. Former vice chief of staff, General Mamadu Ture Kuruma , assumed control of the country in the transitional period and started negotiations with opposition parties.
At the legislative level, a unicameral Assembleia Nacional Popular (National People\'s Assembly ) is made up of 100 members. They are popularly elected from multi-member constituencies to serve a four-year term. The judicial system is headed by a Tribunal Supremo da Justiça (Supreme Court), made up of nine justices appointed by the president; they serve at the pleasure of the president.
The two main political parties are the
PAIGC (African Party for the
Further information: Foreign relations of Guinea-
Further information: Military of Guinea-
A 2008 estimate put the size of the Guinea-
a Autonomous sector.
Main article: Geography of Guinea-
At 36,125 square kilometres (13,948 sq mi), the country is larger in
Main article: Climate of Guinea-
Severe environmental issues include deforestation ; soil erosion; overgrazing and overfishing.
GDP per capita
A long period of political instability has resulted in depressed
economic activity, deteriorating social conditions, and increased
macroeconomic imbalances. It takes longer on average to register a new
business in Guinea-
After several years of economic downturn and political instability,
in 1997, Guinea-
Beginning around 2005, drug traffickers based in Latin America began
to use Guinea-Bissau, along with several neighboring West African
nations, as a transshipment point to Europe for cocaine . The nation
was described by a
Main article: Demographics of Guinea-
According to the 2010 revision of the UN World Population Prospects, Guinea-Bissau's population was 1,515,000 in 2010, compared to 518,000 in 1950. The proportion of the population below the age of 15 in 2010 was 41.3%, 55.4% were aged between 15 and 65 years of age, while 3.3% were aged 65 years or older.
The population of Guinea-
Bissau-Guineans can be divided into the following ethnic groups:
* Fula and the Mandinka -speaking people, who comprise the largest portion of the population and are concentrated in the north and northeast; * Balanta and Papel people, who live in the southern coastal regions; and * Manjaco and Mancanha, who occupy the central and northern coastal areas.
Most of the remainder are mestiços of mixed Portuguese and African descent, including a Cape Verdean minority.
Portuguese natives comprise a very small percentage of
Bissau-Guineans. After Guinea-
Guinea-Bissau's third largest city, Gabú
Main cities in Guinea-
RANK CITY POPULATION REGION
1979 CENSUS 2005 ESTIMATE
4 Bissorã N/A 12,688 Oio
8 Catió 5,170 9,898 Tombali
9 Mansôa 5,390 7,821 Oio
10 Buba N/A 7,779 Quinara
11 Quebo N/A 7,072 Quinara
13 Farim 4,468 6,792 Oio
14 Quinhámel N/A 3,128 Biombo
15 Fulacunda N/A 1,327 Quinara
Main article: Languages of Guinea-
Despite being a small country Guinea-
Although perceived as one of the national languages of Guinea-Bissau
since independence, Standard Portuguese is spoken mostly as a second
language, with few native speakers and often confined to the
intellectual and political elites. It is the language of government
and national communication as a legacy of colonial rule. Portuguese is
the only language with official status; schooling from primary to
university levels is conducted in Portugese although only 67% of
children have access to any formal education. Data suggested the
number of Portuguese speakers ranges from 11 to 15%. The Portuguese
creole is spoken by 44% which is effectively the national language of
communication among distinct groups for most of the population. The
Creole is still expanding, and it is understood by the vast majority
of the population. However, decreolization processes are occurring,
due to undergoing interference from Standard Portuguese and the creole
forms a continuum of varieties with the standard language, the most
distant are basilects and the closer ones, acrolects . A Post-creole
continuum exists in Guinea-
The remaining rural population speaks a variety of native African
languages unique to each ethnicity: Fula (16%),
Manjaco (5%), Papel (3%), Felupe (1%), Beafada (0.7%),
Bijagó (0.3%), Nalu (0.1%) which form the ethnic African languages
spoken by the population. Most Portuguese and Mestiços speakers
also have one of the African languages and Kriol as additional
languages. Ethnic African languages are not discouraged, in any
situation, despite their lower prestige. These languages are the link
between individuals of the same ethnic background and daily used in
villages, between neighbors or friends, traditional and religious
ceremonies, and also used in contact between the urban and rural
populations. However, none of these languages are dominant in
Guinea-Bissau. French is taught as a foreign language in schools
RELIGION IN GUINEA-BISSAU, 2010
Men in Islamic garb, Bafatá , Guinea-Bissau.
