Bissau Facts



The Flag
The party flag was derived from that of Ghana, which first used the Pan-African combination of red, yellow, green, and black in 1957. The black star stands for the unity of Africa. Red stands for the blood shed during the struggle for independence, green for the lush forests , and gold for mineral wealth of the nation.  The flag of Guinea-Bissau was officially adopted on September 24, 1973, the day the Portugal regime ended and the country won independence. - source wikipedia

National Emblem
    Unity- Struggle - Progress

As mentioned above, the Black star represents the untity of all    african nations. The shells represent the countries location on the  west coast and the national motto reads Unity, Struggle, Progress. - source wikipedia

Currency and Money
The peso was the currency of Guinea-Bissau from 1975 to 1997.  In 1997, Guinea-Bissau adopted the franco Cefa (cfa) of the West African States.  So how far does your dollar get yet you exactly?
Current exchange rate is 1 USD to 500xof,  With 500xof you can get a 1.5 liter bottle of water or 5 eggs or a taxi ride to the other side of town (I think you get the picture).

But for being one of the poorest, this country is expensive! Almost all products (furniture, equipment, even food) in this country are imported, with non -food products coming from china. In general, the prices are ridiculously high and the quality very poor.

Ethnic Groups
There are more then 40 ethnic groups in Guinea-Bissau! Some smaller ethnic groups are divisions within larger ethnic groups. The following 13 are the most dominant in Bissau are: 
Mandinga,  Balanta, Pepel, Fula, Biafada, Manjack, Balantamane, Bijagoes, Mansonca, Saraculle, Djakanka, Fulupe, and Mancanya.

Language(s)
Official Language: Portuguese
Spoken Language: Creole
Other languages spoken: French, English, and each ethnicity has their own language.
Many Guineans studied in Eastern Europe or Cuba, so many also speak Spanish, Russian, and other Eastern European languages

 
Demographics
Population: 1,628,603
Literacy rate: 42.4% (2003 est.
Life expectancy: 49.5 years 
Male to female ratio: .95 male/1.00 female
Median Age: 19.5 years old

Muslim 50%
Indigenous beliefs 40%
Christian 10%



Land
Total area: 13,946 sq mi ( about the size of South Carolina)

The country is a low-lying coastal region of swamps, rain forests, and mangrove-covered wetlands. Mangroves are filled with miles and miles of cashew trees. Once you go further west into the country  (Gabu area) the terain becomes more desertlike, but still covered by cashew trees/plantations.

Agriculture makes up a large percentage of the land use with major food crops being: rice, corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), and peanuts. Out side the capital subsistance farming is the main source of food. Becuase of the abundance of cashew trees, Cashew fruit and nuts are a major source of local and national income.

*source for Demographics and Land.









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