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Guinea vs. Guinea-Bissau

Introduction

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
BackgroundGuinea is at a turning point after decades of authoritarian rule since gaining its independence from France in 1958. Guinea held its first free and competitive democratic presidential and legislative elections in 2010 and 2013 respectively, and in October 2015 held a second consecutive presidential election. Alpha CONDE was reelected to a second five-year term as president in 2015, and the National Assembly was seated in January 2014. CONDE's first cabinet is the first all-civilian government in Guinea. The country held a successful political dialogue in August and September 2016 that brought together the government and opposition to address long-standing tensions. Likewise, President CONDE’s election as AU chairperson has instilled confidence in Guinea. Previously, Sekou TOURE ruled the country as president from independence to his death in 1984. Lansana CONTE came to power in 1984 when the military seized the government after TOURE's death. Gen. CONTE organized and won presidential elections in 1993, 1998, and 2003, though all the polls were rigged. Upon CONTE's death in December 2008, Capt. Moussa Dadis CAMARA led a military coup, seizing power and suspending the constitution. His unwillingness to yield to domestic and international pressure to step down led to heightened political tensions that culminated in September 2009 when presidential guards opened fire on an opposition rally killing more than 150 people, and in early December 2009 when CAMARA was wounded in an assassination attempt and exiled to Burkina Faso. A transitional government led by Gen. Sekouba KONATE paved the way for Guinea's transition to a fledgling democracy.
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. A long-running dispute between factions in the ruling PAIGC party has brought the government to a political impasse; there have been five prime ministers since August 2015.

Geography

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal
Geographic coordinates11 00 N, 10 00 W
12 00 N, 15 00 W
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 245,857 sq km
land: 245,717 sq km
water: 140 sq km
total: 36,125 sq km
land: 28,120 sq km
water: 8,005 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Oregon
slightly less than three times the size of Connecticut
Land boundariestotal: 4,046 km
border countries (6): Cote d'Ivoire 816 km, Guinea-Bissau 421 km, Liberia 590 km, Mali 1,062 km, Senegal 363 km, Sierra Leone 794 km
total: 762 km
border countries (2): Guinea 421 km, Senegal 341 km
Coastline320 km
350 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climategenerally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
tropical; generally hot and humid; monsoonal-type rainy season (June to November) with southwesterly winds; dry season (December to May) with northeasterly harmattan winds
Terraingenerally flat coastal plain, hilly to mountainous interior
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 extremesmean elevation: 472 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Nimba 1,752 m
mean elevation: 70 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation in the eastern part of the country 300 m
Natural resourcesbauxite, iron ore, diamonds, gold, uranium, hydropower, fish, salt
fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, clay, granite, limestone, unexploited deposits of petroleum
Land useagricultural land: 58.1%
arable land 11.8%; permanent crops 2.8%; permanent pasture 43.5%
forest: 26.5%
other: 15.4% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 44.8%
arable land 8.2%; permanent crops 6.9%; permanent pasture 29.7%
forest: 55.2%
other: 0% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land950 sq km (2012)
250 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardshot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season
hot, dry, dusty harmattan haze may reduce visibility during dry season; brush fires
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; inadequate potable water; desertification; soil contamination and erosion; overfishing, overpopulation in forest region; poor mining practices have led to environmental damage
deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; overfishing
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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 - notethe Niger and its important tributary the Milo River have their sources in the Guinean highlands
this small country is swampy along its western coast and low-lying inland

