Guinea-Bissau The name Guinea remains a source of debate; it is perhaps a corruption of an Amazigh (Berber) word meaning “land of the blacks.” The country is mainly flat and the inland consist of savannas and forests making the country the third largest forest country in African. The country uses the name of its capital, Bissau, to distinguish it from Guinea Conakry, its neighbogh.
Portuguese settlers controlled the area for centuries, until 1956 when Amilcar Cabral and Rafael Barbosa secretly organized the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) and staged an armed rebellion against the Portuguese in 1961. Independence wasn’t achieved until 1974, following the Carnation Revolution (a military coup in Lisbon, Portugal). Luis Cabral became the first president. He is the half brother of Amílcar Cabral. Amílcar Cabral was a Bissau-Guinean and Cape Verdean agricultural engineer, intellectual, poet, theoretician, revolutionary, political organizer, nationalist and diplomat was a fierce anti colonial leader.. Guinea Bissau gained its independence from the Portuguese on September 10th 1974. Luis Cabral is ousted in military coup led by Joao Bernardo Vieira; plans for unification with Cape Verde dropped. The overthrow is the first of many political coups that undermine the country’s stability over the next four decades. Upon independence, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country’s name to prevent confusion with the Republic of Guinea. The current president a former finance minister, Jose Mario Vaz won the presidential election run-off of May 2014. Guinea-Bissau is now one of the poorest countries in the world even though it has tremendous potential for development.
Guinea Bissau has an agriculture base economy in which 90% of export products are nuts, Cashew being the vital nut crop which provides a modest living for farmers and is the main source of foreign exchange.
There is also tremendous potential for forestry and fishery development that has yet to be tapped into.
Some of the most notable beautiful part of the country is the Bijagos remote islands of the coast. The Bijagos Islands are a group of about 88 islands and islets located in the Atlantic Ocean. The Bijagos archipelago was formed from the ancient delta of the Rio Geba and the Rio Grande and spans an area of 2,624 km2 (1,184 sq. miles). However, of the 88 islands only some 20 islands are populated year-round, namely Bubaque which is where the Bijagos administrative capital is situated and is the most populated island, Bolama, Carache, Caravela, Enu, Formosa, Galinhas, João Vieira, Maio, Meneque, Orango, Orangozinho, Ponta, Roxa, Rubane, Soga, Unhacomo, Uno, and Uracane all are small town.
There are over 20 African ethnicities, including the Balante, one of the largest ethnic groups in the country, then Fulani and their many subgroups, the Diola, the Nalu, the Bijagó, the Landuma, the Papel (Pepel), and then the Malinke.
Portuguese is the country’s official and formal language, however, Crioulo—a creole that emerged during the slave trade—is spoken as the lingua franca.
National dishes includes, Caldo stews, caldo Mancara a Groundnut soup, caldo Branco, Batons de manioc, Fried cassava. Currency CFA (Communaute Financiere Africaine) franc.
The calabash is the primary musical instrument of Guinea-Bissau, and is used in extremely swift and rhythmically complex dance music. Lyrics are almost always in Guinea-Bissau Creole, a Portuguese-based creole language.