The area that now forms Guinea-Bissau was
historically part of the mighty kingdoms of Ghana and
Mali. In the 15th century, Portuguese sailors arrived
who, with the help of the Malinke people, traded with
slaves. Only in the 19th century did the Portuguese
seriously begin to colonize the area, but faced fierce
resistance from the indigenous population. In 1974,
Guinea-Bissau became an independent state after an
eleven year long liberation war.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Guinea-Bissau, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
Ghana, the waning kingdom
of western Africa, also included what is now
Guinea-Bissau. The kingdom flourished for 800 years
before it collapsed in 1230. It was replaced by the more
powerful Mali who ruled over
large parts of West Africa and the Sahara. The kingdom
was dominated by the Malinque people. Under King Mansa
Musa (1312–1337) Mali reached his heyday and at the same
time Islam won land in the area. The architecture of art
flourished and the trade was lively.
By the middle of the 14th century, Portuguese
seafarers reached the West African coast at the height
of Guinea-Bissau. The Malinke people soon became
Portugal's foremost ally in the hunt for slaves and
gold. Slave traffic from the area to Europe and across
the Atlantic gained huge proportions and devastated
centuries of development and community building. Not
until the 19th century did the Portuguese show any
interest in colonizing the area, which took them many
years of war to gain full control of. Until the end of
the 1930s, resistance continued to exist in some parts
of the country.
Guinea-Bissau was run by Portugal like a trading
station where the goods left the country without giving
anything back. No significant Portuguese settlement ever
happened. In principle, Africans were allowed to become
equals if they adapted to Portuguese culture. It was a
company of so-called assimilados who, with the Cape
Verde Amilcar Cabral as their leader, founded the
African Independence Party of Guinea-Bissau and Cape
Verde (PAIGC) in 1956. The party's goal was to free both
countries from Portugal. It would work with peaceful
means and sought support from a small group of urban
workers. After a strike in 1959, in which about fifty
workers were killed by police and military, the strategy
changed. In 1963 PAIGC took to arms against the colonial
Against a mighty war machine stood a small guerrilla
army. Villages and entire areas were blocked off and
bombed by the Portuguese.
By 1968, PAIGC had won the battle on the mainland and
on September 24, 1973, the party unilaterally proclaimed
the independent Guinea-Bissau. A year later, after the
dictatorship was overthrown in Portugal, the fighting
ceased and the new republic was recognized by the
colonial power. The following year, Cape Verde also
Human smuggling is revealed
Authorities say they have revealed human smuggling, where 54 Guinean children
were taken to Senegal where they were placed in Islamic schools and forced to
beg under slavery-like forms.
Prosecuted for genital mutilation, the first time since the ban was
introduced in 2011
Six people are brought to trial for sexually abusing seven young girls. This
is the first time anyone has been charged with genital mutilation in 2011. Among
the defendants are two people who performed the procedure and four parents to
the girls. The crime can give up to five years in prison.
Several people are killed
About twenty people are killed when their vehicles drive on a land mine on
the road near Mansôa.
Army chief dismissed following reform efforts
President José Mário Vaz dismisses Army chief Antonio Indjai. He gives no
reasons for the decision, but it is believed to be linked to the attempts to
reform the military (see also Foreign Policy and Defense).
Boundaries are closed after Ebola infection
Guinea-Bissau closes the border with Guinea to protect itself from the Ebola
center that has claimed over a thousand lives in West Africa.
The EU now decides to resume its assistance to Guinea-Bissau, which has been
frozen since 2011.
PAIGC dominates the government
Pereira is sworn in as prime minister. His government of 16 ministers is
dominated by members of PAIGC.
Nomination of Prime Minister
Domingos Simões Pereira from PAIGC is nominated as Prime Minister.
Vaz swears presidential speech
José Mário Vaz (also known as Jomav) will take over as president on June 23.
A large number of political leaders from the region, including Senegalese
President Macky Sall and Guinea's President Alpha Condé, are in place in Bissau
when Vaz swears presidential order. He promises to fight poverty and corruption
and create stability in the troubled country. He announces reforms of both the
police and the army and the judiciary.
Suspension is canceled
AU cancels Guinea-Bissau's suspension from the organization.
Vaz victory is questioned by Nabiam
Vaz wins by a clear margin when he receives almost 62 percent of the vote.
However, his victory is being questioned by Gomes Nabiam, who claims that the
official result does not match the numbers his campaign workers received in four
of eight regions. He says he intends to try to have the result annulled through
the Election Commission and the country's courts because of cheating in several
parts of the country.
Voter turnout surprisingly low in the second round
The second round of elections between Vaz and the former head of the aviation
authority Gomes Nabiam, from the Balantic People, is being conducted in calm
forms on May 18, but several cases of violent incidents against PAIGC
politicians or activists have been reported. The turnout is declining
considerably lower than in the first round, which some analysts believe is due
to harvest time in agriculture and few farmers think they have time to vote.
Both candidates say they will respect the election results regardless of which
of them wins. 245 observers from a variety of countries are monitoring the
Candidates make promises in election campaign
During the election campaign, Vaz promises to fight poverty and to invest
more in agriculture. Nabiam says she wants to prioritize health care and
education, as well as efforts to combat high youth unemployment.
Election April 13
The election on April 13 will be a quiet event. A total of 15 parties and 13
presidential candidates are running. Former Finance Minister José Mário Vaz is
running for PAIGC. In the presidential election, José Mário Vaz of PAIGC wins 41
percent of the vote. In second place comes the independent candidate Nuno Gomes
Nabiam, who gets 25 percent. A second and decisive round of elections between
the two will be held on May 18. In the parliamentary elections, PAIGC goes back
but retains its position as the largest party while the PRS, which is the second
largest, wins terrain. Election participation is estimated at a record high of
Former President Kumba Yalá dies suddenly in a heart attack on April 4.
Large amount of money from Nigeria
Ecowas contributes $ 13 million to the election, almost half of which comes
15 parties take part in the parliamentary elections.
Messy about participating in presidential elections
Acting President Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo has already announced that he does
not intend to participate. Neither does Kumba Yalá, who also resigned as party
leader for PRS following conflicts within the party. Former Prime Minister
Carlos Gomes Júnior cannot stand because his party chose to appoint Vaz as its
candidate. PRS is represented by Abel Incanda.
12 candidates registered
PAIGC appoints former Finance Minister José Mário Vaz as its presidential
candidate in the April elections. Previously, 12 other candidates have
registered with the Supreme Court to participate.
Elections are postponed further
The presidential and parliamentary elections are postponed until April 13.
Before the election, voters must be provided with biometric voting cards.