Bissau is the capital city of the African Republic of Guinea-Bissau. In 2015, Bissau had a population of 492,004.[1] Bissau is located on the Geba River estuary, off the Atlantic Ocean, and is Guinea-Bissau's largest city, major port, and its administrative and military centre.

Mercado de Bandim, Bissau
Mercado de Bandim, Bissau
Flag of Bissau

Official seal of Bissau

Bissau is located in Guinea-Bissau
Location of Bissau in Guinea-Bissau
Bissau is located in Africa
Bissau (Africa)
Coordinates: 11°51′N 15°34′W / 11.850°N 15.567°WCoordinates: 11°51′N 15°34′W / 11.850°N 15.567°W
Country Guinea-Bissau
RegionBissau Autonomous Sector
 • Total77.5 km2 (29.9 sq mi)
0 m (0 ft)
(2015 census)
 • Total492,004
 • Density5,009/km2 (12,974/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeGW-BS


The city was founded in 1687 by Portugal as a fortified port and trading center. In 1942 it became the capital of Portuguese Guinea.

After the declaration of independence by the anti-colonial guerrillas of PAIGC in 1973, the capital of the rebel territories was declared to be Madina do Boe, while Bissau remained the colonial capital. When Portugal granted independence, following the military coup of April 25 in Lisbon, Bissau became the capital of the new independent state.

Bissau was the scene of intense fighting during the beginning and end of the Guinea-Bissau Civil War in 1998 and 1999.[2]

Geography and climate

DC - Foto Serra No 142 - Vista aérea parcial e Ilhéu do Rei - Bissau
View of Bissau in the 1960s as the capital of Portuguese Guinea

Bissau is located at 11°52' North, 15°36' West (11.86667, -15.60) [1], on the Geba River estuary, off the Atlantic Ocean. The land surrounding Bissau is extremely low-lying, and the river is accessible to ocean-going vessels despite its modest discharge for about 80 kilometres (50 mi) beyond the city.

Bissau has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw), not quite wet enough to qualify as a tropical monsoon climate (Am) but much wetter than most climates of its type.

Almost no rain falls from December to April, but during the remaining five months of the year the city receives around 2,020 millimetres (80 in) of rain. During the wet season and even during the three months beforehand, high humidity makes heat discomfort extreme.


At the 1979 census, Bissau had a population of 109,214. By the 2015 census Bissau had a population of 492,004.[1]


Bissau is the country's largest city, major port, educational, administrative and military center. Peanuts, hardwoods, copra, palm oil, and rubber are the chief products. The airport that serves Bissau is Osvaldo Vieira International Airport.


There are two Portuguese international schools in Bissau:[5]

  • Escola Portuguesa da Guiné-Bissau
  • Escola Portuguesa Passo a Passo


Attractions include the Portuguese-built Fortaleza de São José da Amura barracks from the 18th century, containing Amílcar Cabral's mausoleum, the Pidjiguiti Memorial to the dockers killed in the Bissau Dockers' Strike on August 3, 1959, the Guinea-Bissau National Arts Institute, Bissau New Stadium and local beaches.

Many buildings in the city were ruined during the Guinea-Bissau Civil War (1998–1999), including the Guinea-Bissau Presidential Palace and the Bissau French Cultural Centre (now rebuilt), and the city centre is still underdeveloped.


Bissau geba

View of Bissau from Geba River


Ministério da Justiça - Guinea-Bissau's Justice Ministry

Praça Che Guevara, Bissau

Che Guevara Square, Bissau


Public transport in Bissau

20130610 - Monumento aos Heróis da Independência

A landmark monument in the city center

Edifício da Galp em Bissau

Administration building of the Portuguese energy company Galp


An ECOWAS branch in Bissau

Bissau paigc hq

PAIGC's headquarters


Residential area in Bissau

Palácio da República (fundos)

Guinea-Bissau's Presidential Palace

Centre culturel franco-bissau-guinéen, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

French Culture Centre in Bissau

Solar panels (482989866)

Solar panels on a rooftop of a building

Bissau, CTT

Central Post Office building

Museu Etnográfico Nacional, Bissau

Museu Etnográfico Nacional - National Ethnographic Museum

Avenida dos Combatentes da Liberdade da Pátria, Bissau (1)

Combatentes da Liberdade Avenue, Bissau


Bissau seen from Rio Geba

Hotel Império, Bissau

One of the hotels in the city

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Bissau is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b "Africa by Country Internet User Stats and 2017 Population".
  2. ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program Conflict Encyclopedia, Guinea Bissau: government, in depth, viewed July 12, 2013,
  3. ^ "GUINEA-BISSAU - BISSAU". Centro de Investigaciones Fitosociológicas. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  4. ^ "Bissau Climate Guide". Centro de Investigaciones Fitosociológicas. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  5. ^ "ESCOLAS COM CURRÍCULO PORTUGUÊS NA GUINÉ-BISSAU" (Archive). Direção de Serviços de Ensino e Escolas Portuguesas no Estrangeiro (DSEEPE) of the Portuguese Education Ministry. Retrieved on October 26, 2015.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Sister Cities of Ankara".