Demographics

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
Population12,093,349 (July 2016 est.)
1,759,159 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 41.7% (male 2,547,037/female 2,495,495)
15-24 years: 19.67% (male 1,200,618/female 1,177,633)
25-54 years: 30.52% (male 1,851,200/female 1,839,952)
55-64 years: 4.46% (male 258,455/female 281,497)
65 years and over: 3.65% (male 195,054/female 246,408) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 39.28% (male 344,976/female 346,102)
15-24 years: 20.17% (male 176,050/female 178,842)
25-54 years: 32.53% (male 285,258/female 286,955)
55-64 years: 4.62% (male 31,030/female 50,215)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 22,121/female 37,610) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.8 years
male: 18.6 years
female: 19.1 years (2016 est.)
total: 20 years
male: 19.5 years
female: 20.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.62% (2016 est.)
1.88% (2016 est.)
Birth rate35.4 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
32.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
14.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.62 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 51.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 87.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 96.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 77.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 60.6 years
male: 59 years
female: 62.2 years (2016 est.)
total population: 50.6 years
male: 48.6 years
female: 52.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.82 children born/woman (2016 est.)
4.16 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.56% (2015 est.)
3.69% (2014 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Guinean(s)
adjective: Guinean
noun: Bissau-Guinean(s)
adjective: Bissau-Guinean
Ethnic groupsFulani (Peul) 33.9%, Malinke 31.1%, Susu 19.1%, Guerze 6%, Kissi 4.7%, Toma 2.6%, other/no answer 2.7% (2012 est.)
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.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS116,800 (2015 est.)
42,000 (2014 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 86.7%, Christian 8.9%, animist/other/none 4.4% (2012 est.)
Muslim 45.1%, Christian 22.1%, animist 14.9%, none 2%, unspecified 15.9% (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths4,600 (2015 est.)
1,900 (2014 est.)
LanguagesFrench (official)
note: each ethnic group has its own language
Crioulo (lingua franca), Portuguese (official; largely used as a second or third language), Pular (a Fula language), Mandingo
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 30.4%
male: 38.1%
female: 22.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.9%
male: 71.8%
female: 48.3% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
Education expenditures3.2% of GDP (2014)
2.2% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 37.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.82% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 49.3% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 4.13% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 92.7% of population
rural: 67.4% of population
total: 76.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 7.3% of population
rural: 32.6% of population
total: 23.2% of population (2015 est.)
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.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 34.1% of population
rural: 11.8% of population
total: 20.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 65.9% of population
rural: 88.2% of population
total: 79.9% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 33.5% of population
rural: 8.5% of population
total: 20.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 66.5% of population
rural: 91.5% of population
total: 79.2% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationCONAKRY (capital) 1.936 million (2015)
BISSAU (capital) 492,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate679 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
549 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight18.7% (2012)
17% (2014)
Health expenditures5.6% of GDP (2014)
5.6% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density0.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
1 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.9% (2014)
6.3% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 571,774
percentage: 25% (2003 est.)
total number: 226,316
percentage: 57% (2010 est.)
Demographic profileGuinea’s strong population growth is a result of declining mortality rates and sustained elevated fertility. The population growth rate was somewhat tempered in the 2000s because of a period of net outmigration. Although life expectancy and mortality rates have improved over the last two decades, the nearly universal practice of female genital cutting continues to contribute to high infant and maternal mortality rates. Guinea’s total fertility remains high at about 5 children per woman because of the ongoing preference for larger families, low contraceptive usage and availability, a lack of educational attainment and empowerment among women, and poverty. A lack of literacy and vocational training programs limit job prospects for youths, but even those with university degrees often have no option but to work in the informal sector. About 60% of the country’s large youth population is unemployed.
Tensions and refugees have spilled over Guinea’s borders with Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire. During the 1990s Guinea harbored as many as half a million refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia, more refugees than any other African country for much of that decade. About half sought refuge in the volatile “Parrot’s Beak” region of southwest Guinea, a wedge of land jutting into Sierra Leone near the Liberian border. Many were relocated within Guinea in the early 2000s because the area suffered repeated cross-border attacks from various government and rebel forces, as well as anti-refugee violence. As of 2016, Guinea sheltered more than 7,000 Ivoirians.
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.
Contraceptive prevalence rate5.6% (2012)
16% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 83.8
youth dependency ratio: 78.2
elderly dependency ratio: 5.6
potential support ratio: 17.8 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 78.4
youth dependency ratio: 72.8
elderly dependency ratio: 5.7
potential support ratio: 17.7 (2015 est.)

