Your guide to being an expatriate in Guinea-Bissau

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Guinea-Bissau, formerly a Portuguese colony, gained independence in 1973. The country experienced a civil war that lasted from 1998 to 1999, which resulted in many economic and social issues. Despite some lingering political instability, Guinea-Bissau is making progress towards sustainable development. The country is also a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP).


Expat destinations in Guinea-Bissau

Demographics of Guinea-Bissau:

Ethnic groups

Mel: 6%

Other: 1%

Fulani: 31%

Balanta: 10%

Manjaco: 23%

Mandingo: 2%

Bissau-Guinean Creole: 15%


Crioulo: Spoken by 90%

Portuguese: Official (spoken by 10%)

Religion Overview

Guinea-Bissau is a predominantly Muslim country, with Christianity also being widely practiced. Around 48% of the population is Muslim, and 33% is Christian. The remaining population follows indigenous African religions.

Major Religions


Guinea-Bissau has a tropical climate with abundant rainfall, which leads to dense rainforests and swamps. The country experiences two rainy seasons annually from April to July and from October to December. The driest months are January and February.

Economy Overview

Guinea-Bissau has a predominantly agricultural economy, with agriculture and forestry accounting for over 60% of the workforce. The main exports are cashews, peanuts, rice, palm oil, and fish. The country has also discovered rich offshore oil and gas reserves, and the industry is expected to be a major source of revenue in the future.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Fishing
  • Oil and Gas

Major Companies

  • Sociedade de Exploração do Petróleo do Sul de Bissau e da Fronteira (SEPSUB)
  • Petroguinéu (refining and marketing Armand Peugeot )
  • Banco BCP - Banco Caixa Geral International
  • RD Bissau - Rede Digital

Culture and Language Overview

Guinea-Bissau's culture is a blend of Portuguese, West African, and indigenous African influences. The country is known for its music, dance, and handicrafts. The traditional Mancá ceremony, which is held during harvest season, is a colorful and lively celebration. Creole, an Afro-European language, is widely spoken in Guinea-Bissau, and it is recognized as one of the country's official languages along with Portuguese.

Cultural Highlights

  • Mancá ceremony
  • Music and dance festivals in Bissau
  • Handicraft markets in Gabú and Bissau

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Guinea-Bissau's landscape is dominated by tropical forests and coastal plains. The country also has several national parks, including the Bissau-Guinean National Park, which is home to a variety of wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, and manatees.

Notable Landmarks

  • Orango National Park
  • Nemensha Beach
  • Cuchíne Falls

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Easter Sunday
  • Easter Monday
  • Workers' Day (May 1)
  • Ascension Day (40 days after Easter)
  • Corpus Christi
  • Independence Day (24 September)
  • All Saints' Day
  • Republic Day (19 November)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Political Stability

Guinea-Bissau has experienced political instability and coups in the past, with several internal conflicts resulting in instability. The current political climate is relatively stable, but there are ongoing challenges related to corruption, violence, and economic instability.

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