Further reading

See also: Bibliography of the history of Bissau
  • Lobban, Richard Andrew, Jr.; Mendy, Peter Karibe (1997). Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (3rd ed.). Scarecrow Press. pp. 91–96. ISBN 0-8108-3226-7.

External links

  • Media related to Bissau at Wikimedia Commons
  • Bissau travel guide from Wikivoyage
Economy of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is among the world's least developed nations and one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, and depends mainly on agriculture and fishing. Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years, and the country now ranks sixth in cashew production.

Guinea-Bissau exports to Asia non-fillet frozen fish and seafood, peanuts, palm kernels, and timber. License fees for fishing in their sea-zone (Gulf of Guinea) provide the government with some small revenue. Rice is the major crop and staple food. Due to European regulations fish and cashew-nuts exports to Europe are totally prohibited as well as agriculture products in general.


Guinea-Bissau ( (listen)), officially the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (Portuguese: República da Guiné-Bissau [ʁeˈpublikɐ dɐ ɡiˈnɛ biˈsaw]), is a country in West Africa that covers 36,125 square kilometres (13,948 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1,815,698.Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, as well as part of the Mali Empire. Parts of this kingdom persisted until the 18th century, while a few others were under some rule by the Portuguese Empire since the 16th century. In the 19th century, it was colonized as Portuguese Guinea. Upon independence, declared in 1973 and recognised in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country's name to prevent confusion with Guinea (formerly French Guinea). Guinea-Bissau has a history of political instability since independence, and no elected president has successfully served a full five-year term.

Only 14% of the population speaks noncreolized Portuguese, established as both the official and national language. Portuguese exists in creole continuum with Crioulo, a Portuguese creole spoken by half the population (44%) and an even larger number speaks it as second tongue. The remainder speak a variety of native African languages. There are diverse religions in Guinea-Bissau with no one religion having a majority. The CIA World Factbook (2018) states there are about 40% Muslims, 22% Christians, 15% Animists and 18% unspecified or other. The country's per-capita gross domestic product is one of the lowest in the world.

The sovereign state of Guinea-Bissau is a member of the United Nations, African Union, Economic Community of West African States, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, La Francophonie and the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, and was a member of the now-defunct Latin Union.

Guinea-Bissau War of Independence

The Guinea-Bissau War of Independence was an armed independence conflict that took place in Portuguese Guinea between 1963 and 1974. Fought between Portugal and the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, an armed independence movement backed by Cuba and the Soviet Union, the war is commonly referred to as "Portugal's Vietnam" due to the large numbers of men and amounts of material expended in a long, mostly guerrilla war and the internal political turmoil it created in Portugal. The war ended when Portugal, after the Carnation Revolution of 1974, granted independence to Guinea-Bissau, followed by Cape Verde a year later.

Guinea-Bissau at the Olympics

Guinea-Bissau has sent athletes to every Summer Olympic Games held since 1996, although the country has never won an Olympic medal. No athletes from Guinea-Bissau have competed in any Winter Olympic Games.

The National Olympic Committee was created in 1992 and recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1995.

Guinea-Bissau national football team

The Guinea-Bissau national football team is the national team of Guinea-Bissau and is controlled by the Football Federation of Guinea-Bissau. They are a member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Guinea-Bissau passport

Republic of Guinea-Bissau passports are issued to citizens of Guinea-Bissau to travel outside the country. Guinea-Bissau citizens can travel to member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) without a passport.

Guinea-Bissauan cuisine

Guinea-Bissauan cuisine is the food culture of Guinea-Bissau, a nation on Africa's west coast along the Atlantic Ocean. Rice is a staple in the diet of residents near the coast and millet a staple in the interior. Much of the rice is imported and food insecurity is a problem in large part due to coups, corruption and inflation. Cashews are grown for export. Coconut, palm nut, and olives are also grown.Fish, shellfish, fruits and vegetables are commonly eaten along with cereal grains, milk, curd and whey. The Portuguese encouraged peanut production. Vigna subterranea (Bambara groundnut) and Macrotyloma geocarpum (Hausa groundnut) are also grown. Black-eyed peas are also part of the diet. Palm oil is harvested.

