The official name is the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (Republica da Guine-Bissau).
Located in western Africa. The area is 6.1 thousand km2, the population is 1345 thousand people. (2002, estimate). The official language is Portuguese. The capital is Bissau (280 thousand people, 2000). Public holiday – Independence Day September 24 (since 1973). The monetary unit is the African Financial Community Franc.
Member of St. 40 international organizations, incl. UN (since 1974), AU (since 2000), etc.
Geography of Guinea-Bissau
Located between 13°48 and 16°18 west longitude, 10°48 and 13° north latitude; in the north it borders with Senegal, in the south and east with Guinea. In the west it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The banks are strongly dissected by the mouths of the rivers.
Almost the entire territory is lowland, swampy in places, cut through by full-flowing rivers, the largest of which is the Zheba River. Only in the southeast rise the spurs of the Futa-Jalon plateau up to 300 m high. The soils are swampy (on the coast), red ferralitic, red-brown. The flora and fauna are diverse. On the ocean coast and on the islands, mangrove vegetation predominates. The banks of the rivers are covered with tropical forests, there are swamp forests. Between the rivers there is a tall-grass savannah with islands of trees. In the hinterland, a rich, typically African fauna has been preserved.
Of the minerals, bauxite (200 million tons) and two deposits of phosphates (200 million tons) have been found, and oil is being sought. The climate is subequatorial. The amount of precipitation is 1200-2500 mm. Average annual temperatures are +24-26°C.
Population of Guinea-Bissau
Since the 1980s, according to Countryaah, the population increased by 60%. In 2002, the population growth was 2.23%, the birth rate was 38.95%, the death rate was 15.05%, and the infant mortality rate was 108.54 people. per 1000 newborns. Average life expectancy is 49.8 years (52.2 for women, 47.47 for men) (2002). Sex and age structure (2002): 0-14 years old – 41.9% (281,394 men and 282,641 women), 15-64 years old – 55.2% (respectively 353,968), 65 years and older – 2.9% ( 17 130 and 21 591). 1/4 of the total population lives in cities. Adult literacy is 69.8%.
St. 99% of the population are Africans. Main ethnic groups: Balante (30%), Fulbe (20%). Portuguese and mestizos make up 1% of the population.
45% of the population are Muslims, 14% are Christians, mostly Catholics (135 thousand), the rest adhere to local beliefs.
History of Guinea-Bissau
The territory of today’s Guinea-Bissau was part of the large African states that arose in the ninth to 15th centuries: Ghana, Mali, Songhai. In 1466 the coast of Guinea-Bissau was discovered by the Portuguese navigator N. Trishtan, who named the country Guinea. In the 17th century the Portuguese created forts on the coast, through which there was a stream of slaves who were sold mainly to Brazil. In 1879 Guinea was proclaimed a separate colony. In 1886, Portugal ceded a large part of it to France (now Guinea). The conquest of the hinterland was completed only at the beginning. 20th century
A secret nationalist organization arose in 1953, on the basis of which the African Independence Party was created in 1956. In 1960, it merged with the anti-colonial movement of the Cape Verde Islands (Cape Verde) to form the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC), led by Amilcar Cabral. She organized a number of anti-colonial demonstrations and strikes. After the execution by the authorities in 1959 of the striking dockers, PAIGC switched to an armed struggle for the liberation of the country. Hostilities ceased after the April Revolution of 1974 in Portugal. September 10, 1974 Lisbon granted independence to Guinea-Bissau.
The first president was PAIGC leader Luis Cabral. The country has chosen the path of socialist orientation. A one-party system was introduced, the state nationalized land, banks, foreign trade, limiting the activities of foreign capital. The government has established monopoly purchase prices for agricultural products. It has achieved success in the areas of education, health, but the economic situation has worsened in general compared to the period of colonialism. The discontent of the masses took advantage of General J. B. Vieira, who carried out a coup d’état in 1980. Under him, economic reforms began to be carried out that weakened state control over the economy, and in 1991 the government agreed to the creation of a multi-party system. In 1994 parliamentary and presidential elections were held. In parliament, 62 seats out of 100 were won by the PAIGC, and Vieira won the second round of the presidential election. In 1998, a political crisis erupted, resulting in a civil war. The chief of the general staff of the army, A. Manet, rebelled against Vieira. The troops of Senegal and Guinea invaded to help the latter. Through the mediation of other African states, several times it was possible to conclude a truce between Vieira and Mane, but it did not last long. In 1999, Vieira’s regime was overthrown, and the facts of secret executions during his reign were revealed. In con. 1999 – beginning. 2000, under the supervision of the OAU, presidential and parliamentary elections were held. In the National People’s Assembly, the PAIGC received only 25 seats out of 100, and opposition leader K. Yala became president, receiving 72% of the vote. In 2000-01, part of the army made three coup attempts to bring Manet to power, which ended in failure and the death of the rebellious general. These events were accompanied by a “cleansing” in the army, which grew into a “cleansing” of the state apparatus. The mass appointment by the president of his supporters to important positions aroused the indignation of the partners in the government coalition. The answer was the removal of several ministers, the arrests of journalists, the closure of newspapers. In violation of the Constitution, Yala dismissed 20 judges. In October 2001, Parliament, in which the President’s Social Renewal Party does not have a majority, expressed no confidence in the government. It did not resign, and the appeal of the opposition to the court ended with the removal of three members of the Supreme Court, who were immediately arrested.
In April 2002, the government and the opposition signed the Stability Pact, but some points of the agreement, in particular the release of political prisoners, were not implemented. On the contrary, arrests and “purges” of personnel continued, during which people from the Balant tribe, native to the president, were appointed to government posts. Parliament was dispersed in November. On September 14, 2003, the army carried out a coup d’état. The military handed over power to the civilian government. In agreement with all political parties, the president (E.P. Rosa), the prime minister and ministers were appointed. It is planned to hold parliamentary elections in six months, and presidential elections in a year and a half. The UN, AU, EU condemned the coup, based on the principle of the inadmissibility of the use of force to change the political system, but immediately established contacts with the new authorities.