Guinea Bissau Profile

Guinea-Bissau is one of the African countries that was not granted independence from its colonial power Portugal, but unilaterally declared that independence on 24th September 1973. Although initially gaining limited recognition, the collapse of the Estado Novo regime in Portugal in 1974 led to universal recognition of Guinea Bissau as an independent republic. The first post independence leader Luis Cabral, inherited a wealthy economy, however he set out to seek revenge on the black soldiers who had fought alongside the Portuguese army in an effort to quell rebellion before independence. It is estimated that thousands of these local soldiers were slaughtered with many more fleeing to Portugal or neighbouring African countries

Six years later Cabral was ousted by his army chief Joao Vieira in 1980. Vieira introduced economic and political reforms, however was effectively a dictator taking little truck from political rivalries and not tolerating dissent. His rule saw numerous unsuccessful coup attempts, however in 1994 he stood as a candidate in Guinea Bissau's first free elections, and was successful.

An army mutiny in 1998 was following by the toppling of Vieira the following year and in 2000 Kumba Yala was elected president, however his behaviour was considered erratic and after a number of senior government sackings Kumba Yala was ousted in a further military coup in 2003 which installed an interim civilian administration headed by President Henrique Rosa with the promise of democratic elections. These elections were held in 2005 and saw the return of former president President Vieira to power with a promise of 'national reconciliation'. The success of that promise can be measure by his assassination in March 2009.

Malam Bacai Sanha the ruled Guinea Bissau as a semi presidential republic until his death in January 2012. After further turmoil José Mário Vaz is now president.


Guinea Bissau Profile

Guinea Bissau Profile

Guinea Bissau Profile

Guinea Bissau Profile



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Guinea Bissau Profile

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Guinea Bissau Profile

Against this background of political instability, Guinea Bissau is now one of the poorest countries in the world, is massively in debt and is reliant on foreign aid to prevent its total collapse as a nation state. Guinea Bissau also has an income from illicit drugs flowing from South America into Europe. Its a sobering fact that one out of every five children living in Guinea Bissau will not reach their fifth birthday, one of the highest child mortality rates for the under fives in the world and life expectancy of the rest of the population is around 47 years and the majority of the population is illiterate, with just over 27% of females being able to read and write. For more about Guinea Bissau check the articles below.

Human Development Index Guinea Bissau

Human Development Index for Guinea Bissau 1980 - Present

The HDI (Human Development Index) is measured by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank and is based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country.

Guinea Bissau is in 177th place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country.


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