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HomeCountriesWest Africa › Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau Country AET Profile

About Guinea-Bissau

Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 13. Projected literacy rates for the year 2000 stand at 63.2% (males, 47.0%; females, 78.6%).

The 1998–99 civil war severely disrupted education, closing schools and keeping most of the country's children out of school for at least half a year. In 2000, UNICEF requested $5.22 million to rebuild and refurnish damaged primary schools, buy teaching materials and school supplies, train teachers, and provide other types of aid.

The agricultural sector employs 83% of the labor force and contributes 56% of the GDP. Only 12% of the total land area is under permanent or seasonal cultivation. The country is divided into three major regions according to the water requirements of the major crops. On the coast and in river estuaries is the palm-tree (coconut) zone; rice is the predominant crop of the intermediary marshy areas; and peanuts are grown in the sandy areas of the interior. Rice is the major staple crop; corn, millet, and sorghum are also produced and consumed very widely. In the 1950s, Guinea-Bissau exported about 40,000 tons of rice per year; since 1962, rice has been imported, as frequent droughts often cause crop failure.

Institutions in Guinea-Bissau

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