Politics and Economy of Guinea-Bissau

State structure and political system of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is a parliamentary republic with very broad presidential powers. The Constitution of 1984 is in force. Administratively, it is divided into 9 districts: Bafata, Biombu, Bissau, Bolama, Kasheu, Kabu, Oyu, Quinara, Tombali. Large cities: Bissau, Bolamo, Bafata.

The highest body of legislative power is the National People’s Assembly. The highest body of executive power is the Council of Ministers. Check cancermatters for political system of Guinea-Bissau.

The head of state is the president (E.P. Rosa). The Parliament is currently dissolved. The head of the supreme body of executive power is the president, who appoints the prime minister and the council of ministers.

The National Assembly is elected in general elections for 4 years and consists of 100 deputies. The president is elected in a general election for a term of 5 years. Presidential rule is limited to two elective terms.

An outstanding statesman was Amilcar Cabral (1924–73), who founded the PAIGC and made an enormous contribution to the independence of Guinea-Bissau.

Local administrative bodies are municipalities elected by the population. In 2002 regular local elections were not held.

multi-party political system. 10 parties registered. The largest: PAIGC and PRS (Social Renewal Party).

The leading business organization is the Trade, Industrial and Agricultural Association of Guinea-Bissau.

Public organizations: National Association of Workers of Guinea-Bissau, Human Rights League of Guinea-Bissau.

The internal policy of President Yala was characterized by an attack on democratic rights, against political opposition and the formation of a regime of personal dictatorship based on the army.

Foreign policy is determined by two main factors: the need for economic assistance and relations with their stronger and more developed neighbors – Guinea and Senegal. In the 1970-80s. the state counted on the help of the USSR and other socialist countries, and in the 1990s. reoriented to the West, especially to Portugal. Territorial conflicts with Guinea and Senegal were resolved in con. 1990s through diplomatic channels or through the International Court of Justice. Relations with Senegal are overshadowed by conflicts on the border between the two countries, caused by the armed struggle of the Senegalese separatists in the south of Senegal.

The number of the army of Guinea-Bissau is 9.3 thousand people, of which 100 people. served in the Air Force and 350 in the Navy and 2 thousand in the gendarmerie. Military spending (2001) US$5.6 million (2.8% of GDP).

Guinea-Bissau has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1970).

Economy of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. In 2001, GDP amounted to 1.2 billion US dollars, i.e. $900 per capita. In 1998, when the civil war broke out, GDP fell by 27.7%. In 2000, GDP grew by only 8.7%, and in 2001 by only 0.2%.
The working-age population is 480 thousand. In 2001, inflation was 5%. Distribution of GDP by sectors: agriculture 56.1%, industry 12.7%, services 31.2% (2001). GDP by employment: agriculture 85%, industry and construction 4.1%, services 10.9%.

Main food crops: rice, sorghum, millet, corn, peanuts and various root crops. Collection (thousand tons, 2000): grain, including millet – 162, cashew nuts 80, coca nuts – 46, oil palm fruits – 80, cassava and other root crops – 97. Animal husbandry plays an auxiliary role in the economy of the Guineans. In 2000 there were 530 thousand heads of cattle, 610 thousand goats and sheep. Fishing is a promising industry with the possibility of catching 250 thousand tons of products per year in the economic sea zone. Now 30 thousand tons are caught, of which 7 thousand tons are caught by the Guineans themselves.

There are several small food enterprises, a brewery, a woodworking plant, a plastic container factory, and a car assembly plant. Sugar and fish processing plants are being built.

Electricity generation 20.8 million kWh (2000).

There are no railways, and roads are in poor condition. Of the 4,400 km of roads, only 453 km are paved. There are 4 seaports, the cargo turnover of which does not exceed 330 thousand tons. The merchant fleet includes 24 ships with a total displacement of 6.5 thousand tons (2001). The national airline Guinea-Bissau Air Lines and Portuguese airlines carry out passenger and cargo transportation on domestic routes and connect the capital with neighboring countries, as well as with Portugal and France. Bissau has an international airport, other cities have small airfields or airstrips.

Telephone communication is poorly developed, the number of its subscribers is 12 thousand. (2001) There is no mobile phone system. There are 4 radio stations, the number of radio receivers is 50,000, and there is no television. 4 thousand people use the Internet. (2002).

After independence, all wholesale and most of the retail trade was nationalized. In the 1990s in the process of privatization, part of the property was returned to the former owners. But the state did not completely withdraw from the sphere of trade. It participates in mixed enterprises for the sale of petroleum products, maintains a monopoly on buying agricultural products from peasants at fixed prices and selling them inventory.

Tourism management is in the hands of the state. Data on its development are not published.

The economic and social policy of the government is aimed at overcoming the consequences of the decade of planned economy and the civil war of 1998-99. Particular attention is paid to solving the food problem by increasing grain production and developing fisheries. The task was set to bring the production of rice, the consumption of which is 40% provided by imports, as well as peanuts to the level of 1973, when the country exported these products. However, the necessary reform of the agricultural sector is being carried out very slowly.

Reform of the banking system has so far been limited to the division of the National Bank of Guinea-Bissau into three state banks: the central, commercial and credit banks and the creation of an agency to control the incoming aid to the country. The role of the private sector in finance is limited to currency exchange offices. With the entry into the African Financial Community, the Central Bank of Guinea-Bissau ceased to be an issuing bank.

The budget is reduced to a constant deficit. In 2001, revenues amounted to 28.5 billion francs. AFS, and expenditures (including the capital investment budget – 21.6 billion) – 63.2 billion. Taxes provide 75% of budget revenues. A significant part of the budget deficit is covered by foreign aid. Foreign exchange reserves $69.47 million (2001). External debt $986.4 million (2001).

The standard of living of the urban population is likely to have declined as a result of the sharp fall in GDP in 1998, but it is impossible to determine by how much due to lack of data. In 1999-2001, there was no further deterioration, or it was insignificant: the cost of living index increased by 12% over 2 years (almost like inflation), and bank deposits – by 16%.

The balance of trade is chronically passive, in 2001 (million dollars) exports – 47.2, imports – 96.7. For the past three years, the value of exports has been declining. The main export item is cashew nuts (95.6% of exports). The main import items are food, vehicles. The main export partner is India (85.6%), the main import partners are Portugal (30%), Senegal (27%).

Science and culture of Guinea-Bissau

In recent years, spending on education has accounted for 3% of the budget. 64% of children attended primary school, and less than 10% attended secondary school. Adult illiteracy is 45%. There are no higher education institutions. The National Council of Culture is working to preserve and develop traditional crafts and musical and poetic folklore.

Politics of Guinea-Bissau