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Guinea-Bissau Flag

Guinea-Bissau Flag
Flag of Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau flags for displaying indoors or out.
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Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau Background

In 1994, 20 years after independence from Portugal, the country's first multiparty legislative and presidential elections were held. An army uprising that triggered a bloody civil war in 1998 created hundreds of thousands of displaced persons. A military junta ousted the president in May 1999. An interim government turned over power in February 2000 when opposition leader Kumba YALA took office following two rounds of transparent presidential elections. Guinea-Bissau's transition back to democracy will be complicated by its crippled economy, devastated in the civil war.

Guinea-Bissau Economy

One of the 10 poorest countries in the world, Guinea-Bissau depends mainly on farming and fishing. Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years, and the country now ranks sixth in cashew production. Guinea-Bissau exports fish and seafood along with small amounts of peanuts, palm kernels, and timber. Rice is the major crop and staple food. However, intermittent fighting between Senegalese-backed government troops and a military junta destroyed much of the country's infrastructure and caused widespread damage to the economy in 1998; the civil war led to a 28% drop in GDP that year, with partial recovery in 1999-2002. Before the war, trade reform and price liberalization were the most successful part of the country's structural adjustment program under IMF sponsorship. The tightening of monetary policy and the development of the private sector had also begun to reinvigorate the economy. Because of high costs, the development of petroleum, phosphate, and other mineral resources is not a near-term prospect. However, unexploited offshore oil reserves could provide much-needed revenue in the long run. The inequality of income distribution is one of the most extreme in the world. The government and international donors continue to work out plans to forward economic development from a lamentably low base. Government drift and indecision, however, have resulted in low growth in 2002 and dim prospects for 2003.

Guinea-Bissau Location

Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea and Senegal

Guinea-Bissau Flag

two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and green with a vertical red band on the hoist side; there is a black five-pointed star centered in the red band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia


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