The Guinea-Bissau current territory is inhabited for over 200,000 years, first by Homo erectus and then Homo sapiens (modern human). The Mandingo came to Guinea-Bissau in the 13th century and founded the kingdom of Gabu ( Kansala ‘s empire). In the 15th century, they have become dependent on the Mali Empire. Portions of this kingdom existed until the 18th century.
In 1446, the Portuguese navigator Nuno Tristao landed on the coast of the current territory of Guinea-Bissau, in search of slaves. He was killed a few months later by natives. From 1450, the Portuguese began in the region, the trade of gold, ivory, spices and slaves. The main business activities were centralized in Cacheu, situated on the bank of the River Cacheu.
In 1687, Portugal established a trading post in the region, under the administration of Cape Verde. Until the 19th century, many natives were sent as slaves to the old state of the Grand Para (current states of Maranhão and Pará).
In 1690, the first Catholic missionaries arrive. In the 17th century, English, Dutch and French are also interested in the slave trade in the region. In 1792, the British established a settlement at Bolama, but briefly.
In 1879, the European powers began to share Africa and Portugal established an autonomous colony in the region, which was renamed Portuguese Guinea. At that time, the Portuguese administration of Cape Verde was separated from Guinea. In 1941, the capital of Portuguese Guinea was transferred from Bolama to Bissau. In 1952, the colony status was changed to overseas province.
In 1956, Amilcar Cabral founded the African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) . In 1963, the struggle for independence of Guinea-Bissau started . In 1969, with support from Cuba and ‘0the Soviet Union, the African Party (PAIGC) has conquered almost two thirds of the Guinea-Bissau territory.
On January 20, 1973, Amilcar Cabral was assassinated in Conakry. On 24 September 1973, the African Party (PAIGC) declared independence from Guinea-Bissau, with support from Cuba, China and the Soviet Union. Portugal recognized the independence of Guinea-Bissau on September 10, 1974, after the Carnation Revolution (the Independence of Cape Verde was recognized in the following year). It was the first Portuguese colony in Africa to become independent.
The Republic of Guinea Bissau is located in West Africa between Senegal (to the north), the Guinea Conakry (east and south) and is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean (west) consists of the mainland and other islands. The Bijagós islands with more or less 90 islands, among them only seventeen are accustomed. It occupies an extension of approximately 36,125 km2.
The Guinea-Bissau has a predominantly tropical climate with maritime characteristics, being very hot and humid and with two distinct seasons: the dry season from November to April and the rainy season from May to October. The annual average temperature in the country is 26.8 degrees. In Guinea-Bissau the coolest months are December and the warmest March-May. Months with more rainfall are July and August.
According to the latest census, the population of Guinea-Bissau is estimated at 1,530,673 inhabitants and is characterized by being mostly young people, about 49.6% of the population is under 18 years and the average life expectancy is around 52 years old.
The official language of Guinea-Bissau is Portuguese, although spoken only by 13% of the population. The Guinean essentially use Creole to their current communication (about 60% of the population) or one of about 20 existing dialects in Guinea-Bissau, as the Fulani, the Balanta, the manjaco, Mandingo, felupe, papel, the Bijagos, the Mancanha and nalu among others.
The Guinea-Bissau joined the UEMOA ( West Africa Monetary Union ) on 2 May 1997. The currency is Franc CFA, used in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Togo and Senegal. The country has at this time 5 commercial banks namely Ecobank (Panafrican), BAO, Orabank, Bank Atlantique and BDU.