Government

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Guinea
conventional short form: Guinea
local long form: Republique de Guinee
local short form: Guinee
former: French 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
"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 typepresidential republic
semi-presidential republic
Capitalname: Conakry
geographic coordinates: 9 30 N, 13 42 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Bissau
geographic coordinates: 11 51 N, 15 35 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions7 regions administrative and 1 gouvenorat*; Boke, Conakry*, Faranah, Kankan, Kindia, Labe, Mamou, N'Zerekore
9 regions (regioes, singular - regiao); Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bolama/Bijagos, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, Tombali
Independence2 October 1958 (from France)
24 September 1973 (declared); 10 September 1974 (from Portugal)
National holidayIndependence Day, 2 October (1958)
Independence Day, 24 September (1973)
Constitutionprevious 1958, 1990; latest promulgated 19 April 2010, approved 7 May 2010 (2016)
promulgated 16 May 1984; amended 1991, 1993, 1996; note - constitution suspended following military coup in April 2012 and restored in 2014 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the French model
mixed legal system of civil law which incorporated Portuguese law at independence and influenced by early French civil code and customary law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Alpha CONDE (since 21 December 2010)
head of government: Prime Minister Mamady YOULA (since 26 December 2015); Prime Minister Mohamed Said FOFANA (since 24 December 2010) resigned 12/23/15
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 11 October 2015 (next scheduled for 2020); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Alpha CONDE reelected president; percent of vote - Alpha CONDE (RPG) 57.8%, Cellou Dalein DIALLO (UFDG) 31.4%, other 10.8%
chief of state: President Jose Mario VAZ (since 17 June 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Umaro SISSOCO Embalo (since 18 November 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 13 April 2014 with a runoff on 18 May 2014 (next to be held in 2019); prime minister appointed by the president after consultation with party leaders in the National People's Assembly
election results: first round - Jose Mario VAZ (PAIGC) 41%, Nuno Gomez NABIAM (independent) 25.1%, other 33.9%; Jose Mario VAZ elected president in second round - Jose Mario VAZ 61.9%, Nuno Gomez NABIAM 38.1%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral People's National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale Populaire (114 seats; 76 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote and 38 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 28 September 2013 (next scheduled for 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RPG 53, UFDG 37, UFR 10, PEDN 2, UPG 2, other parties 10
description: unicameral National People's Assembly or Assembleia Nacional Popular (102 seats; members directly elected in 2 single- and 27 multi-seat constituencies by closed party-list proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 13 April 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAIGC 48.0%, PRS 30.8%, other parties 21.2%; seats by party - PAIGC 57, PRS 41, other 4
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (organized into Administrative Chamber and Civil, Penal, and Social Chamber; court consists of the first president, 2 chamber presidents, at least 4 councillors, the solicitor general and NA deputies); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court first president appointed by the national president after consultation with the National Assembly; other members appointed by presidential decree; members serve until age 65; Constitutional Court member appointments - 2 by the National Assembly and the president of the republic, 3 experienced judges designated by their peers, 1 experienced lawyer, 1 university professor with expertise in public law designated by peers, and 2 experienced representatives of the Independent National Institution of Human Rights; members serve single 9-year terms
subordinate courts: includes Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; courts of first instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; High Court of Justice or Cour d'Assises; labor court; military tribunal; justices of the peace; specialized courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Suprema da Tribunal 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: Appeal Court; regional (first instance) courts; military court
Political parties and leadersLiberal Block or BL [Faya MILLIMONO]
National Party for Hope and Development or PEDN [Lansana KOUYATE]
Rally for the Guinean People or RPG [Alpha CONDE]
Union for the Progress of Guinea or UPG
Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea or UFDG [Cellou Dalein DIALLO]
Union of Republican Forces or UFR [Sidya TOURE]
African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde or PAIGC [Domingos SIMOES PEREIRA]
Democratic Convergence Party or PCD [Vicente FERNANDES]
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]
Political pressure groups and leadersNational Confederation of Guinean Workers-Labor Union of Guinean Workers or CNTG-USTG Alliance (includes National Confederation of Guinean Workers or CNTG, Labor Union of Guinean Workers or USTG)
Syndicate of Guinean Teachers and Researchers or SLECG
Chamber of Commerce of Agriculture, Industry, and Services [Braima CAMARA]
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AOSIS, AU, CPLP, ECOWAS, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mamady CONDE (since 14 July 2014)
chancery: 2112 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 986-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 986-3800
chief of mission: none; note - Guinea-Bissau does not have official representation in Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Dennis B. HANKINS (since December 2015)
embassy: Koloma, Conakry, across from the Radio Television de Guinee
mailing address: P.O. Box 603, Transversale No. 2, Centre Administratif de Koloma, Commune de Ratoma, Conakry
telephone: [224] 655-10-40-00
FAX: [224] 655-10-42-97
the US Embassy suspended operations on 14 June 1998 in the midst of violent conflict between forces loyal to then President VIEIRA and a military-led junta; the US Ambassador to Senegal is accredited to Guinea-Bissau
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green; red represents the people's sacrifice for liberation and work; yellow stands for the sun, for the riches of the earth, and for justice; green symbolizes the country's vegetation and unity
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the reverse of those on the flags of neighboring Mali and Senegal
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 anthem"name: ""Liberte"" (Liberty)
lyrics/music: unknown/Fodeba KEITA
note: adopted 1958
"
"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
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)national colors: red, yellow, green
black star; national colors: red, yellow, green, black
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Guinea
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: na
citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
Economy - overviewGuinea is a poor country of approximately 12.9 million people in 2016 that possesses the world's largest reserves of bauxite and largest untapped high-grade iron ore reserves, as well as gold and diamonds. In addition, Guinea has fertile soil, ample rainfall, and is the source of several West African rivers, including the Senegal, Niger, and Gambia. Guinea's hydro potential is enormous and the country could be a major exporter of electricity. The country also has tremendous agriculture potential. Gold, bauxite, and diamonds are Guinea’s main exports. International investors have shown interest in Guinea's unexplored mineral reserves, which have the potential to propel Guinea's future growth.

