Republic of Guinea-Bissau
República da Guiné-Bissau
CAPITAL : Bissau
FLAG : The flag has equal horizontal stripes of yellow over green, with a red vertical stripe at the hoist bearing a black star.
ANTHEM : Esta é a Nossa Pátria Bem Amada (This Is Our Well-Beloved Land).
MONETARY UNIT : The Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA Fr) replaced the Guinean peso ( PG ) as official currency in May 1997. The CFA franc, which was originally pegged to the French franc, has been pegged to the euro since January 1999 with a rate of 655.957 CFA francs to 1 euro. The CFA france comes in coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 500 CFA francs, and notes of 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 CFA francs. CFA Fr1 = $0.00167 (or $1 = CFA Fr597.577) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is used.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Death of Amilcar Cabral, 20 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Anniversary of the Killing of Pidjiguiti, 3 August; National Day, 24 September; Anniversary of the Movement of Readjustment, 14 November; Christmas Day, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Korité (end of Ramadan) and Tabaski (Feast of the Sacrifice).
TIME : 11 AM = noon GMT.
The country is swampy at the coast and low-lying inland, except in the northeast. There are no significant mountains. The most important rivers include the Cacheu, Mansoa, Geba, and Corubal.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Guinea-Bissau has a variety of vegetation, with thick jungle in the interior plains, rice and mangrove fields along the coastal plains and swamps, and savanna in the north. Parts of Guinea-Bissau are rich in game, big and small. Several species of antelope, buffalo, monkeys, and snakes are found.
Wide differences prevail in languages, since each tribe has its own vernacular, subdivided into numerous dialects. A Guinean "crioulo," or Africanized Portuguese patois, is the lingua franca, while Portuguese is the official language.
About 50% of the population has retained traditional religious beliefs. As of 2002, an estimated 45% of the population adhered to the Islamic faith. The Fulani and Malinké ethic groups are Muslim for the most part. Only about 5% of the population are Christians with a majority being Roman Catholic.
Guinea-Bissau has 8 regions, not including the capital, and 37 sectors. Each region has a regional council, as does the capital, with membership consisting of elected representatives from the various sectors.
In 2002 the armed forces numbered approximately 9,250 in all services including the 2,000-man gendarmerie. The army numbered 6,800 equipped with 10 main battle tanks. The 350 member navy operated three vessels, and the air force of 100 had three combat aircraft. The defense budget in 2001 was $5.6 million, or 2.8% of GDP.
Despite the damage wrought by the tsetse fly, cattle raising occupies many Guineans, especially among the Balante in the interior. In 2001, there were an estimated 515,000 head of cattle and 350,000 hogs, as well as 285,000 sheep and 325,000 goats.
Fishing is slowly growing into a viable industry. Agreements allow the European Union countries to fish in national waters. Guinea-Bissau's own catch was an estimated 5,000 tons in 2000, with mullet accounting for 44%.
Guinean forests and savanna woodland, covering about 60% of the country, primarily supply wood and timber for domestic consumption and fuel and construction material. Roundwood production was about 592,000 cu m (21 million cu ft) in 2000, 72% used as fuel wood. Timber has become a leading export, accounting for $1 million in 2000.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
No information is available.
No recent information is available.
Current information is unavailable.
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
Import licenses are freely issued for most goods. Most imports are taxed, but luxury goods are more heavily taxed, while capital goods enjoy special treatment. Duties are applied ad valorem; some common ones are: rice (10%), gasoline (55%), diesel (15%), automobiles (40–95%), auto parts (36%), furniture (30%), and household appliances (25%).
Guinea-Bissau has no territories or colonies.
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