Throughout the 20th century, most Bissau-Guineans practiced some form
As of 2017, Islam is practiced by 45% of the country's population.
Most of Guinea-Bissau's Muslims are of the Sunni denomination with
approximately 2% belonging to the
Approximately 22% of the country's population belong to the Christian
community and 31% continue to hold Indigenous beliefs. However, many
residents practice syncretic forms of Islamic and Christian faiths,
combining their practices with traditional African beliefs. But
generally speaking there are diverse religions in Guinea-
The WHO estimates there are fewer than 5 physicians per 100,000 persons in the country, down from 12 per 100,000 in 2007.
The prevalence of HIV-infection among the adult population is 1.8%. Only 20% of infected pregnant women receive anti retroviral coverage to prevent transmission to newborns.
The WHO 's estimate of life expectancy for a female child born in 2008 was 49 years, and 47 years for a boy.
Despite lowering rates in surrounding countries, cholera rates were
reported in November 2012 to be on the rise, with 1,500 cases reported
and nine deaths. A 2008 cholera epidemic in Guinea-
The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for
Main article: Education in Guinea-
Education is compulsory from the age of 7 to 13. Pre-school education for children between three and six years of age is optional and in its early stages. There are five levels of education: pre-school, elemental and complementary basic education, general and complementary secondary education, general secondary education, technical and professional teaching, and higher education (university and non-universities). Basic education is under reform, and now forms a single cycle, comprising 6 years of education. Secondary education is widely available and there are two cycles (7th to 9th classe and 10th to 11th classe). Professional education in public institutions is nonoperational, however private school offerings opened, including the Centro de Formação São João Bosco (since 2004) and the Centro de Formação Luís Inácio Lula da Silva (since 2011).
Higher education is limited and most prefer to be educated abroad, with students preferring to enroll in Portugal. A number of universities , to which an institutionally autonomous Faculty of Law as well as a Faculty of Medicine
Child labor is very common. The enrollment of boys is higher than that of girls. In 1998, the gross primary enrollment rate was 53.5%, with higher enrollment ratio for males (67.7%) compared to females (40%).
Non-formal education is centered around community schools and the teaching of adults. In 2011 the literacy rate was estimated at 55.3% (68.9% male, and 42.1% female).
Carnival in Bissau.
Main article: Media of Guinea-
Main article: Music of Guinea-
The music of Guinea-
The calabash is the primary musical instrument of Guinea-Bissau, and
is used in extremely swift and rhythmically complex dance music .
Lyrics are almost always in Guinea-
The word gumbe is sometimes used generically, to refer to any music of the country, although it most specifically refers to a unique style that fuses about ten of the country's folk music traditions. Tina and tinga are other popular genres, while extent folk traditions include ceremonial music used in funerals, initiations and other rituals, as well as Balanta brosca and kussundé, Mandinga djambadon, and the kundere sound of the Bissagos Islands .
Further information: Cuisine of Guinea-
Rice is a staple in the diet of residents near the coast and millet a
staple in the interior. Fruits and vegetables are commonly eaten along
with cereal grains . The Portuguese encouraged peanut production.
Common dishes include soups and stews . Common ingredients include
yams , sweet potato , cassava , onion, tomato and plantain . Spices,
peppers and chilis are used in cooking, including Aframomum melegueta
Flora Gomes is an internationally renowned film director; his most
famous film is Nha Fala (English: My Voice). Gomes's Mortu Nega
(Death Denied) (1988) was the first fiction film and the second
feature film ever made in Guinea-Bissau. (The first feature film was
N’tturudu, by director Umban u’Kest in 1987.) At
Mortu Nega won the prestigious Oumarou Ganda Prize.
Mortu Nega is in
Creole with English subtitles. In 1992, Gomes directed Udju Azul di
Yonta, which was screened in the
Un Certain Regard section at the
1992 Cannes Film Festival
Football is the most popular sport in Guinea-Bissau. The
This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.
* ^ "Guinea-Bissau" – Field Listing: Nationality. The World
Factbook 2013–14. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2013.
Retrieved 15 July 2015.
* ^ "
The World Factbook
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* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 125341622 * LCCN : n80061076 * ISNI : 0000 0001 2151 704X * GND : 4022522-7 * SUDOC : 032671725 * BNF : cb12365690v (data) * NDL