Country Profile: Guinea-Bissau
Other CitiesBafata, Gabu, Bissora, Bolama, Cacheu, Bubaque, Catio, Mansoa
AreaTotal 36,544 km2
CurrencyWest African CFA Franc
Guinea Bissau or The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is a country in western Africa, and one of the smallest states in continental Africa. It is bordered by Senegal to the north, and Guinea to the south and east, with the Atlantic Ocean to its west. It was once the French colony of French New Guinea, when they achieved their independence however, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country's name to prevent confusion with the Republic of Guinea.
In 1974 Guinea Bissau would gain their independence from France and Guinea Bissau entered the CFA franc monetary system, bringing about some internal monetary stability. From this point on, the nation would continue to grow, partly through government economic reform policies and partly due to foreign investment. The GDP of the nation would rise dramatically and the nation would begin to create their fishing, mining and agricultural industries.
The polyrhythmic gumbe genre is most closely associated with Guinea Bissau, it is also the country's primary musical export. The calabash is the primary musical instrument of Guinea-Bissau, and is used in extremely swift and rhythmically complex dance music. Lyrics are almost always in Guinea-Bissau Creole, a Portuguese-based creole language. There are often large performances throughout the nation and this is seen as a significant cultural celebration to the people of the nation.
Guinea Bissau has a very rich cultural background of music and art, particularly gumbe, the word gumbe is sometimes used generically, to refer to any music of the country, although it most specifically refers to a unique style that fuses about ten of the country's folk music traditions. Tina and tinga are other popular genres, while extent folk traditions include ceremonial music used in funerals, initiations and other rituals, as well as Balanta brosca and kussundé, Mandinga djambadon and the kundere sound of the Bissagos Islands.
In the future, Guinea Bissau looks to continue to expand their economy and develop new industries for their nation, such as tourism and mining. The rich culture of the nation has allowed them to prosper in the past, but they also seek to prosper economically, mainly in their agricultural and farming industries, as well as fishing and other new industries they look to embark in.
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