Map Page 1113 Area 13,942 square mi (36,120 square km) Capital Bissau Population 1,360,827 Highest Point 984 ft (300 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP per capita $700 Primary Natural Resources fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, petroleum.
THE REPUBLIC OF Guinea-Bissau, commonly called Guinea-Bissau, is a tropical West African nation-state.
The borders include the ATLANTIC OCEAN on its west, GUINEA to its south and east, and SENEGAL to the north.
Guinea-Bissau is an ethnically diverse country.
While most of its residents are indigenous Africans, they belong to various ethnic groups.
Thirty percent belong to the Balanta group, 20 percent are Fula, 14 percent are Manjaca, 13 percent are Mandinga, and 7 percent are Papel.
The remaining are of European descent or mixed African and European ancestry.
Approximately 50 percent of the population adheres to indigenous African religions that recognize many deities and venerate ancestors.
Forty-five percent identify themselves as Muslims and 5 percent as Christians.
Portuguese is the official language of the country, although such native languages as Fulah and Mande are also in wide use.
The area was home to agricultural groups during the European Middle Ages.
In the centuries before European contact, Guinea-Bissau underwent profound cultural, political, and population shifts.
During the early 13th century, the displaced Soninke, an ethnic group from GHANA, fled to Guinea-Bissau when the Almovarids subjugated Ghana.
Later, the area became a coastal outpost of the Mali Empire.
Portuguese advancement in ocean navigation and their desire for new sources of wealth combined in the mid 1400s to lead Portuguese explorers to northern and western Africa.
Portuguese slave traders captured Guineans and sent them to plantations on CAPE VERDE, an island group off Guinea-Bissau's coast.
In the late 1600s, Guinea-Bissau became PORTUGAL's first colony on the African continent.
Despite pressures from other European colonial powers and colonized ethnic groups, Guinea-Bissau remained under Portuguese authority until 1974, when, after a 10-year war of independence led by the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, the Republic of Guinea-Bissau was proclaimed.
The first 30 years of independence were fraught with difficulty.
In 1980, Guinea-Bissau's first president, Luis de Almeda Cabral, was overthrown by Prime Minister Joao Bernard Vieira.
Supported by the military, Vieira ruled for 18 years, during which several unsuccessful coups were staged, political opposition was crushed, and ethnic tensions increased.
Since 1998, Vieira and Kumba Yala, elected in 1998, have been deposed from power by coups.
Partly because of political turmoil, an undeveloped infrastructure, and a dependence on subsistence agriculture, Guinea-Bissau languishes in poverty.
Today, the country is one of the poorest nations in the world.
Using key health indicators for 2001, poverty has compromised Guinean health.
At birth, for example, Guinean women have only a 40.6-year life expectancy.
Men are expected to live 36.1 years.
Infant mortality rates of 195 and 213 per 1,000 live births for Guinean female and male children, respectively, rank among the highest in African regions according to the World Health Organization.
Economic and health improvements are possible with international effort but only through sustainable growth projects that take the natural environment, citizens, and industry into consideration.
As a republic, Guinea-Bissau is in its infancy, and as the 21st century unfolds, whether it matures into a stable country will be determined by its people and their leaders.
- Some tourists will be banned to visit “The Forbidden City” in Beijing
"Chinese management of the site blacklisted some tourists.
The blacklist counts around 2500 people, who could have ever visited the UNESCO site and behaved discourteously. Those who scratched their names or did other signs on the walls and sculptures of the ancient construction, littered or entered the palace using a fake ticket will no longer be able to visit The Forbidden City for at least three years.
As reported, such a practice did a good result that is why the site management plans to keep implementing this kind of sanction. And those people who are re-selling the tickets will be punished as well.
Such an unsuitable conduct of the tourists is not uncommon in China. Earlier it was mentioned that, despite the ban, the tourists who arrived to Shaanxi province keep touching the breast of the bare-waist deep statue of Yang Guifei. "
- You can now apply for Australian Visa through the Internet
"Country entry permit application has become facilitated and the procedure itself takes less time.
Starting from October 1 this year this new system allows to apply for visa online 24/7, including holidays.
Electronic system makes possible not to visit the consulate to apply for the entry permit and you no longer need to mail papers. Moreover, the authorized individuals for applying from the applicant are free to use this system to apply for a visa instead of the applicant.
You are able to verify your application status through the Internet and when you get the entry permit to Australia all the documents will be sent either to your e-mail address or by a registered letter on the mailing address specified in the application form. You will need to take the received document with you and be able to show it if needed. However, it is noted that the airline company will be aware whether you have got the Australian visa or not (airport staff have an access to the electronic data system, which will also include information about received entry permits) and therefore you may not show your visa at passport control and during the boarding. "