Guinea-Bissau Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Guinea-Bissau – Geography

Guinea-Bissau – geography, the coastal region is low lying and divided by numerous bays and wide estuaries; off the coast lies the Bissagos Islands. The area has up to 6 m of tide, and there are large mangrove areas, which however have been cleared to rice fields in several places. The climate is tropical and the coastal region is characterized by moist sea air. Especially in the islands, there are lots of woods that are deciduous due to the long dry season from November to April.

The inner part of the country is a flat plain, which to the east turns into a plateau of rocky cliffs and cut river valleys. During the rainy season, the rivers cross their banks, and when there is high tide along the coast, a third of Guinea-Bissau’s area is submerged. The dry season is characterized by northeast winds; the natural vegetation is savanna.

Agriculture. The country is completely dominated by family farms, which grow mainly for self-sufficiency, supplemented by a few export crops. On the coast, there are cashew nuts and oil palm products, and here fishery supplements the food supply. Inland, peanuts are grown, in addition to rice, corn, millet and sweet potatoes for their own consumption.

Population and living conditions. Living standards are low and in the unhealthy coastal region, large parts of the population have malaria. More than 10% of children die during their first year of life, and life expectancy is estimated to be 45 years for men and 49 years for women (2006). The population is growing by 2% per year as a result of a high birth rate; each woman gives birth to an average of five children. The largest ethnic groups are the Muslim peul (fulani), especially cattle people, as well as malink√©. In the coastal region live balant, and in the islands bijagos, which have a matriarchal order of society. At the mouth of the Geba River lies Bissau, the country’s capital and only major city with administration, the main port and airport, as well as a few industrial companies that process agricultural products. The country’s very low level of development is reflected, among other things. of energy consumption, which is stated to be 37 kg of oil equivalent per year. per person per year, which is an extremely small number.

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Economy. Since independence in 1974, the country’s situation has gradually deteriorated, and in the mid-1980’s the economy lay in ruins with high inflation, a persistent current account deficit and an incalculable external debt. In addition, agriculture was affected by drought and grasshopper attacks for several years. In 1987, Guinea-Bissau obtained a loan from the World Bank and the IMF, but had to accept a structural adjustment program aimed at reducing the public sector. by layoffs. In addition, the private sector was strengthened by removing price controls and trade restrictions. In 2000, the World Bank and the IMF awarded Guinea-Bissau debt relief support under the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) program); however, the aid was suspended in 2001 due to suspected fraud.

The civil war of 1998 caused major infrastructure destruction and a sharp decline in GDP. The situation improved somewhat in the following years, but the economy remains in very poor condition. Guinea-Bissau is heavily indebted and dependent on foreign aid.

In 1988, the government entered into an agreement with chemical companies in the United Kingdom, the United States and Switzerland to dump $ 15 million. t waste in the country. It could have meant a lot of revenue to the country, but international pressure from exile politicians and environmental organizations prompted the government to cancel the deal.

Guinea-Bissau – language

Guinea-Bissau – language spoken approximately 20 Nigerian-Kordofan languages in the country, including the West Atlantic languages balanta of approximately 370,000 and fulani of approximately 245,000, as well as man-language Mandinka spoken by about 155,000. At independence in 1974, it was planned that the Portuguese-based creole crioulo that serves as the lingua franca, should be the official language, but Portuguese is still used in the administration, the media and the educational system. For culture and traditions of Guinea-Bissau, please check allunitconverters.

Guinea-Bissau Geography