One World
Nations Online
Guinea Bissau flag detail
Home Earth Continents Africa Guinea-Bissau

___ Guinea-Bissau

Flag of Guinea-Bissau
Flag of Guinea-Bissau
Where in Africa is Guinea-Bissau?
Location map of Guinea-Bissau
A virtual travel guide to Guinea-Bissau, a nation on the western coast of Africa, situated between Senegal and Guinea. The country has a population of about 1.53 million people (2015 census).

Capital city is Bissau. Spoken languages are, Portuguese (official), West African languages, and Creole. The country is slightly larger than Belgium, but slightly smaller than Switzerland or somewhat larger than Maryland.

Read on to get an overview of Guinea-Bissau's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.

Beside a country profile this page contains links to sources that will provide you with in-depth information about this Western African nation, e.g.: official web sites of Guinea-Bissau, addresses of Bissau-Guinean and foreign embassies, country guides with travel information, and more like weather information, maps, statistics and local newspapers from Guinea-Bissau.


Republic of Guinea-Bissau | República da Guiné-Bissau

Country Profile

Guinea-Bissau was the only country in West Africa to have fought its way to independence. The war with Portugal ended in 1974, but since the country has been plagued by coups and political unrest.

In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian dictator Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president, VIEIRA was a key figure in struggle against Portuguese colonial rule. 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 returned from asylum to win presidential election pledging to pursue economic development and national reconciliation. In March 2009 President VIEIRA was killed in an assassination attack. He was replaced by an elected leader (Malam Bacai Sanhá).
Guinea-Bissau is a major transit point for Latin American cocaine headed for Europe and some army officials are known to have become involved in the trade.

In April 2012 Guinea-Bissau troops staged a coup attempt, attacking the prime minister's residence, arresting politicians and taking over the national radio station and the ruling party headquarters. This took place short before the second round of Guinea-Bissau's presidential election and short after Angola's mission to support the military reform in the West African country (MISAANG) has ended.

border countries: Guinea, Senegal
related countries: Cape Verde, Portugal

Official Name:
República da Guiné-Bissau
short form: Guiné-Bissau
int'l long form: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
int'l short form: Guinea-Bissau
formerly: Portuguese Guinea (until 1974)

ISO Country Code: gw

Local Time = UTC (no GMT time offset)
Actual Time: Thu-July-20  22:38

Country Calling Code: +245

Capital City: Bissau

Other Cities: Bolama (former capital of Portuguese Guinea until 1941) Bafata, Gabu, Canchungo, Farim, Cacheu.

Type: Republic, multi-party since 1991.
Independence: 24 September 1973 (proclaimed unilaterally); 10 September 1974 (de jure from Portugal).

Location: Western Africa, between Guinea and Senegal, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.
Area: (including Bijagós Archipelago): 36,000 km² (14,000 sq. mi).
Regions: Oio, Tombali, Cacheu, Bolama, Quinara, Biombo, Bafata, Gabu.
Terrain: Almost all of Guinea-Bissau is low-lying and bathed daily by tidal waters that reach as much as 62 miles (100 kilometres) inland; savanna in the east.

Climate: Tropical; generally hot and humid; rainy season (Jun - Nov)

Nationality: Bissau-Guinean(s).
Population: 1.53 million (2015 census)
Ethnic groups: Balanta 30%, Fula 20%, Manjaca 14%, Mandinga 13%, Papel 7%, others 16%.
Religions: Indigenous beliefs 50%, Muslim 45%, Christian 5%.
Languages: Portuguese (official), Crioulo, French, many indigenous languages: Balanta-Kentohe 26%; Pulaar 18%; Mandjak 12%; Mandinka 11%; Pepel 9%; Biafada; Mancanha; Bidyogo; Ejamat; Mansoanka; Bainoukgunyuno; Nalu; Soninke; Badjara; Bayote%; Kobiana; Cassanga, Basary.
Literacy: 40%

Natural resources: Fish and timber. Deposits of bauxite and phosphate are not exploited; offshore petroleum.

Agriculture products: Cashews, tropical fruits, rice, peanuts, cotton, palm oil.

Industries: Very little industrial capacity.

Exports partners: India 52.2%, USA 22.2%, Nigeria 13.2% (2004)

Imports partners: Senegal 44.6%, Portugal 13.8%, China 4.2% (2004)

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Guinea-Bissau

Diplomatic Missions
Consulate of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau
Provides also some information about Guinea-Bissau.
Diplomatic and Consular Community of Guinea-Bissau
Address list of Diplomatic Missions of Guinea-Bissau in Europe.


Map of Guinea-Bissau
Political map of Guinea-Bissau.
Administrative Map of Guinea-Bissau
Map of Guinea-Bissau showing its administrative regions.

Google Earth Google Earth Guinea-Bissau
Searchable map and satellite view of Guinea-Bissau.
Google Earth Google Earth Bissau
Searchable map and satellite vie of the capital city of Guinea-Bissau.

Political Map of Africa
The 54 countries of Africa.
Map of Africa
A Relief Map of Africa.



Agência Bissau Media e Publicações, ABMP
Headline news from Guinea-Bissau (in Portuguese)

International News Sources Guinea Bissau
Recent news from the West Africa republic.
May also have Guinea-Bissau related news; part of World News Network.
Expresso África
Guinea-Bissau related news (in Portuguese)
Latest news from Guinea-Bissau provided by the UN news agency.
Notícias Lusófonas: Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau related news (in Portuguese)
Bookmark/share this page

Arts & Culture

Website of the Guinea-Bissau born musician.
Guinea-Bissau - Bijagós Archipelago

Business & Economy

Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO)
Central Bank of West African States of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA)
West African Economic and Monetary Union (in French), le portail de la Zone Franc CFA
Information about business and investment in the Western African countries within the monetary system of the Franc Zone - CFA. (in French)

Destination Guinea-Bissau - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover Guinea-Bissau

Corona's Guinea-Bissau Page
A website with pictures and text from a trip to Guinea-Bissau July 25th to August 8th 1998.

Guinea-Bissau Travel Information
Lonely Planet Destination Guide abou Guinea-Bissau

Guiné-Bissau: CONTRIBUTO
A website dedicated to Guinea-Bissau (in Portuguese)

Images of Guinea-Bissau


Travel and Tour Consumer Information
Bookmark/share this page


INHEA: Guinea-Bissau Higher Education Profile
Profile of higher education practice in Guinea-Bissau by International Network for Higher Education in Africa.

Environment & Nature

Birds and birding in Guinea Bissau
Site provides also information about Fauna and Flora of Guinea-Bissau.

Boloma Bijagos
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Information about the archipelago of 88 islands located on the coast of Guinea-Bissau.


History of Guinea-Bissau
Wikipedia entry for Guinea-Bissau's history.

Additional Information on Guinea-Bissau - the Index on Africa - Guinea-Bissau
Africa South of the Sahara: Guinea-Bissau
Stanford University.
BBC News Country Profile: Guinea-Bissau
Background Notes: Guinea-Bissau

Open Directory Project: Guinea-Bissau
Wikipedia: Guinea-Bissau
The World Factbook -- Guinea-Bissau

 Support UNICEF

Other Countries of Western Africa
Benin | Burkina Faso | Cape Verde | Côte d'Ivoire | Gambia | Ghana | Guinea | Liberia | Mali | Mauritania
Niger | Nigeria | Senegal | Sierra Leone | Togo