Following the death of long-term President Lansana CONTE in 2008 and the coup that followed, international donors, including the G-8, the IMF, and the World Bank, significantly curtailed their development programs in Guinea. However, the IMF approved a 3-year Extended Credit Facility arrangement in 2012, following the December 2010 presidential elections. In September 2012, Guinea achieved Heavily Indebted Poor Countries completion point status. Future access to international assistance and investment will depend on the government’s ability to be transparent, combat corruption, reform its banking system, improve its business environment, and build infrastructure. In April 2013, the government amended its mining code to reduce taxes and royalties. In 2014, Guinea also complied with requirements of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by publishing its mining contracts and was found to be compliant. Guinea completed its program with the IMF in October 2016 even though some targeted reforms have been delayed. Currently Guinea is negotiating a new IMF program which will be based on Guinea’s new five-year economic plan, focusing on the development of higher value-added products, including from the agro-business sector and development of the rural economy.

The biggest threats to Guinea’s economy are political instability, a reintroduction of the Ebola virus epidemic, and low international commodity prices. Economic recovery will be a long process while the government adjusts to lower inflows of international donor aid following the surge of Ebola-related emergency support. Ebola stalled promising economic growth in 2014-15 and impeded several projects, such as offshore oil exploration and the Simandou iron ore project. The economy, however, grew by 5.2% in 2016, mainly due to growth from bauxite mining and thermal energy generation as well as the resiliency of the agricultural sector. The economy is projected to grow by 4.6% in 2017. The 240 megawatt Kaleta Dam, inaugurated in September 2015, has expanded access to electricity for residents of Conakry. An enduring legacy of corruption, inefficiency, and lack of government transparency, combined with fears of Ebola virus, continue to undermine Guinea's economic viability.

Guinea’s iron ore industry took a hit in 2016 when investors in the Simandou iron ore project announced plans to divest from the project. In 2017, agriculture output and public investment will boost economic growth while the mining sector continues to play a prominent role in economic performance.

Successive governments have failed to address the country's crumbling infrastructure. Guinea suffers from chronic electricity shortages; poor roads, rail lines and bridges; and a lack of access to clean water - all of which continue to plague economic development. The present government, led by President Alpha CONDE, is working to create an environment to attract foreign investment and hopes to have greater participation from western countries and firms in Guinea's economic development.
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.

