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Africa :: Guinea-Bissau Print
Page last updated on June 30, 2020
  • Introduction :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Background field listing
    Since independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has experienced considerable political and military upheaval. In 1980, a military coup established authoritarian General Joao Bernardo 'Nino' VIEIRA as president. Despite eventually 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, multiparty election. 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 overthrown in a bloodless military coup, and businessman Henrique ROSA was sworn in as interim president. In 2005, former President VIEIRA was reelected, pledging to pursue economic development and national reconciliation; he was assassinated in March 2009. Malam Bacai SANHA was elected in an emergency election held in June 2009, but he passed away in January 2012 from a long-term illness. A military coup in April 2012 prevented Guinea-Bissau's second-round presidential election - to determine SANHA's successor - from taking place. Following mediation by the Economic Community of Western African States, a civilian transitional government assumed power in 2012 and remained until Jose Mario VAZ won a free and fair election in 2014. Beginning in 2015, a political dispute between factions in the ruling PAIGC party brought government gridlock. It was not until April 2018 that a consensus prime minister could be appointed, the national legislature reopened (having been closed for two years), and a new government formed under Prime Minister Aristides GOMES. In March 2019, the government held legislative elections, voting in the PAIGC as the ruling party; however, President VAZ continues to perpetuate a political stalemate by refusing to name PAICG President Domingos SIMOES PEREIRA Prime Minister.
  • Geography :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Location field listing
    Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    12 00 N, 15 00 W
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 36,125 sq km
    land: 28,120 sq km
    water: 8,005 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly less than three times the size of Connecticut
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 762 km
    border countries (2): Guinea 421 km, Senegal 341 km
    Coastline field listing
    350 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
    Terrain field listing
    mostly low-lying coastal plain with a deeply indented estuarine coastline rising to savanna in east; numerous off-shore islands including the Arquipelago Dos Bijagos consisting of 18 main islands and many small islets
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 70 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed elevation in the eastern part of the country 300 m
    Natural resources field listing
    fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 44.8% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 8.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 6.9% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 29.7% (2011 est.)
    forest: 55.2% (2011 est.)
    other: 0% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    250 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    approximately one-fifth of the population lives in the capital city of Bissau along the Atlantic coast; the remainder is distributed among the eight other, mainly rural, regions
    Natural hazards field listing
    hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation (rampant felling of trees for timber and agricultural purposes); soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    this small country is swampy along its western coast and low-lying inland
  • People and Society :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Population field listing
    1,927,104 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Bissau-Guinean(s)
    adjective: Bissau-Guinean
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Fulani 28.5%, Balanta 22.5%, Mandinga 14.7%, Papel 9.1%, Manjaco 8.3%, Beafada 3.5%, Mancanha 3.1%, Bijago 2.1%, Felupe 1.7%, Mansoanca 1.4%, Balanta Mane 1%, other 1.8%, none 2.2% (2008 est.)
    Languages field listing
    Crioulo (lingua franca), Portuguese (official; largely used as a second or third language), Pular (a Fula language), Mandingo
    Religions field listing
    Muslim 45.1%, Christian 22.1%, animist 14.9%, none 2%, unspecified 15.9% (2008 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    Guinea-Bissau’s young and growing population is sustained by high fertility; approximately 60% of the population is under the age of 25. Its large reproductive-age population and total fertility rate of more than 4 children per woman offsets the country’s high infant and maternal mortality rates. The latter is among the world’s highest because of the prevalence of early childbearing, a lack of birth spacing, the high percentage of births outside of health care facilities, and a shortage of medicines and supplies.

    Guinea-Bissau’s history of political instability, a civil war, and several coups (the latest in 2012) have resulted in a fragile state with a weak economy, high unemployment, rampant corruption, widespread poverty, and thriving drug and child trafficking. With the country lacking educational infrastructure, school funding and materials, and qualified teachers, and with the cultural emphasis placed on religious education, parents frequently send boys to study in residential Koranic schools (daaras) in Senegal and The Gambia. They often are extremely deprived and are forced into street begging or agricultural work by marabouts (Muslim religious teachers), who enrich themselves at the expense of the children. Boys who leave their marabouts often end up on the streets of Dakar or other large Senegalese towns and are vulnerable to even worse abuse.

