Guinea-Bissau Geography

Guinea-Bissau [ gi NEA ] Republic on the west coast of Africa, which consists of the flat mainland and about 60 upstream Bissagosinseln. The economy is based on agriculture (export of peanuts and palm oil) and fishing. There is hardly any industry. The majority of the population, around 30 different ethnic groups, belong to natural religions.

History: The area occupied by Portugal in 1446 became a Portuguese colony in 1879 as Portuguese Guinea. In 1974 it gained independence after a guerrilla war ( guerrilla ).


Guinea-Bissau borders in the north on Senegal, in the east and south on Guinea, in the west on the Atlantic Ocean, in which the Bissagos Islands, which belong to Guinea-Bissau, are located.

Guinea-Bissau is largely flat (30–40 m above sea level). Its 160 km long coast (with extensive mud flats) is divided by estuaries reaching deep into the land and offshore islands ( Bissagos Islands). In the estuaries the tides are noticeable up to 100 km inland; this makes an irrigation landscape possible in the river valleys. The mangrove and rainforests of the coastal area merge into wet savannah to the east; the terrain rises in the southeast to around 300 m above sea level.


Guinea-Bissau is located on the southern edge of the ever-expanding Sahel zone. There is a marginal tropical climate with a rainy season from May to the beginning of November. The precipitation, which falls at the beginning and at the end of the rainy season in thunderstorms, in July and August in heavy continuous rain brought by the southwest winds, reaches annual sums of 2,300 mm in the extreme south and decreases to 1,200 mm to the north (Bissau and Bafatá im central part around 1600 mm). The mean temperature maxima (in April) are at 26–28 ° C (absolute maxima 40–41 ° C), the mean minima (in January) at 21 ° C (absolute minima at 11–15 ° C).


Guinea-Bissau is a multiethnic state with around 30 different ethnic groups – including Balante (26%), Fulbe (18%), Mandingo (11%), Pepe and Manjaco (together 24%) – and just as many languages. According to ejinhua, the official language Portuguese is only spoken by a few, the lingua franca is Portuguese Creole (Crioulo). 51% of the population live in cities, mostly in the area of ​​the capital Bissau. The population density (2017) is 66 residents / km 2.

Social: The social situation of the population is bad. Due to a lack of public finances, basic services and social security are hardly guaranteed.


The constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Religious affiliation surveys yield divergent results. About 42-50% of the population are Muslims ( Sunni of the Maliki school of law ), about 30-40% are considered followers of traditional African religions. The approximately 10-22% Christians are predominantly members of the Catholic Church (two exemte dioceses). There is also a small Protestant church (Igreja Evangélica da Guiné), a New Apostolic community and centers for various Protestant missionary societies.

Guinea-Bissau [gi-], officially Portuguese República da Guiné-Bissau [- gi-], German Republic of Guinea-Bissau, state in West Africa with (2019) 1.9 million residents; The capital is Bissau.


There are two trade union federations: Confederação Geral dos Sindicatos Independentes da Guiné-Bissau (CGSI-GB) and União Nacional dos Trabalhadores da Guiné-Bissau (UNTGB).


The total strength of the conscription army is about 4,500, that of the paramilitary forces 2,000 men. The armed forces consist almost exclusively of army troops, the v. a. are divided into one tank and artillery battalion and five infantry battalions.


Guinea-Bissau is divided into 8 regions with 37 districts; the capital Bissau forms its own administrative unit.


At the top of the legal system is the Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal de Justiça); Subordinate to it are a court of appeal (Tribunal de Recurso), regional courts (Tribunais Regionais) and district and village courts. The latter can also be filled with lay judges. The legal system is still significantly impaired by the unstable situation in the country, so that the theoretically existing court structure only functions with restrictions in practice. In 1993 the death penalty was officially abolished.

Portuguese laws were adopted for the legal system insofar as these were in accordance with the constitution of the independent Guinea-Bissau. In the country, however, traditional African and Islamic law largely applies. Commercial and company law is standardized within the framework of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), to which, in addition to Guinea-Bissau, the French-speaking countries of sub-Saharan Africa belong.

Country facts

  • Official name: Republic of Guinea-Bissau
  • License plate: GUB
  • ISO-3166: GW, GNB (624)
  • Internet
  • Currency: CFA franc
  • Area: 36 130 km²
  • Population (2019): 1.9 million
  • Capital: Bissau
  • Official language (s): Portuguese
  • Form of government: Presidential Republic
  • Administrative division: 8 regions and capital district
  • Head of State: President Umaro Sissoco Embaló
  • Head of Government: Nuno Gomes Nabiam
  • Religion (s) (2008): 45% Muslims; 22% Christians (Catholics), 15% followers of traditional local religions, 2% non-denominational, 16% other / n / a
  • Time zone: Central European Time -1 hour
  • National Day: September 24th

Location and infrastructure

  • Location (geographical): West Africa
  • Location (coordinates): between 10 ° 52 ‘and 12 ° 40’ north latitude and 13 ° 38 ‘and 16 ° 43’ west longitude
  • Climate: Tropical savanna climate
  • Highest mountain: k. A. (300 m)
  • Road network (2018): 453 km (paved), 3,947 km (unpaved)


  • Annual population growth (2020): 2.5%
  • Birth rate (2020): 36.9 per 1000 inh.
  • Death rate (2020): 7.9 per 1000 residents.
  • Average age (2020): 18 years
  • Average life expectancy (2020): 62.8 years (men 60.6; women 65.1)
  • Age structure (2020): 43.2% younger than 15 years, 3.1% older than 65 years
  • Literacy rate (15 year olds and older) (2015): 59.9%
  • Mobile phone contracts (pre-paid and post-paid) (2018): 79 per 100 residents
  • Internet users (2017): 4 per 100 residents


  • GDP per capita (2019): US $ 786
  • Total GDP (2019): US $ 1.397 billion
  • GNI per capita (2019): US $ 820
  • Education expenditure (2013): 2.1% of GDP
  • Military expenditure (2017): 1.4% of GDP
  • Unemployment rate (15 years and older) (2019): 2.5%

Guinea-Bissau Country and People