Common dishes include soups and stews. Common ingredients include yams, sweet potato, cassava, onion, tomato and plantain. Spices, peppers and chilis are used in cooking, including Aframomum melegueta seeds (Guinea pepper).

Guinea-Bissau–United States relations

Guinea-Bissau–United States relations are bilateral relations between Guinea-Bissau and the United States.

History of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau was dominated by Portugal from the 1450s to the 1970s; since independence, the country has been primarily controlled by a single-party system.

List of African films

The following is a list of African films. It is arranged alphabetically by country of origin.

List of Presidents of Guinea-Bissau

The following is a list of Presidents of Guinea-Bissau, since the establishment of the office of President in 1973.

List of Prime Ministers of Guinea-Bissau

The following is a list of Prime ministers of Guinea-Bissau, since the establishment of the office of Prime Minister in 1973.

Since Guinea-Bissau's declaration of independence from Portugal on 24 September 1974, there have been nineteen Prime Ministers and two Acting Prime Ministers. The current holder of the office is Aristides Gomes of the PRID party, who was appointed by a decree of President José Mário Vaz on 16 April 2018.

List of airlines of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau has one active airline.

Military ranks of Guinea-Bissau

The Military ranks of Guinea-Bissau are the military insignia used by the Military of Guinea-Bissau. Being a former colony of Portugal, Guinea-Bissau shares a rank structure similar to that of Portugal.

National People's Assembly (Guinea-Bissau)

The unicameral National People's Assembly (Portuguese: Assembleia Nacional Popular) is Guinea-Bissau's legislative body.

The current National People's Assembly, formed following elections held on 28 March 2004, has a total of 102 seats. 100 members are elected through a system of party-list proportional representation. The remaining two seats are reserved for Guinea-Bissau citizens living overseas, but they were not filled in the most recent election. Members serve four-year terms.

Politics of Guinea-Bissau

Politics of Guinea-Bissau takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic in transition, whereby the President is head of state and the Prime Minister is head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National People's Assembly.

Since 1994 the party system has been dominated by the socialist African Independence Party of Guinea and Cape Verde and the Party for Social Renewal. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

Despite the democratic, constitutional framework, the military has exercised substantial power and interfered repeatedly in civilian leadership since multi-party elections were instituted in 1994. In the past 16 years, Guinea Bissau has experienced two coups, a civil war, an attempted coup, and a presidential assassination by the military. Since the country's independence in 1974, no president has successfully served a full five-year term.

Religion in Guinea-Bissau

There are diverse religions in Guinea-Bissau with no one religion having a majority. The CIA World Factbook (2017 but using 2008 estimates) states there are about 45% Muslims, 22% Christians, 15% Animists and 18% unspecified or other while the US State Department mentions that estimates vary greatly and cites the Pew Forum data (2010) of 40% Muslim, 31% indigenous religious practices, and 20% Christian. Sunni Islam, including that of Sufi-oriented, are most concentrated in the northern and northeastern parts of the country. Practitioners of traditional indigenous religious beliefs generally live in all but the northern parts of the country. Christians are mostly found along the coastal regions, and belong to the Roman Catholic Church (including Portuguese Guinea-Bissauans) and various Protestant denominations. Christians are concentrated in Bissau and other large towns.

Telecommunications in Guinea-Bissau

Telecommunications in Guinea-Bissau include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world. This reality is reflected in the state of the country's telecommunications development. It is estimated that in 2012 there were only 5000 fixed telephone lines serving the country's 1.6 million inhabitants and that only 2.9% of the population had access to and were regular users of the Internet.

Visa policy of Guinea-Bissau

Visitors to Guinea-Bissau must obtain a visa on arrival (available to all nationalities and also online in a form of pre-enrolment or at one of the Guinea-Bissau diplomatic missions) unless they come from one of the countries or territories that are visa exempt.

Climate data for Bissau, Guinea-Bissau (1974-1994)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36.7
Average high °C (°F) 31.1
Average low °C (°F) 17.8
Record low °C (°F) 12.2
Average rainfall mm (inches) 0.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 248 226 279 270 248 210 186 155 180 217 240 248 2,707
Source #1: Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial[3]
Source #2: World Climate Guides (sunshine only)[4]
Capitals of African states

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