Guinea-Bissau

source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)

SEE UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

   Introduction    Guinea-Bissau
Background:
Definition Field Listing Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. Despite setting a path to a market economy and multiparty system, VIEIRA's regime was characterized by the suppression of political opposition and the purging of political rivals. Several coup attempts through the 1980s and early 1990s failed to unseat him. In 1994 VIEIRA was elected president in the country's first free elections. A military mutiny and resulting civil war in 1998 eventually led to VIEIRA's ouster in May 1999. In February 2000, a transitional government turned over power to opposition leader Kumba YALA, after he was elected president in transparent polling. In September 2003, after only three years in office, YALA was ousted by the military in a bloodless coup, and businessman Henrique ROSA was sworn in as interim president. In 2005, former President VIEIRA was re-elected president pledging to pursue economic development and national reconciliation.
   Geography    Guinea-Bissau
Location:
Definition Field Listing Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing 12 00 N, 15 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 36,120 sq km
land: 28,000 sq km
water: 8,120 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing slightly less than three times the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing total: 724 km
border countries: Guinea 386 km, Senegal 338 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing 350 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location in the northeast corner of the country 300 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum
Land use:
Definition Field Listing arable land: 8.31%
permanent crops: 6.92%
other: 84.77% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing 250 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 31 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing total: 0.18 cu km/yr (13%/5%/82%)
per capita: 113 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing this small country is swampy along its western coast and low-lying inland
   People    Guinea-Bissau
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1,503,182 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 41% (male 307,353/female 308,726)
15-64 years: 55.9% (male 404,747/female 436,245)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 18,819/female 27,292) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 19.2 years
male: 18.6 years
female: 19.8 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing 2.035% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 36.4 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 16.05 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 101.64 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 111.74 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 91.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 47.52 years
male: 45.71 years
female: 49.39 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 4.72 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 10% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 17,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1,200 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2008)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing noun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing African 99% (includes Balanta 30%, Fula 20%, Manjaca 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel 7%), European and mulatto less than 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing Muslim 50%, indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 10%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42.4%
male: 58.1%
female: 27.4% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Definition Field Listing total: 5 years
male: 7 years
female: 4 years (2001)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.2% of GDP (1999)
   Government    Guinea-Bissau
Country name:
Definition Field Listing conventional long form: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
conventional short form: Guinea-Bissau
local long form: Republica da Guine-Bissau
local short form: Guine-Bissau
former: Portuguese Guinea
Government type:
Definition Field Listing republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing name: Bissau
geographic coordinates: 11 51 N, 15 35 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing 9 regions (regioes, singular - regiao); Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bolama, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, Tombali; note - Bolama may have been renamed Bolama/Bijagos
Independence:
Definition Field Listing 24 September 1973 (declared); 10 September 1974 (from Portugal)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing Independence Day, 24 September (1973)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing 16 May 1984; amended 4 May 1991, 4 December 1991, 26 February 1993, 9 June 1993, and in 1996
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing based on French civil law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing chief of state: President Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA (since 1 October 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Carlos CORREIA
cabinet: NA
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held 24 July 2005 (next to be held in 2010); prime minister appointed by the president after consultation with party leaders in the legislature
election results: Joao Bernardo VIEIRA elected president; percent of vote, second ballot - Joao Bernardo VIEIRA 52.4%, Malam Bacai SANHA 47.6%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing unicameral National People's Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (100 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 28 March 2004 (next to be held 16 November 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAIGC 31.5%, PRS 24.8%, PUSD 16.1%, UE 4.1%, APU 1.3%, 13 other parties 22.2%; seats by party - PAIGC 45, PRS 35, PUSD 17, UE 2, APU 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal da Justica (consists of nine justices 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 more than $1,000); 24 Sectoral Courts (judges are not necessarily trained lawyers; they hear civil cases valued at less than $1,000 and misdemeanor criminal cases)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde or PAIGC [Carlos GOMES Junior]; Party for Social Renewal or PRS [Kumba YALA]; Democratic Social Front or FDS; Electoral Union or UE; Guinea-Bissau Civic Forum/Social Democracy or FCGSD [Antonieta Rosa GOMES]; Guinea-Bissau Democratic Party or PDG; Guinea-Bissau Socialist Democratic Party or PDSG [Serifo BALDE]; Labor and Solidarity Party or PST [Iancuba INDJAI]; Party for Democratic Convergence or PCD [Victor MANDINGA]; Party for Renewal and Progress or PRP; Progress Party or PP [Ibrahima SOW]; Union for Change or UM [Amine SAAD]; Union of Guinean Patriots or UPG [Francisca VAZ]; United Platform or UP (coalition formed by PCD, FDS, FLING, and RGB-MB); United Popular Alliance or APU; United Social Democratic Party or PUSD
