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Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries in the world

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 26, 2009 at 13:02:39 :: Guinea-Bissau

In Western Africa, south of Senegal, is the small country of Guinea-Bissau, one of the smallest states in continental Africa and one of the poorest countries in the world. Its size is nearly 37,000 square kilometres (14,000 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1,700,000. Formerly the Portuguese colony of Portuguese Guinea, upon independence, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country's name to prevent confusion with the Republic of Guinea.

Cacheu river, Sao Domingos, Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau won independence from Portugal in 1974 after a long struggle spearheaded by the left-wing African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

The country's vital cashew nut crop provides a modest living for most of Guinea-Bissau's farmers and is the main source of foreign exchange. Guinea-Bissau's GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world. Its Human Development Index is one of the lowest on earth. More than two-thirds of Guinea-Bissau's population lives below the poverty line. The economy depends mainly on agriculture; fish, cashew nuts and ground nuts are its major exports.

Guinea-Bissau is warm all year around and there is little temperature fluctuation; it averages 26.3°C (79.3°F). The average rainfall for Bissau is 2024 mm although this is almost entirely accounted for during the rainy season which falls between June and September/October. From December through April, the country experiences drought.

Beautiful river and forest in Guinea-Bissau


- Full name: The Republic of Guinea-Bissau
- Population: 1.7 million (UN, 2007)
- Capital: Bissau
- Area: 36,125 sq km (13,948 sq miles)
- Major languages: Portuguese, Crioulo, African languages
- Life expectancy: 45 years (men), 48 years (women) (UN)
- Monetary unit: 1 CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) = 100 centimes
- Main exports: Cashew nuts, shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, sawn timber
- GNI per capita: US $200 (World Bank, 2007)
- Internet domain: .gw
- International dialling code: +245

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