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Things You Didn't Know About Guinea-Bissau

Bindu swetha Jun 30, 2020
With an area of about 36,125 sq kilometres, Guinea-Bissau is slightly smaller than Switzerland! 
There are about 88 Bissagos islands in total, out of which 20 are inhabited throughout the year. These islands are an important part of the history, culture and trade and development of Guinea-Bissau!
One will find semi-dry forests, palms, dry forests alongside coastal savannas at the archipelago of the Bissagos islands.
The country was earlier a part of the Kaabu Empire, Mandinka kingdom and Mali Empire, before turning into a Portuguese colony in 19th century!
It is the only West African country to have fought a war for independence against Portugal in 1973. However, Portugal didn't accept this independence until Sep 10, 1974, as a part of the Algiers Accord! Today, independence day is celebrated on 24 September every year.
It was after getting independence that the name of the country was changed to Guinea-Bissau, after the capital city of Bissau. However, the locals prefer to call the country Bissau-Guineans, to avoid confusion with the neighboring country of Guinea!
Though the country achieved independence in 1973-74, it has been a victim of political unrest and coups, ever since!
In 1980, military-coup took over the country with Joao Bernardo 'Nino' Vieira declaring himself the President! During his reign, economic activities and multiparty setup did start but there was a lot of political oppression!
President Luis Severino de Almeida Cabral was the first President of the country who served office from 1974 to 1980, before being dethroned by the coup attack in 1980.
Coup attempts were made in 1980s and early 1990s. It was only in 1994 that the country held its free elections.
There was again political unrest due to a civil war that broke out in May 1999!
Guinea-Bissau's economy is largely dependent on groundnuts, cashew nuts, fish and agriculture, which are also the main exports of the country.
There's only one public university in the whole country, that is located in Bissau!
The popular music form, Gumbe (also known as Goombay or Gumbay) has a Guinea-Bissau origin! Men play the drum while the women perform as background dancers, with the music showing folk and political influences.
The flag of the country has a striking resemblance to the Ghanaian flag. The Bissau-Guineans got their inspiration for independence war from the Ghanaians, hence, their flag also closely resembles the Ghana flag.
Though the country is popular as the birthplace of poet and activist Amilcar Cabral, a lot of his works is lost in history!