Guinea-Bissau is a small country located in West Africa, bordered by Senegal to the north and Guinea to the south and east. Despite its small size, Guinea-Bissau has a rich history, culture, and cuisine that make it a fascinating destination for travelers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore all aspects of this intriguing country, from its history and geography to its politics, economy, and culture.


Guinea-Bissau has a long and complex history that dates back to pre-colonial times. The region was home to several African kingdoms, including the Kingdom of Gabu, which ruled from the 13th to the 19th century. In the 15th century, Portuguese explorers arrived in the area and established a trading post on the island of Bolama.

In the 19th century, the Portuguese established a colony in the region, which became known as Portuguese Guinea. The colony gained independence in 1973, following a long and bloody struggle for independence led by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC). Amilcar Cabral, the founder of the PAIGC, is considered a national hero in Guinea-Bissau.


Guinea-Bissau is a small country with an area of 36,125 square kilometers. The country is mostly low-lying, with a maximum elevation of just 300 meters. The country is dominated by the Guinea Highlands, which run along the eastern border with Guinea.

The country is home to several major rivers, including the Geba, Corubal, and Cacheu. The Bijagos Archipelago, located off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including sea turtles, dolphins, and manatees.

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Politics and Governance:

Guinea-Bissau is a presidential representative democratic republic, with a multi-party system. The President is both the head of state and the head of government. The current President is Umaro Sissoco Embalo, who was elected in 2020.

The country has been plagued by political instability and military coups since gaining independence in 1973. In recent years, there have been several attempts to establish stability, including the signing of a peace agreement in 2019.

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Official Website:


Guinea-Bissau has a relatively underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly outside of the capital city of Bissau. The country has a limited road network, and many rural areas are only accessible by boat.

The country has a few major airports, including Osvaldo Vieira International Airport in Bissau. The airport serves several international destinations, including Lisbon, Brussels, and Dakar.


Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a GDP per capita of just $668. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, particularly cashew nuts, which account for around 90% of the country’s exports. The country also has potential for mining and fishing, but these industries are not yet fully developed.

The country has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the closure of borders and a decline in global demand for cashew nuts leading to a significant economic downturn.


Guinea-Bissau has a population of approximately 2.3 million people, with a high fertility rate of around 4.7 children per woman. The country is home to several ethnic groups, including the Balanta, Fula, Mandinka, and Pepel.

The official language of the country is Portuguese, but Crioulo, a creole language based on Portuguese, is also widely spoken. Islam and Christianity are the two main religions in the country.

Social Indicators:

Guinea-Bissau faces significant challenges in terms of social indicators, with high levels of poverty, illiteracy, and infant mortality. According to the World Bank, around 69% of the population lives below the poverty line, and the literacy rate is just 47%.

The country also has a high maternal mortality rate, with an estimated 549 deaths per 100,000 live births. Access to healthcare is limited in many parts of the country, particularly in rural areas.

Natural Resources:

Guinea-Bissau is rich in natural resources, including bauxite, phosphate, and granite. The country also has significant potential for oil and gas exploration, although this industry is not yet fully developed.

The country’s coastal waters are home to a diverse range of marine life, including sea turtles, dolphins, and whales. The Bijagos Archipelago, located off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is home to several endangered species, including the saltwater hippopotamus.


Guinea-Bissau has limited technological infrastructure, particularly outside of the capital city of Bissau. Mobile phone usage is relatively high, with around 60% of the population having access to a mobile phone.

Internet access is limited, with just 3% of the population having access to the internet. However, there have been recent efforts to improve access to digital technology, including the launch of a government-funded project to provide internet access to schools.

International Relations:

Guinea-Bissau has diplomatic relations with several countries, including Portugal, France, and China. The country is a member of several international organizations, including the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Country Code:

The country code for Guinea-Bissau is +245.

Leading Newspaper:

68Guinea-Bissau:Jornal da Guiné-Bissau
69Guinea-Bissau:Bissau Digital

The leading newspaper in Guinea-Bissau is Jornal de Noticias.

Major Problems:

Guinea-Bissau faces several major problems, including political instability, poverty, and lack of access to healthcare and education. The country is also a major transit point for drug trafficking, which has contributed to political instability and violence.


The capital of Guinea-Bissau is Bissau.

Festival and Time and Specialty of Country:

One of the most popular festivals in Guinea-Bissau is the Carnival of Bissau, which takes place in February or March each year. The festival is a celebration of African culture and features music, dance, and colorful costumes.

Another popular festival is the Tabaski festival, which celebrates the end of Ramadan and takes place in August or September each year. The festival is celebrated with feasting, prayer, and the sacrifice of a sheep or goat.

Specialty dishes in Guinea-Bissau include rice dishes, stews, and seafood. One popular dish is arroz de cuxa, a rice dish made with cassava leaves and served with fish or meat. Another popular dish is caldo de pe ixe, a seafood stew made with fish, shrimp, and vegetables.


Guinea-Bissau’s cuisine is influenced by its African, Portuguese, and Brazilian heritage. The country’s staple food is rice, which is usually served with a sauce or stew made with fish, meat, or vegetables.

Seafood is also an important part of the country’s cuisine, with dishes such as caldo de peixe (seafood stew) and caril de camarĂ£o (shrimp curry) being popular.

Other popular dishes include:

  • Arroz de cuxa: a rice dish made with cassava leaves and served with fish or meat.
  • Muamba de galinha: a chicken stew made with okra and palm oil.
  • Funge: a thick porridge made from cassava or cornmeal, served with a sauce or stew.

Guinea-Bissau also produces its own beer, known as Superbock, which is popular throughout the country.


If you’re interested in learning more about Guinea-Bissau, the following resources may be helpful:

  • CIA World Factbook: Guinea-Bissau – provides an overview of the country’s geography, demographics, economy, and government.
  • Guinea-Bissau Embassy in Washington, D.C. – the official website of the Guinea-Bissau embassy in the United States.
  • Guinea-Bissau Flag – image of the country’s flag.
  • Map of Guinea-Bissau – interactive map of the country’s geography and major cities.
  • Bijagos Archipelago – official website of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located off the coast of Guinea-Bissau.
  • Jornal de Noticias – the leading newspaper in Guinea-Bissau.
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