With renewed donor support following elections in April-May 2014 and a successful regional bond issuance, the government of Guinea-Bissau began to make progress paying salaries, settling domestic arrears, and gaining more control over revenues and expenditures, but it was deposed by the President in August 2015. A political stalemate since then 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)$16.08 billion (2016 est.)
$15.49 billion (2015 est.)
$15.47 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$2.851 billion (2016 est.)
$2.72 billion (2015 est.)
$2.596 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.8% (2016 est.)
0.1% (2015 est.)
1.1% (2014 est.)
4.8% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2015 est.)
2.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,300 (2016 est.)
$1,300 (2015 est.)
$1,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$1,600 (2016 est.)
$1,500 (2015 est.)
$1,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 19.7%
industry: 37.7%
services: 42.6% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 45%
industry: 13.3%
services: 41.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line47% (2006 est.)
67% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2007)
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 28% (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)7.9% (2016 est.)
8.1% (2015 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2015 est.)
Labor force5.392 million (2016 est.)
731,300 (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 76%
industry and services: 24% (2006 est.)
agriculture: 82%
industry and services: 18% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
NA%
Budgetrevenues: $1.421 billion
expenditures: $1.857 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $171.3 million
expenditures: $212.7 million (2016 est.)
Industriesbauxite, gold, diamonds, iron ore; light manufacturing, agricultural processing
agricultural products processing, beer, soft drinks
Industrial production growth rate6.2% (2016 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsrice, coffee, pineapples, mangoes, palm kernels, cocoa, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes; cattle, sheep, goats; timber
rice, corn, beans, cassava (manioc, tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm kernels, cotton; timber; fish
Exports$1.705 billion (2016 est.)
$1.611 billion (2015 est.)
$163.2 million (2016 est.)
$202.9 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesbauxite, gold, diamonds, coffee, fish, agricultural products
fish, shrimp; cashews, peanuts, palm kernels, raw and sawn lumber
Exports - partnersIndia 22.1%, Spain 8.2%, Ireland 7.3%, Germany 6.3%, Belgium 5.5%, Ukraine 5.3%, France 4.1% (2015)
India 63.3%, Nigeria 20.4%, China 5.7%, Togo 5.7% (2015)
Imports$2.185 billion (2016 est.)
$2.173 billion (2015 est.)
$196.8 million (2016 est.)
$199.5 million (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum products, metals, machinery, transport equipment, textiles, grain and other foodstuffs
foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products
Imports - partnersChina 20.5%, Netherlands 5.4%, India 4.4% (2015)
Portugal 27.2%, Senegal 12.8%, China 6.5%, Spain 5.5%, Cuba 4.9% (2015)
Debt - external$1.332 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.329 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.095 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$941.5 million (31 December 2000 est.)
Exchange ratesGuinean francs (GNF) per US dollar -
8,230 (2016 est.)
7,485.5 (2015 est.)
7,485.5 (2014 est.)
7,014.1 (2013 est.)
6,986 (2012 est.)
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
605.7 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Current Account Balance-$839 million (2016 est.)
-$1.363 billion (2015 est.)
$31 million (2016 est.)
-$6 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$6.754 billion (2016 est.)
$1.168 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate22.25% (31 December 2005)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate22% (31 December 2016 est.)
23% (31 December 2015 est.)
15% (31 December 2016 est.)
15% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.757 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.863 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$255.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$206.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.701 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.658 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$537.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$454.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.093 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.175 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$596.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$514.1 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues21% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 97.2%
government consumption: 8.4%
investment in fixed capital: 13.3%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 23.5%
imports of goods and services: -42.4% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 92.2%
government consumption: 11.4%
investment in fixed capital: 6.1%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 20.7%
imports of goods and services: -30.4% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving3.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
-8.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
-8% of GDP (2014 est.)
11.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
11.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
7.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
Electricity - production1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
34 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption900 million kWh (2014 est.)
31.62 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity500,000 kW (2014 est.)
39,000 kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels67.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
99% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants32.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption16,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
2,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports16,130 bbl/day (2013 est.)
2,423 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy1.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
500,000 Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 8,700,000
electrification - total population: 26%
electrification - urban areas: 53%
electrification - rural areas: 11% (2013)
population without electricity: 1,300,000
electrification - total population: 21%
electrification - urban areas: 37%
electrification - rural areas: 6% (2013)