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing ACP, AfDB, AU, CPLP, ECOWAS, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: none; note - Guinea-Bissau does not have official representation in Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing 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; the US Ambassador to Senegal is accredited to Guinea-Bissau
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing One of the five 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 1999-2002. 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. Offshore oil prospecting is underway in several sectors but has not yet led to commercially viable crude deposits. 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 from a lamentably low base. In December 2003, the World Bank, IMF, and UNDP were forced to step in to provide emergency budgetary support in the amount of $107 million for 2004, representing over 80% of the total national budget. Government drift and indecision, however, resulted in continued low growth in 2002-06. Higher raw material prices boosted growth to 3.7% in 2007.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $826.4 million (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $343 million (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $600 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 62%
industry: 12%
services: 26% (1999 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 480,000 (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 82%
industry and services: 18% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing lowest 10%: 0.5%
highest 10%: 42.4% (1991)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3.8% (2007 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing rice, corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 4.7% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 60 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 55.8 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2,480 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2,463 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -$6 million (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $133 million f.o.b. (2006)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing cashew nuts, shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn lumber
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing India 76.5%, Nigeria 19%, South Korea 0.9% (2007)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $200 million f.o.b. (2006)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing Portugal 21.5%, Senegal 16.8%, France 6%, Pakistan 4.7% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing $79.12 million (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $941.5 million (2000 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $NA
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 493.51 (2007), 522.59 (2006), 527.47 (2005), 528.29 (2004), 581.2 (2003)
note: since 1 January 1999, the XOF franc has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 XOF francs per euro
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing calendar year
   Communications    Guinea-Bissau
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 4,600 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 296,200 (2007)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing general assessment: small system
domestic: combination of microwave radio relay, open-wire lines, radiotelephone, and cellular communications; fixed-line teledensity less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity reached 20 per 100 in 2007
international: country code - 245
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing AM 1 (transmitter out of service), FM 4, shortwave 0 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing NA (2005)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing .gw
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 37,000 (2006)
   Transportation    Guinea-Bissau
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 27 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 24
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 19 (2007)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 3,455 km
paved: 965 km
unpaved: 2,490 km (2002)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order rivers are navigable for some distance; many inlets and creeks give shallow-water access to much of interior (2007)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Bissau, Buba, Cacheu, Farim
   Military    Guinea-Bissau
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing People's Revolutionary Armed Force (FARP): Army, Navy, Air Force; paramilitary force
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing 18 years of age for selective compulsory military service (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 344,087
females age 16-49: 347,886 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 188,605
females age 16-49: 195,429 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 16,634
female: 16,841 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3.1% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Guinea-Bissau
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing in 2006, political instability within Senegal's Casamance region resulted in thousands of Senegalese refugees, cross-border raids, and arms smuggling into Guinea-Bissau
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing refugees (country of origin): 7,454 (Senegal) (2007)
Trafficking in persons:
Definition Field Listing current situation: Guinea-Bissau is a source country for children trafficked primarily for forced begging and forced agricultural labor to other West African countries
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - for the second year in a row, Guinea-Bissau is on the Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons, as evidenced by the continued failure to pass an anti-trafficking law and inadequate efforts to investigate or prosecute trafficking crimes or convict and punish trafficking offenders (2008)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing increasingly important transit country for South American cocaine enroute to Europe; enabling environment for trafficker operations thanks to pervasive corruption; archipelago-like geography around the capital facilitates drug smuggling


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Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

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