Guinea-Bissau Old History

By | January 2, 2023

Guinea-Bissau is an independent nation in Western Africa. With the capital city of Bissau, Guinea-Bissau 2020 population is estimated at 1,968,012 according to countryaah. 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. For Guinea-Bissau political system, please check cancermatters.

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 power.

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 became independent.



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.


Assistance resumes

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

May 18

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 election properly.

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 90 percent.

Yalá dies

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 from Nigeria.

15 lots

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.

Guinea-Bissau Old History