Telecommunications

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 18,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2011 est.)
total subscriptions: 5,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2012 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 10.764 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91 (July 2015 est.)
total: 1.238 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 72 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: huge improvement over the last 10 years; the capital and the regional administrative centers have 3G access
domestic: there is national coverage and Conakry is reasonably well-served; coverage elsewhere remains inadequate but is improving; fixed-line teledensity less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership is expanding rapidly and exceeds 90 per 100 persons
international: country code - 224; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2017)
general assessment: small system including a combination of microwave radio relay, open-wire lines, radiotelephone, and mobile cellular communications
domestic: fixed-line teledensity less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile cellular teledensity is roughly 70 per 100 persons
international: country code - 245 (2015)
Internet country code.gn
.gw
Internet userstotal: 554,000
percent of population: 4.7% (July 2015 est.)
total: 61,000
percent of population: 3.5% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediagovernment maintains marginal control over broadcast media; single state-run TV station; state-run radio broadcast station also operates several stations in rural areas; a steadily increasing number of privately owned radio stations, nearly all in Conakry, and about a dozen community radio stations; foreign TV programming available via satellite and cable subscription services (2011)
1 state-owned TV station 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 (2007)

Transportation

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
Roadwaystotal: 44,348 km
paved: 4,342 km
unpaved: 40,006 km (2003)
total: 3,455 km
paved: 965 km
unpaved: 2,490 km (2002)
Waterways1,300 km (navigable by shallow-draft native craft in the northern part of the Niger River system) (2011)
(rivers are partially navigable; many inlets and creeks provide shallow-water access to much of interior) (2012)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Conakry, Kamsar
major seaport(s): Bissau, Buba, Cacheu, Farim
Airports16 (2013)
8 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
total: 2
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 3 (2013)

Military

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
Military branchesNational Armed Forces: Army, Guinean Navy (Armee de Mer or Marine Guineenne, includes Marines), Guinean Air Force (Force Aerienne de Guinee) (2009)
People's Revolutionary Armed Force (FARP): Army, Navy, National Air Force (Forca Aerea Nacional); Presidential Guard (2012)
Military service age and obligationno compulsory military service (2017)
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 expenditures - percent of GDP3.85% of GDP (2014)
3.09% of GDP (2013)
2.98% of GDP (2012)
1.76% of GDP (2015)
1.94% of GDP (2014)
2.11% of GDP (2013)
2.46% of GDP (2012)
1.58% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

GuineaGuinea-Bissau
Disputes - internationalSierra Leone considers Guinea's definition of the flood plain limits to define the left bank boundary of the Makona and Moa Rivers excessive and protests Guinea's continued occupation of these lands, including the hamlet of Yenga, occupied since 1998
a longstanding low-grade conflict continues in parts of
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Guinea is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the majority of trafficking victims are Guinean children, and trafficking is more prevalent among Guineans than foreign national migrants; Guinean girls are subjected to domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are forced to beg or to work as street vendors, shoe shiners, or miners; Guinea is a source country and transit point for West African children forced to work as miners in the region; Guinean women and girls are subjected to domestic servitude and sex trafficking in West Africa, the Middle East, the US, and increasingly Europe, while Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese women are forced into prostitution and some West Africans are forced into domestic servitude in Guinea
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Guinea was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; no new investigations were conducted in 2014, and the one ongoing case led to the prosecution of four offenders for forced child labor, three of whom were convicted but given inadequate sentences for the crime; the government did not identify or provide protective services to victims and did not support NGOs that assisted victims but continued to refer child victims to NGOs on an ad hoc basis; Guinean law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, excluding, for example, debt bondage; the 2014 Ebolavirus outbreak negatively affected Guinea’s ability to address human trafficking (2015)
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)

Source: CIA Factbook