World History

Guinea-Bissau | History, Capital, Language, Flag, Facts

History of Guinea-Bissau:

Portugal claimed Guinea-Bissau in the 15th century. This was one of the first areas he explored by the Portuguese. Portugal claimed the area in 1446, but it was not until the 17th century that he began to trade and settle in the area. At this time, the area developed as an important slave supply area.

The Cape Verde Islands were used as an important slave trade center. In the 19th century the area was partitioned by the French, British and Portuguese. Guinea-Bissau was a Portuguese territory.

Guinea-Bissau became fully independent from Portugal in 1974. Since then, the country has been plagued by riots, civil wars and military coups.

Information about Guinea-Bissau:

Capital Bissau
Population 2,150,842 (Source: 2023 worldometer)
Major Cities Bissau (capital), Bafatá, Gabú, Bissorã, Bolama, Cacheu, Catió, Bubaque, Mansôa, Buba 
Borders Senegal to the north, Guinea to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $1,633,559,092 (2022 worldometer)
Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note – responsible authority is the Central Bank of the

Flag of Guinea-Bissau:

Guinea-Bissau Economy Key Industries:

Guinea-Bissau Major Industries: agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks

Guinea-Bissau Agricultural Products: rice, corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish

Guinea-Bissau Natural Resources: fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum

Guinea-Bissau Major Exports: cashew nuts, shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn lumber

Guinea-Bissau Major Imports: foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products

The Geography of Guinea-Bissau:

Total Size of Guinea-Bissau: 36,125 km² (source: wikipedia)

Geographical Low Point of Guinea-Bissau: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point of Guinea-Bissau:  unnamed location in the northeast corner of the country 300 m

Climate of Guinea-Bissau: Tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds

General Terrain of Guinea-Bissau: mostly low coastal plain rising to savanna in east

World Region or Continent of Guinea-Bissau: Africa

Geographical Coordinates: 12 00 N, 15 00 W

The People of  Guinea-Bissau & Culture

Guinea-Bissau Government Type:  republic

Guinea-Bissau Nationality: Guinean(s)

Guinea-Bissau National Holiday: Independence Day, 24 September (1973)

Guinea-Bissau Independence: 24 September 1973 (unilaterally declared by Guinea-Bissau); 10 September 1974 (recognized by Portugal)

Guinea-Bissau National Symbol:

Guinea-Bissau National Anthem or Song: Esta e a Nossa Patria Bem Amada (This Is Our Beloved Country)

Guinea-Bissau Languages Spoken: Portuguese (official), Crioulo, African languages

Guinea-Bissau Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Muslim 45%, Christian 5%

Interesting Facts about Guinea-Bissau:

Guinea-Bissau is a country on the North Atlantic coast of West Africa, bordering Guinea and Senegal.

The name Guinea-Bissau comes from the Guinea region of West Africa. To distinguish it from neighboring Guinea, the country calls its capital Bissau.

There are four countries in the world that have the word Guinea in their name. Guinea-Bissau in Africa, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Oceania and Papua New Guinea in Asia.

Although the name has spread, it is unknown where the name Guinea came from. Some have suggested that this may be a Berber incarnation meaning “land of the black”, while others suggest that it may be traced to a Tuareg word. Some believe it may refer to Djenné, a trading city in Mali.

In West Africa, Portuguese Guinea became Guinea Visa, Spanish Guinea became Equatorial Guinea, and French Guinea became Guinea.

Guinea-Bissau was once under the influence of the Mali Empire and was a sub-kingdom called Gabu.

In 1446-1447 the Portuguese began to invade the region and took control of what would later become Guinea-Bissau as part of the Portuguese Cape Verde Islands. The area became an important slave-trading outpost.

Guinea-Bissau declared independence from Portugal after the 1973 guerrilla war. The country was officially recognized as an independent state in 1974.

Guinea-Bissau’s national flag features her two horizontal stripes of yellow and green and a red vertical stripe with a black star. Yellow represents the savannah of the north, green the forests of the south, red the struggle for independence, and the black star the people of Africa.

Guinea-Bissau has one of the lowest life expectancy in the world. Life expectancy in 2021 is just 58.0 years, the ninth lowest, and the global life expectancy is 72.6 years.

This makes Guinea-Bissau one of the poorest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP). In 2021, he finished 14th. It is also one of the least developed countries in the world.

For the past two decades, Guinea-Bissau has struggled to contain the influx of drugs, especially cocaine. Guinea-Bissau, designated a drug state by the United Nations, has become a center of drug trafficking for cocaine flown or shipped from Latin America to Europe and North America.

Guinea-Bissau suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the world. Measured by deaths per 100,000 people (161.8), it will be the sixth-worst country in 2021 for air pollution.

Nearly 1,000 Crested Vultures died in a mass poisoning in Guinea-Bissau in 2020, pushing endangered species to the brink of extinction in Africa. Birds may have accidentally died from poisoning after strychnine was used to control wild dog numbers.

The capital, Bissau, was founded by the Portuguese in the 17th century, but officially became the capital of present-day Guinea-Bissau in 1942, when he moved the capital from the island city of Borama.

The former capital Borama was quickly abandoned by the Portuguese and has since fallen into decay and ruin.

The people of Guinea-Bissau are among the lightest smokers in the world. According to the 6th edition Tobacco Atlas, Guinea-Bissau has the second lowest number of cigarettes smoked per capita after Brunei (25.28).

Guinea-Bissau is one of the few places in Africa where traditional ancestral shrines can still be seen. Wooden structures like totems are said to connect the human world and the spirit world.

On Uno Island in Guinea-Bissau, at some point in their lives, boys are required to go into the forest and live alone for several months as part of a ritual called vaka brute, which means “strong cow.” The rites of passage are intended to transform boys into men, but only when they “feel appropriate” and not at a fixed age or date.