Happy Independence To Guinea-Bissau: A Brief Walk Into The Country’s Profile

by Duke Magazine

The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is a West African country of an estimated population of 1,874,303 persons, having a land area of 36,125 square kilometers.  With its capital and largest city as Bissau, it borders Senegal to the north, Guinea to the south and east, and Atlantic Ocean to the west. Guinea-Bissau officially got her independence on September 24, 1973 from Portugal. Therefore, the official language of the country is Portuguese.

There are about fifteen (15) different ethnic groups composing of Guinea-Bissau, with the Fula and Balanta tribes having the dominance with 28.5% and 22.5% of the population respectively. Other ethnic groups are Papel, Mandinka, Felupe, and others. 

Aside Portuguese being the official language of the country, other widely spoken languages are English, Arabic, Balanta, Noon, Soninke, and more. It should be noted that only about 2% of the population speaks Portuguese, the official language, as a first language, and 33% speak it as a second language. However, Creole is the national language and also considered the language of unity.

Christianity and Islam are the predominant religions having population percentages of 62% and 38% respectively.

Economically, The country’s per-capita gross domestic product is one of the lowest in the world, having a nominal GDP of $1.480 billion and Per capital of $851 in 2018. The political setting of Guinea-Bissau is predicated on  Unitary semi-presidential form of government. The incumbent president of the country is Umaro Sissoco Embaló and the prime minister is Nuno Gomes Nabiam.

The climate of the country is warm  all year with mild temperature fluctuations averaging at 26.3 °C (79.3 °F). Besides that, associated severe environmental problems include deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing, and overfishing.

In entertainment, the music of Guinea-Bissau is usually associated with the polyrhythmic gumbegenre, the country’s primary musical export. 

The cabasa is the primary musical instrument of Guinea-Bissau, and is used in extremely swift and rhythmically complex dance music.

In the area of food, rice is a staple in the diet of residents near the coast and millet a staple in the interior. Fruits and vegetables are commonly eaten along with cereal grains.

However, common dishes include soups and stews, and their regular ingredients are yams, sweet, potato, cassava, onion, tomato, and plantain.

Football is the most popular sport in Guinea-Bissau. They are a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA.

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