Guinea-Bissau 2006

Guinea-Bissau 2006

In 2006, Guinea-Bissau was located in West Africa and bordered by Senegal to the north, Guinea to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The population of Guinea-Bissau in 2006 was estimated to be around 1.5 million people with a majority of Fula heritage. Portuguese was the official language but many Guinean Bissau citizens also spoke a variety of local languages such as Balanta and Mandinka. The main religion is Islam with a strong presence of traditional animist beliefs in some areas.

According to constructmaterials, Guinea-Bissau had been an independent nation since 1974 after centuries of foreign rule. Despite this, poverty levels were extremely high and inequality was widespread compared to other countries in West Africa. In 2006, Guinea-Bissau’s economy was largely dependent on its exports of agricultural products as well as minerals made by major corporations such as Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée and Société Minière de Dinguiraye. There were some efforts to diversify its economy by encouraging foreign investment but with limited success. The healthcare system was also inadequate with poor access to basic medical care for much of the population as well as relatively high rates of infant mortality and malnutrition compared to other countries in West Africa.

Yearbook 2006

Guinea Bissau. In January, the Supreme Court ruled that the appointment of Prime Minister Aristides Gomes via decree 2005 did not contravene the Constitution, as former Gov. Carlos Gomes Júnior argued. Both are members of the same party, PAIGC (African Independence Party of Guinea and Cape Verde).

Conflicts between various factions of the Senegalese separatist movement MFDC in Casamance in southern Senegal spread to March in Guinea-Bissau. Clashes occurred on both sides of the border and thousands of people were displaced. Why the fighting broke out was unclear.

In May, a large vaccination campaign was launched in which 700,000 children would be given protection against measles. Almost after malaria, measles was the disease that required the lives of most children.

In August, the capital was said to have been completely freed from the mines deployed during the liberation war of 1961–74 and the civil war of 1998–99.

According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Guinea-Bissau include Independence Day (September 24) and New Year (January 1). The country’s economy was getting worse and low world market prices of cashews, the most important export product, exacerbated the problems. Public servants often had to wait many months to get paid. In June, the West African partner organization ECOWAS promised to donate money to strike striking government employees with their outstanding salaries. On November 7-8, a donor meeting was held in Geneva where G. was promised support of US $ 266 million, far less than the $ 460 million the country asked for. A large part of the money was expected to go towards modernizing and partly reducing the defense forces from 9,000 to 3,500 men.

The long and largely unguarded coast began to be increasingly used for drug smuggling – especially cocaine – from South America to Europe.

Guinea Bissau Map with Surrounding Countries

Geopolitical Atlas

The political life of Guinea-Bissau has been characterized by a strong instability since the independence, granted by Portugal on 10 September 1974, since the interference of military power has always been very extensive. Numerous coups d’etat have followed one another, so much so that to date no president has ever completed his mandate without being dismissed. The latest government overthrow occurred on April 12, 2012, when the army overthrew Raimundo Pereira, interim presidenttook office after the death of President Malam Bacai Sanhá on January 9, 2012. Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo was appointed head of the transitional government on April 19, who, incited by strong international pressure, nevertheless tried to adopt solutions more inclusive and has called in its executive members of the Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné and Cabo Verde (Paigc), the party that holds the majority of seats in parliament. In 2013, the arrest of two top exponents of the armed forces for drug trafficking, including Antonio Indjai, one of the protagonists of the 2010 coup, partially reduced the influence of the military component on the government. The presidential elections, initially scheduled for 2013 and then postponed to 2014, saw the winner José Mário Vaz, a member of the PAIGC.

International aid and reconstruction, from an economic and social point of view, are linked to stabilization and the concrete will of its leaders to achieve it. To the suspension of the country from membership of the African Union (Au), later revoked in June 2014 following the election of the new president, was joined by that of European donations and the programs of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which were subsequently restarted. In particular, in 2010 the EU interrupted the support plan for the armed forces due to the lack of basic requirements. Angola itself, which had previously supported the Guinea-Bissau government, has sharply reduced its aid. Ecowas, and in particular Nigeria and Senegal, continue to maintain relations, especially with a view to preventing and defending regional security. Relations with the US are strongly conditioned by the involvement of some military leaders in the international drug trafficking: Guinea-Bissau is an important hub for the sorting of cocaine from Latin America. The trafficking of cocaine is so widespread that Guinea-Bissau is now considered a narcostat. The United Nations renewed their mission until February 2016 on site, in consultation with Ecowas and Au, precisely to monitor the country’s normalization process.

Political instability puts international aid at risk and with it economic growth, which in any case stood at 4.7% for 2015. The economy is also weakened by the burden of public spending, which in turn is weighed down by anomalous phenomena such as the so-called ghost workers, deceased or never existed public employees, regularly paid (in August 2010 the government discovered the existence of about 3000 cases through a census).

Guinea-Bissau has an underdeveloped industry and unable to exploit the mineral resources (bauxite and phosphate) at its disposal. The country exports cashews (80% of total exports) and, to a lesser extent, seafood products, especially shrimps. 98% of cashews are sold to the country’s largest trading partner, India, with which trade has grown by almost 60% on average over the past three years and with which Bissau has a solid diplomatic relationship.