Guinea-Bissau Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Bissau
Population 2 million
Language Portuguese
Religion Muslims 45% Christians 22% Traditional 15% Other 18%
State system Republic
Head of State Umaro Sissoco Embaló
Head of government Umaro Sissoco Embaló
Currency name West African Franc

Guinea-Bissau Basic Information

Travel
Time shift -1h (in summer -2h)
Economy
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 1.6
Economic growth (%) 2.1
Inflation (%) 2.6
Unemployment (%) ON

Guinea-Bissau is a tropical country on the Atlantic coast of West Africa known for its national parks and wildlife. The forested, sparsely populated Bijagós archipelago is a protected biosphere reserve. Its main island, Bubaque, is part of the Orango Islands National Park, home to sea hippos. On land, the capital Bissau is a port with Portuguese colonial buildings in its old centre. Bordered by Senegal to the north and Guinea Bissau to the south, it comprises an archipelago of more than 100 islands. The economy is largely dependent on agriculture and fishing. Two crops dominate here: rice for domestic consumption and cashews, which account for 95 percent of the country’s exports as a cash crop. Guinea-Bissau’s economy consists of a mix of state-owned and private companies. Guinea-Bissau is among the least developed countries in the world and among the 10 poorest countries in the world. Measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed Guinea Bissau’s growth rate. Real GDP contracted by 2.8% in 2020, the lowest since the 2012 coup, when the economy shrank by 2.0%. Lower prices and sales of cashews are the main factors behind the turnaround in growth – Guinea-Bissau’s agriculture-based economy depends on cashew exports, which have suffered from blockades and border closures. However, inflation in 2020 is still below the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) convergence criterion of 3%. Growth is expected to recover to 2.9% in 2021 and 3.9% in 2022, an outlook based on widespread vaccination against COVID-19 and a resumption of business activity. Political stability will be key to attracting investment and stimulating private sector involvement. Inflation is expected to remain stable – at 2% in 2021 and 1.9% in 2022. A slight improvement will be observed in both the budget deficit – 5.3% of GDP in 2021 and 4.6% in 2022 – so for the current account balance, which will be in deficit of 4.4% in both years.

This Summary Territorial Information is processed for a country that is so-called accredited. The information is provided in an abbreviated form.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Republic of Guinea-Bissau . The politics of Guinea-Bissau takes place within a semi-presidential representative democratic republic with a multi-party system where the president is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of government. The former Portuguese colony of Guinea-Bissau declared independence on 24 September 1973 and was recognized by Portugal on 10 September 1974. The country’s history to date is one of almost uninterrupted political instability. Article 62 of the current 1984 constitution, which was amended in 1991, 1993 and 1996, states that the President of the Republic is the head of state, the guarantor of national independence and the guardian of the constitution and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. It is elected in general and direct elections by the majority of votes cast. If no candidate receives an absolute majority, a second ballot between the two highest-ranking candidates is held 21 days later. The chairman is elected for a five-year term. He cannot be elected for a third consecutive term or within five years following the end of his second term. The speaker of the National People’s Assembly takes over as interim head of state if the office of the president becomes vacant, as was the case after the death of the president in January 2012. The president appoints and dismisses ministers and ratifies international agreements, treaties and conventions. It can make laws through ordinances and pass ordinances. The latter, which are a means for the executive to replace the legislative, must in principle be ratified by the assembly; however, if they do not object within 30 days, it is automatically considered ratified. In the hierarchy of norms, the constitution takes precedence, followed by treaties (and international agreements and conventions), laws, decrees, decrees and orders. Legislative power is exercised by a unicameral parliament, the National People’s Assembly (ANP). The legislative term is four years, and deputies are elected in general and direct elections. Based on Article 76 et seq. ANP accepts legislation, proposals and resolutions, as well as contracts presented to it by the government. The ANP also adopts financial laws and state accounts in principle every year. Members of the government can sit and speak in the ANP parliamentary club. According to the authorities, all legislative texts are apparently published in the Official Gazette. The government is appointed by the president of the republic based on the results of the elections to the legislative assembly and is led by the prime minister. The government is responsible to the ANP and its program must be approved by the ANP. At the apex of Guinea-Bissau’s judicial system is the Supreme Court, followed by regional and branch courts and tribunals. Its independence is enshrined in the Constitution (Article 95). According to Article 92, the Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President, as well as the prosecutor. Since 1994, the party system between Bissau and Guinea has been dominated by the socialist Party for the African Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde and the Party for Social Renewal. Guinea-Bissau has a multi-party system with numerous political parties, in which no one party often has a chance to gain power alone and parties must work together to form coalition governments. In the last two decades, the party system has been relatively stable, with two major parties competing for power. The oldest party is the PAIGC, founded in 1956 as an independence movement, which continues to be associated with the successful struggle for independence against the former colonizer. After independence, it emerged as an authoritarian left-wing party. Check cancermatters to learn more about Guinea-Bissau political system.

Foreign policy of the country

Due to the long-lasting political crisis, Guinea-Bissau is not a significant foreign-political player, in its foreign political activities it is rather an object of interest within ECOWAS, which is trying to contribute to solving the political crisis in the country and achieving stability. Foreign policy is influenced by a great dependence on foreign donors. China’s influence is growing in conjunction with its loans. Check prozipcodes for Guinea-Bissau defense and foreign policy.

Population

Population 2.007 million

Average annual population growth 2.53%

65 years and more: 3.08% (2020 est.)- 55-64 years: 3.12% – 25-54 years: 30.24% – 15-24 years: 20.38% – 0-14 years: 43.17% -Population structure by age groups:

none 2.2%- others 1.8% – Balanta Mane 1% – Mansoanca 1.4% – Felupe 1.7% – Bijago 2.1% – Mancanha 3.1% – Beafada 3.5% – Manjaco 8.3% – Papel 9.1% – Mandinga 14.7% – Balanta 22.5% – Fulani 28.5% -Ethnicity structure.