(pronounced "KOOM-bah YAY-lah")
"I am appealing to all the people, the main stakeholders of change in the country. The national reconciliation process has to succeed because we are compelled to shoulder our responsibilities of developing our country."
Officially known as the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and formerly known as Portuguese Guinea until its independence from Portugal in 1974, Guinea-Bissau is situated on the west coast of Africa. To the north is Senegal; to the east and south is the Republic of Guinea; and to the west is the Atlantic Ocean. Its total area is 36,125 sq km (13,948 sq mi) and includes the offshore Bijagós Islands. The population was estimated at 1.3 million in 2002. The Guinean unit of currency is the Communauté Financière Africaine franc (CFA franc ). Portuguese is the official language although Creole and Balante are widely used. Ethnically, Guinea-Bissau's population is 99% African and includes 33% Balante, 22% Fulani/Fula, 14% Mandyako, 13% Malinke/Mandingo, 7% Pepel, and 1% European and bi-racial. Guinea-Bissau's religion is 65% animist, 30% Muslim, and 5% Christian, mainly Roman Catholic. While Guinea-Bissau's primary export is cashew nuts, other exports include peanuts, fish products, palm nuts, timber, and cotton.
Conselho de Estado