    Some young men lacking in education and job prospects become involved in the flourishing international drug trade. Local drug use and associated violent crime are growing.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 43.17% (male 417,810/female 414,105)
    15-24 years: 20.38% (male 192,451/female 200,370)
    25-54 years: 30.24% (male 275,416/female 307,387)
    55-64 years: 3.12% (male 29,549/female 30,661)
    65 years and over: 3.08% (male 25,291/female 34,064) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 81.2
    youth dependency ratio: 76
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.2
    potential support ratio: 19.1 (202 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 18 years
    male: 17.4 years
    female: 18.6 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 215
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.51% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Birth rate field listing
    36.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Death rate field listing
    7.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Net migration rate field listing
    -3.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Population distribution field listing
    approximately one-fifth of the population lives in the capital city of Bissau along the Atlantic coast; the remainder is distributed among the eight other, mainly rural, regions
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 44.2% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 3.41% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    600,000 BISSAU (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    667 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 51.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 57.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 45.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 62.8 years
    male: 60.6 years
    female: 65.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Total fertility rate field listing
    4.75 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    16% (2014)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 98.8% of population
    rural: 60.3% of population
    total: 79.3% of population
    unimproved: urban: 1.2% of population
    rural: 39.7% of population
    total: 20.7% of population (2015 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    7.2% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.2 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    1 beds/1,000 population (2009)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 33.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 8.5% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 20.8% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 66.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 91.5% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 79.2% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    3.5% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    44,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    1,800 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    9.5% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    17% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Education expenditures field listing
    2.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 59.9%
    male: 71.8%
    female: 48.3% (2015)
  • Government :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
    conventional short form: Guinea-Bissau
    local long form: Republica da Guine-Bissau
    local short form: Guine-Bissau
    former: Portuguese Guinea
    etymology: the country is named after the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel; "Bissau," the name of the capital city, distinguishes the country from neighboring Guinea
    Government type field listing
    semi-presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Bissau
    geographic coordinates: 11 51 N, 15 35 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: the meaning of Bissau is uncertain, it might be an alternative name for the Papel people who live in the area of the city of Bissau
    Administrative divisions field listing
    9 regions (regioes, singular - regiao); Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bolama/Bijagos, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, Tombali
    Independence field listing
    24 September 1973 (declared); 10 September 1974 (from Portugal)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 24 September (1973)
    Constitution field listing
    history: promulgated 16 May 1984; note - constitution suspended following military coup in April 2012 and restored in 2014
    amendments: proposed by the National People’s Assembly if supported by at least one third of its members, by the Council of State (a presidential consultant body), or by the government; passage requires approval by at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly; constitutional articles on the republican and secular form of government and national sovereignty cannot be amended; amended 1991, 1993, 1996
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Umaro Cissoko EMBALO (since 27 February 2020); note - President EMBALO was declared winner of the 29 December 2019 runoff presidential election by the electoral commission; however, on 28 February 2020, Cipriano CASSAMA was appointed as interim president by the parliament until the Supreme Court rules on the legitimacy of the elections due to alleged irregularities in voting; CASSAMA resigned the following day stating he had received death threats
    head of government: Prime Minister Nuno NABIAM (since 27 February 2020)
    cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term; election last held on 24 November 2019 with a runoff on 29 December 2019 (next to be held in 2024); prime minister appointed by the president after consultation with party leaders in the National People's Assembly; note - the president cannot apply for a third consecutive term, nor during the 5 years following the end of the second term
    election results: Umaro Sissoco EMBALO elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Domingos Simoes PEREIRA (PAIGC) 40.1%, Umaro Sissoco EMBALO (Madem G15) 27.7%, Nuno Gomez NABIAM (APU-PDGB) 13.2%, Jose Mario VAZ (independent) 12.4%, other 6.6%; percent of vote in second round - Umaro Sissoco EMBALO 53.6%, Domingos Simoes PEREIRA 46.5%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National People's Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (102 seats; 100 members directly elected in 27 multi-seat constituencies by closed party-list proportional representation vote and 2 elected in single-seat constituencies for citizens living abroad (1 for Africa, 1 for Europe); all members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 10 March 2019 (next to be held in March 2023)
    election results: percent of vote by party - PAIGC 35.2%, Madem G-15 21.1%, PRS 21.1%, other 22.6%; seats by party - PAIGC 47, Madem G-15 27, PRS 21, other 7; composition - men 88, women 14, percent of women 13.7%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal de Justica (consists of 9 judges and organized into Civil, Criminal, and Social and Administrative Disputes Chambers); note - the Supreme Court has both appellate and constitutional jurisdiction
    judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the Higher Council of the Magistrate, a major government organ responsible for judge appointments, dismissals, and judiciary discipline; judges appointed by the president for life
    subordinate courts: Appeals Court; regional (first instance) courts; military court
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde or PAIGC [Domingos SIMOES PEREIRA]
    Democratic Convergence Party or PCD [Vicente FERNANDES]
    Movement for Democratic Alternation Group of 15 or MADEM-G15 [Braima CAMARA]
    National People’s Assembly – Democratic Party of Guinea Bissau or APU-PDGB [Nuno Gomes NABIAM]
    New Democracy Party or PND [Mamadu Iaia DJALO]
    Party for Social Renewal or PRS [Alberto NAMBEIA]
    Republican Party for Independence and Development or PRID [Aristides GOMES]
    Union for Change or UM [Agnelo REGALA]
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    none; note - Guinea-Bissau does not have official representation in Washington, DC
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    the US Embassy suspended operations on 14 June 1998; the US Ambassador to Senegal is accredited to Guinea-Bissau
    Flag description field listing
    two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and green with a vertical red band on the hoist side; there is a black five-pointed star centered in the red band; yellow symbolizes the sun; green denotes hope; red represents blood shed during the struggle for independence; the black star stands for African unity

