Guinea-Bissau 2004

Guinea Bissau People

Yearbook 2004

Guinea Bissau. In April, those involved in the coup against President Kumba Ialá received amnesty in 2003. However, it did not include people who had participated in previous coup attempts. Parliamentary elections were held on March 28. Shortcomings in the organization caused the voting to extend for another two days. There were allegations from several directions that irregularities had occurred, but foreign observers believed the choice was largely correct.

The total population in Guinea-Bissau is 1,968,012 people in 2020. The largest party was the African Independence Party for Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which received 45 seats. The party was previously in power from independence from 1974 to 1999. The largest was former President Ialá’s party, the Social Renewal Party (PRS), which got 35 seats, followed by the United Social Democratic Party (PUSD), which received 17. The turnout was just over 76%. PAIGC’s leader, businessman Carlos Gomes Júnior, was appointed new prime minister in May. The PRS promised to support the new government in Parliament.

The economy continued to fail and aid was lower than expected. The lack of rice led to rising prices during the summer. The price for a 50-kilo bag of rice corresponded to a monthly salary for a public servant lower official.

In early October, some 600 soldiers revolted, killing Commander General Verissimo Seabra Correia. The insurgents, who had returned from a peacekeeping mission in Liberia, demanded to get their wages and better living conditions. They emphasized that it was not a coup attempt. After the Portuguese mediation, the insurgents were granted amnesty and the government promised to appoint a new defense leadership. Several officers who had been forced to leave the armed forces after the 1999 civil war were now reinstated.

Guinea Bissau People


Unlike Angola, Guinea-Bissau has not undergone any essential changes in the economic-social structure in the last few decades, which remains linked to traditional indigenous agricultural cultures and communities. The capitalist economic forms, concentrated around the main Portuguese colonial company, the União Fabril, were based, before independence, above all on trade, both for the export of tropical products, and for the importation of foodstuffs and manufactured goods, with a trade balance in constant deficit (in 1971, 822 million escudos). Although still the main customer, the Portuguese area is in constant decline; Italy is Guinea-Bissau’s second commercial partner. The country followed the administrative evolution of the other overseas provinces, obtaining in 1972 a new statute that granted greater even if limited autonomy through the establishment of a Legislative Assembly (17 elected members) and a Consultative Council as coadjutor bodies. of the Portuguese governor. Some progress was also made in the health and education systems (the percentage of school attendance was lower than in the other Portuguese territories in Africa: in 1972 there were 308 schools, of which 304 for primary education).

These reforms were stimulated by the armed opposition of independent black groups, which linked the fate of Guinea-Bissau to those of the Cape Verde Islands following the strong presence of islanders on the continent. Founded in September 1956 by A. Cabral, the PAIGC (Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné and Cabo Verde), after some attempts at legal struggle between the urban population of the islands, decided to take direct action in the countryside. The attack on the Tite barracks, on January 23, 1963, triggered a conflict of vast proportions that forced Portugal to bring its forces, in 1968, to 30,000 men under the command of General A. de Spínola, with a budget of expenses. soldiers hovering around 200 million escudos. Strongly supported by Guinea, the military struggle of the PAIGC (5,000 men according to Portuguese sources) was accompanied by anti-imperialist and anti-colonial propaganda and the attempt to create, in the liberated areas, an alternative economic structure by replacing traditional colonial export crops with more responding to local consumption needs. After announcing that popular elections were held in the liberated areas between August and October 1972, and despite the assassination of A. Cabral in January 1973, the PAIGC unilaterally proclaimed independence on September 24, 1973.

The new republic, limited to two thirds of the territory and presided over by L. Cabral, was recognized by the UN as well as by about forty states, socialist or non-aligned. The success of the armed struggle, greater than in the other overseas territories also due to the inexistence of great economic interests and political conditioning present in southern Africa, was recognized by the exponents of the Portuguese internal revolution of April 25, 1974: the law of 10 July on the right to independence of the overseas provinces and the Algiers agreements of 26 August between the Portuguese Foreign Minister Soares and the PAIGC representative, Pedro Pires, sanctioned the independence of Guinea-Bissau and its recognition as sovereign since 10 September 1974.