5 Interesting Facts About Guinea Bissau

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Portuguese Guinea was the name of Guinea-Bissau before it gained independence in 1974. Ranking as the lowest Gross Domestic Product country,

the land is now known as Guinea-Bissau which was once the kingdom of Gab, which was part of the larger Mali empire.

 After 1546 Gab became more autonomous, and at least portions of the kingdom existed until 1867. The first European to encounter Guinea-Bissau was the Portuguese explorer Nuo Tristo in 1446, colonists in the Cape Verde islands obtained trading rights in the territory, and it became a center of the Portuguese slave trade.

 Historically, the connection with the islands was broken.

 and the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde  which is another Portuguese colony was founded in 1956, and guerrilla warfare by nationalists grew increasingly effective.

 By 1974 the rebels controlled most of the countryside, where they formed a government that was soon recognized by scores of countries. The military coup in Portugal in April 1974 brightened the prospects for freedom, and in August the Lisbon government signed an agreement granting independence to the province. The new republic took the name Guinea-Bissau.

 Below are some strong facts about Guinea-Bissau you must know

 

  • Creole is the National language of unity of the people of Guinea-Bissau 

A variant of Guinea-Bissau Creole is also spoken in southern Senegal , mainly in the region of casamance, a former Portuguese colony, which is known n as Portuguis Creole or Casamance Creole. Creole is the majority language of the inhabitants of the casamance region and is used as a language of commerce.

Standard Portuguese  is the official language of Guinea-Bissau, but Guinea-Bissau Creole is the language of trade, informal literature and entertainment. It is not used in either news media, parliament, public services or educational programming

According to a 2012 study, 54% of the population speak Creole as a first language and about 40% speak it as a second language.The remainder speak a variety of native African languages.

 

  • Guinea-Bissau’s flag draws its inspiration from the flag of the Republic of Ghana. 

It was the struggle of the Ghanaians for freedom that inspired the people of Guinea-Bissau to put up a fight for their very own. The fight for the independence of Guinea-Bissau was greatly supported morally and materially by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s president during that time . It was another reason for the country to pay tribute with their flag.

The flag of the country has the colors of the flag of the Republic of Ghana but with a different design.

The inspiration of fighting for their independence became vigorous as they saw the need to detach themselves from the Portuguese rule and colonization.

 

  • Guinea-Bissau was once joined to Mali empire and kingdom of Kaaba

Long before the invasion, Guinea–Bissau once existed as the powerful Kingdom of Kaabu that survived for close to 800 years, first as a settlement, then under the Mali empire and later as an independent state from 1537 to 1867.

Their existence with the Kaaba kingdom lasted awhile before the country ultimately gained it freedom in the 90’s.

After the middle of the 14th century, Mali saw a steep decline due to raids by the Mossi to their south and the growth of the new Songhai empire . During the 16th century, Mali lost many of its provinces reducing it to not much more than the Mandinka heartland. Succession disputes between heirs to Mali’s throne also weakened its ability to hold even its historically secure possessions in Senegal, the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. Free of imperial oversight, these lands splintered off to form independent kingdoms. The most successful and longest lasting of these was Kaabu, which became independent in 1537. 

Bissau was added to the country’s name to prevent confusion with Guinea after they gained independence in 1974

Guinea-Bissau in the 19th century, was colonized as Portuguese Guinea. Upon independence, declared in 1973 and recognized in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country’s name to prevent confusion with formerly French Guinea. Guinea-Bissau has a history of political instability since independence, and no elected president has successfully served a full five-year term.

Only 14% of the population speaks noncreolized Portuguese, established as the official language. There are diverse religions in Guinea-Bissau with no one religion having a majority. The country’s per-capita gross domestic product is one of the lowest in the world. 

 

  • The country has the lowest Gross Domestic Product

In 2020, GDP for Guinea Bissau was 1.43 billion US dollars. GDP of Guinea Bissau increased from 0.41 billion US dollars in 2001 to 1.43 billion US dollars in 2020 growing at an average annual rate of 7.22%.

The economy of Guinea-Bissau comprises a mixture of state-owned and private companies.Guinea-Bissau  is among the world’s least developed nations and one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, and depends mainly on agriculture and fishing.  Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years, and the country ranked ninth in cashew production for the year of 2019.

Guinea-Bissau exports to Asia non-fillet frozen fish and seafood, peanuts , palm kernels, and timber. License fees for fishing in their sea-zone (Gulf of Guinea) provide the government with some small revenue.  Rice is the major crop and staple food. Due to European regulations fish and cashew-nuts exports to Europe are totally prohibited as well as agriculture products in general.

 

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