    note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the flag design was heavily influenced by the Ghanaian flag

    National symbol(s) field listing
    black star; national colors: red, yellow, green, black
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Esta e a Nossa Patria Bem Amada" (This Is Our Beloved Country)
    lyrics/music: Amilcar Lopes CABRAL/XIAO He

    note: adopted 1974; a delegation from then Portuguese Guinea visited China in 1963 and heard music by XIAO He; Amilcar Lopes CABRAL, the leader of Guinea-Bissau's independence movement, asked the composer to create a piece that would inspire his people to struggle for independence

  • Economy :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Guinea-Bissau is highly dependent on subsistence agriculture, cashew nut exports, and foreign assistance. Two out of three Bissau-Guineans remain below the absolute poverty line. The legal economy is based on cashews and fishing. Illegal logging and trafficking in narcotics also play significant roles. The combination of limited economic prospects, weak institutions, and favorable geography have made this West African country a way station for drugs bound for Europe.

    Guinea-Bissau has substantial potential for development of mineral resources, including phosphates, bauxite, and mineral sands. Offshore oil and gas exploration has begun. The country’s climate and soil make it feasible to grow a wide range of cash crops, fruit, vegetables, and tubers; however, cashews generate more than 80% of export receipts and are the main source of income for many rural communities.

    The government was deposed in August 2015, and since then, a political stalemate has resulted in weak governance and reduced donor support.

    The country is participating in a three-year, IMF extended credit facility program that was suspended because of a planned bank bailout. The program was renewed in 2017, but the major donors of direct budget support (the EU, World Bank, and African Development Bank) have halted their programs indefinitely. Diversification of the economy remains a key policy goal, but Guinea-Bissau’s poor infrastructure and business climate will constrain this effort.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $3.171 billion (2017 est.)
    $2.994 billion (2016 est.)
    $2.817 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 188
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $1.35 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    5.9% (2017 est.)
    6.3% (2016 est.)
    6.1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $1,900 (2017 est.)
    $1,800 (2016 est.)
    $1,700 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 212
    Gross national saving field listing
    8.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
    10.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    10.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 83.9% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 4.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 26.4% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -26.5% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 50% (2017 est.)
    industry: 13.1% (2017 est.)
    services: 36.9% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    rice, corn, beans, cassava (manioc, tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
    Industries field listing
    agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    2.5% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Labor force field listing
    731,300 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 82%
    industry and services: 18% (2000 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing


