Guinea-Bissau Military, Economy and Transportation

Guinea-Bissau Military, Economy and Transportation


Economy overview: As one of the 20 poorest countries in the world, Guinea-Bissau mainly lives off agriculture and fishing. Cashew yields have increased significantly in recent years; Guinea-Bissau is now the sixth largest cashew producing country. The country exports fish and other seafood, as well as small amounts of peanuts, palm kernels and timber. Rice is the main agricultural crop and staple food. Armed clashes between Senegal-backed government forces and the military junta destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and caused massive damage to the economy in 1998; in the same year, the civil war led to a 28% drop in GDP, which was only partially replenished in 1999-2000. Trade reform and price liberalization have been the most successful measures adopted by the government before the war as part of an IMF-sponsored restructuring program. The tightening of monetary policy and the development of the private sector have also begun to revive the economy. Due to the need for large investments, the extraction of oil, phosphates and other minerals is unlikely to begin in the near future. Nevertheless, in the future, offshore oil fields can bring much-needed revenue to the country’s budget.┬áSee to know more about Guinea-Bissau Business.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $1.1 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 7.6% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $850 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 54%; industry: 15%; services: 31% (1996 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 50% (1991 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: per 10% of the poorest families: 0.5%; by the top 10% of families: 42.4% (1991).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 3% (2000).
Labor force: 480,000 people
Employment structure: agriculture 78%.
Unemployment rate: no data.
Budget: no data.
Spheres of economy: processing of agricultural products, brewing, production of soft drinks.
Growth in industrial production: 2.6% (1997 est.).
Electricity generation: 55 million kWh (1999).
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 100%; hydropower: 0%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 51.2 million kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: rice, corn, beans, cassava (tapioca), cashew nuts, peanuts, palm hearts, cotton; timber; fish.
Export: $80 million (free on board, 2000)
Exports: cashew nuts 70%, shrimp, peanuts, palm kernels, lumber (1996).
Export partners: India 59%, Singapore 12%, Italy 10% (1998).
Imports: $55.2 million (free on board, 2000) Import Articles: foodstuffs, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products (1996).
Import partners: Portugal 26%, France 8%, Senegal 8%, Netherlands 7% (1998).
External debt: $964 million (1998 est.) Economic aid: $115.4 million (1995)
Donor Economic Assistance:
Currency: franc of the African Financial Union (CFA franc, Communaute Finan-ciere Africaine franc); note – the circulation of the CFA franc is regulated by the Central Bank of West African countries.
Currency code: XOF.
Exchange rate: XOF/USD – 699.21 (January 2001), 711.98 (2000), 615.70 (1999), 589.95 (1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1996); Guinean peso per US dollar – 26,373 (1996); note: from January 1, 1999, the CFA franc is exchanged for the euro at a ratio of 655.957 CFA francs to 1 euro; note: in accordance with the decision taken on May 1, 1997, the CFA franc became the national currency of Guinea-Bissau.
Fiscal year: calendar year.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 8,000 (1997).
Mobile cellular phones: no data available.
Telephone system: small system; domestic: a combination of microwave radio relay, landline, radiotelephony and cellular; international: no data.
Broadcast stations: AM – 1, FM – 2, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 49,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997).
TVs: no data.
Internet Country Code: gw
Internet Service Providers: 1 (2000).
Number of users: 1,500 (2000).


Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total length: 4,400 km; coated: 453 km; unpaved: 3,947 km (1996 est.).
Waterways: Some rivers provide an opportunity for navigation along the banks.
Ports and harbors: Bissau, Buba, Cashew, Farim.
Merchant fleet: none (2000 est.).
Airports: 29 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 3; over 3,047 m: 1; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 26; from 1524 to 2437 m:1; from 914 to 1523 m:4; less than 914 m: 21 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the Armed Forces: People’s Revolutionary Armed Forces (includes the army, navy and air force), paramilitary units.
Total military manpower: male 15 to 49: 305,071 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 173,703 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $8 million (1996).
Military spending as part of GDP: 2.8% (1996).

Guinea-Bissau Military