Guinea Bissau is entering a new era, following the election of a new President in the country's first democratic elections in May 2014. A country of western Africa, Guinea Bissau has had a turbulent past, including being centre for Portuguese slave trading and a number of unstable political systems and coups have impeded its development. Guinea Bissau has a low GDP per capita and it ranks as 177 of 187 on the Human Development index, with two thirds of the population living below the poverty line.
As a small tropical country, whose highest point is only 300 meters, Guinea Bissau is heavily reliant on food and fuel imports. Guinea Bissau's main exports are cashews, ground nuts and fish. The inland is full of savannahs, while the coast line has abundant swamps of Guinean mangroves. Guinea Bissau also has around 25 small islands off its coast.
Portuguese is the country's official language, although only 14% of the 1.6 million population speak it. The capital city is Bissau.
Heads of Government