    Population below poverty line field listing
    67% (2015 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.9%
    highest 10%: 28% (2002)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 246.2 million (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 263.5 million (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    18.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -1.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Public debt field listing
    53.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    57.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    1.1% (2017 est.)
    1.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Current account balance field listing
    -$27 million (2017 est.)
    $16 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Exports field listing
    $328.1 million (2017 est.)
    $278.6 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    Exports - partners field listing
    India 67.1%, Vietnam 21.1% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    fish, shrimp; cashews, peanuts, palm kernels, raw and sawn lumber
    Imports field listing
    $283.5 million (2017 est.)
    $136.5 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Imports - commodities field listing
    foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products
    Imports - partners field listing
    Portugal 47.8%, Senegal 12.1%, China 10.4%, Netherlands 8.1%, Pakistan 5.4% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $356.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $349.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Debt - external field listing
    $1.095 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $941.5 million (31 December 2000 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Exchange rates field listing
    Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
    605.3 (2017 est.)
    593.01 (2016 est.)
    593.01 (2015 est.)
    591.45 (2014 est.)
    494.42 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 2 million (2017)
    electrification - total population: 14.7% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 29.8% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 4% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    39 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    36.27 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    28,300 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    99% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    2,700 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    2,625 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    397,900 Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
  • Communications :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 0
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 1,480,491
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 81 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: small system including a combination of microwave radio relay, open-wire lines, radiotelephone, and mobile cellular communications; 2 mobile network operators; one of the poorest countries in the world and this is reflected in the countries telecommunications development; radio is the most important source of information for the public (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line teledensity less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile cellular teledensity is roughly 81 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 245; ACE submarine cable connecting Guinea-Bissau with 20 landing points in Western and South Africa and Europe (2019)
    the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    1 state-owned TV station, Televisao da Guine-Bissau (TGB) and a second station, Radio e Televisao de Portugal (RTP) Africa, is operated by Portuguese public broadcaster (RTP); 1 state-owned radio station, several private radio stations, and some community radio stations; multiple international broadcasters are available (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 66,169
    percent of population: 3.8% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 1,204
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
  • Military and Security :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Military expenditures field listing
    1.4% of GDP (2017)
    1.3% of GDP (2016)
    1.64% of GDP (2015)
    2.04% of GDP (2014)
    2.08% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Military and security forces field listing
    People's Revolutionary Armed Force (FARP): Army, Navy, National Air Force (Forca Aerea Nacional); Guard Nacional (Ministry of Internal Administration) (2019)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-25 years of age for selective compulsory military service (Air Force service is voluntary); 16 years of age or younger, with parental consent, for voluntary service (2013)
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Peoples Revolutionary Armed Force (FARP) has approximately 4,400 active troops (4,000 Army; 300-350 Navy; 100 Air Force); est. 2,000 Guardia Nacional (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the inventory of the FARP consists of Soviet-era equipment; the only reported deliveries of military equipment to Guinea Bissau since 2015 were patrol boats from Spain in 2017 and non-lethal equipment from China in 2015 (2019 est.)
  • Transportation :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    J5 (2016)
    Airports field listing
    8 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 2 (2019)
    over 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 6 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    under 914 m: 3 (2013)
    Roadways field listing
    total: 4,400 km (2018)
    paved: 453 km (2018)
    unpaved: 3,947 km (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Waterways field listing
    (rivers are partially navigable; many inlets and creeks provide shallow-water access to much of interior) (2012)
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 8
    by type: general cargo 5, other 3 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Bissau, Buba, Cacheu, Farim
  • Transnational Issues :: Guinea-Bissau
  • Disputes - international field listing

    a longstanding low-grade conflict continues in parts of Casamance, in Senegal across the border; some rebels use Guinea-Bissau as a safe haven

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 10,000 (Senegal) (2018)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: Guinea-Bissau is a source country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the extent to which adults are trafficked for forced labor or forced prostitution is unclear; boys are forced into street vending in Guinea-Bissau and manual labor, agriculture, and mining in Senegal, while girls may be forced into street vending, domestic service, and, to a lesser extent, prostitution in Guinea and Senegal; some Bissau-Guinean boys at Koranic schools are forced into begging by religious teachers
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Guinea-Bissau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; despite enacting an anti-trafficking law and adopting a national action plan in 2011, the country failed to demonstrate any notable anti-trafficking efforts for the third consecutive year; existing laws prohibiting all forms of trafficking were not used to prosecute any trafficking offenders in 2014, and only one case of potential child labor trafficking was under investigation; authorities continued to rely entirely on NGOs and international organizations to provide victims with protective services; no trafficking prevention activities were conducted (2015)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    increasingly important transit country for South American cocaine en route to Europe; enabling environment for trafficker operations due to pervasive corruption; archipelago-like geography near the capital facilitates drug smuggling