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Guinea-Bissau

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Guinea-Bissau

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Quick Facts
CapitalBissau
Governmentrepublic, multiparty since mid-1991
CurrencyCommunaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States; previously the Guinea-Bissau peso (GWP) was used
Areatotal: 36,120 sq km
water: 8,120 sq km
land: 28,000 sq km
Population1,345,479 (July 2002 est.)
LanguagePortuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
Religionindigenous beliefs 50%, Muslim 45%, Christian 5%

This article is an import from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a real Wikitravel country article according to our country article template. Please plunge forward and edit it.

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

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Map of 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 agreements 
party to: Biodiversity, Climate 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

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/AIDS 
14,000 (1999 est.)
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

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 Mario PIRES (since 17 November 2002)
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 20 April 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 leaders 
NA
International organization participation 
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, 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: 1511 K Street NW, Suite 519, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 347-3950
FAX: [1] (202) 347-3954
Diplomatic representation from the US 
the 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; for the time being, US embassy Dakar is responsible for covering Guinea-Bissau: telephone - [221] 823-4296; FAX - [221] 822-5903
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

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 percentage share 
lowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 42% (1991) (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) (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

Telephones - main lines in use 
10,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
0 (2001)
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 
4,000 (2002)

Transportation

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 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 25
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 20 (2002)

Military

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 service 
males age 15-49: 178,404 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$5.6 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
2.8% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
Senegalese separatists disrupt legal border trade with smuggling, cattle rustling, and other illegal activities