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The World Factbook 2002

         
  Guinea-Bissau  
Flag of Guinea-Bissau
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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.


This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


Map of Guinea-Bissau

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Guinea-Bissau
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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:
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
total: 36,120 sq km
water: 8,120 sq km
land: 28,000 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
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 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, unexploited deposits of petroleum
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 11%
permanent crops: 2%
other: 87% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
170 sq km (1998 est.)
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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, 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 further inland
   People    Guinea-Bissau
Population:
Definition Field Listing
1,345,479 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
2.23% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
38.95 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
15.05 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
108.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 49.8 years
female: 52.2 years (2002 est.)
male: 47.47 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.13 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.5% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
14,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
1,300 (1999 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Guinean (s)
adjective: Guinean
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
African 99% (Balanta 30%, Fula 20%, Manjaca 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel 7%), European and mulatto less than 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
indigenous beliefs 50%, Muslim 45%, Christian 5%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 34%
male: 50%
female: 18% (2000 est.)
   Government    Guinea-Bissau
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
republic, multiparty since mid-1991
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Bissau
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 (unilaterally declared by Guinea-Bissau); 10 September 1974 (recognized by 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 1996
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 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; for the time being, US embassy Dakar is responsible for covering Guinea-Bissau: [221] 823-4296
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 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:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1.2 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
7.2% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $900 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 54%
industry: 15%
services: 31% (1997 est.)
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
5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
480,000
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 82% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.6% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
60 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
55.8 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
Exports:
Definition Field Listing
$80 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
cashew nuts 70%, shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn lumber
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
India 51.4%, Italy 2.7%, South Korea 2.0%, Belgium 2.0% (2000)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing
$55.2 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Portugal 30%, Senegal 14.6%, Thailand 8.5%, China 5.7% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$931 million (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$115.4 million (1995)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
XOF; GWP
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Guinea-Bissau
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
10,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: small system
domestic: combination of microwave radio relay, open-wire lines, radiotelephone, and cellular communications
international: NA
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 1 (transmitter out of service), FM 4, shortwave 0 (2002)
Radios:
Definition Field Listing
49,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
NA (1997)
Televisions:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.gw
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
2 (2002)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
1,500 (1999)
   Transportation    Guinea-Bissau
Railways:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Highways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4,400 km
paved: 453 km
unpaved: 3,947 km (1996)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
several rivers are accessible to coastal shipping
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Bissau, Buba, Cacheu, Farim
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
none (2002 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
28 (2001)
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 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
People's Revolutionary Armed Force (FARP; includes Army, Navy, and Air Force), paramilitary force
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 313,573 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 178,404 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$5.6 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
2.8% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Guinea-Bissau
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Senegalese separatists disrupt legal border trade with smuggling, cattle rustling, and other illegal activities

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002


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