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Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers: 54gene, mPharma, Cambridge Industries, FlexFinTx, Kuda, Moringa School and Sokowatch.

Facts of a Homeland Named Guinea-Bissau

Get the facts on the African homeland of Guinea-Bissau and learn about a country unlike any other.

Here are 28 interesting facts about Guinea-Bissau.

Selling a drink of rum made from cashews in Guinea-Bissau
Selling a drink of rum made from cashews in Guinea-Bissau.


Facts of a Homeland Named Guinea-Bissau.

Guinea-Bissau is located on the western coast of Africa.

The Arquipelago Dos Bijagos of Guinea-Bissau consists of 18 main islands, 88 islands and islets in total.

Around 55 percent is covered in forests.

Declared independence in 1973 from Portugal.

Republic of Guinea-Bissau former name before independence was Portuguese Guinea.

The country is named after the Guinea region of West Africa.

There are nine administrative regions, Bafata, Biombo, Bissau, Bijagos, Cacheu, Gabu, Oio, Quinara, and Tombali

Pluba Guinea-Bissau
Pluba Guinea-Bissau


Chief languages are Crioulo, which is the lingua franca or language of business and education, and Portuguese, which is the official language.

Political instability describes Guinea-Bissau over the past fifty years escorting in successive governments leading to poor implementation of public policies. Guinea-Bissau does not have official representation in Washington, DC.

The US Embassy suspended operations June 1998 and the US Ambassador to Senegal is recognized as Guinea-Bissau representative.

Guinea-Bissau is one of the world’s poorest countries.

It is the 137th largest county in the world.

Life expectancy at birth is 63 years.

Approximately 20 percent of the population lives in the capital city of Bissau.

Woman in Contadine, Guinea Bissau

Woman in Contadine, Guinea Bissau


Main ethnic groups are Fulani 28.5 percent, Balanta 22.5 percent, Mandinga 14.7 percent, Papel 9.1 percent, and Manjaco 8.3 percent.

Main economic activity is agriculture generating more than 50 percent of the Gross Domestic product, GDP.

Cashew nuts are the main export product followed by gold, fish, lumber, and aluminum ores. Cashew nuts accounted for 24 percent of the GDP.

Sea fishing creates the second largest source of foreign currency and employment in Guinea-Bissau but has limited means of monitoring and controlling fishing boats and combating illegal activities.

Three top export partners are India 50 percent, Belgium 28 percent, and Cote d'Ivoire 8 percent.

Three top import partners are Portugal 31 percent, Senegal 20 percent, and China 10 percent followed by Netherlands 7 percent and Pakistan 7 percent importing mainly refined petroleum, rice, and wheat products.

Guinea-Bissau has uncontrolled exploitation of timber forest resources, especially during periods of political and institutional instability.

Bike riding in Guinea-Bissau near the town of Gabu Koundara
Bike riding in Guinea-Bissau near the town of Gabu Koundara.


Guinea-Bissau is a low-income and food-deficit country, ranking 178 out of 189 countries in the 2019 Human Development Index.

Approximately 60 percent of the population is under the age of 25.

 School enrolment rate is 62.4 percent for basic education and 20.4 per cent for secondary education due to the country lacking educational infrastructure, school funding and materials, and qualified teachers.

The literacy rate among 15-24 years of age is 51 percent for women and 70 percent for men.

Around 60 percent of households have no drinking water supply in their homes.

Thirteen percent of the population has access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities.

In Guinea-Bissau, about 38 percent of the population has access to health services.

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Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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