Guinea-Bissau

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The Republic of Guinea-Bissau (Listeni /ˈɡɪni bɪˈs/; Portuguese: República da Guiné-Bissau, pronounced [ʁeˈpublikɐ dɐ ɡiˈnɛ biˈsaw]) is located in West Africa. It is bordered by Senegal to the north, and Guinea to the south and east, with the Atlantic Ocean to its west.

It covers nearly 37,000 square kilometres (14,000 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1,600,000.

Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, part of the Mali Empire; parts of this kingdom persisted until the eighteenth century, while others were part of the Portuguese Empire. It then became the Portuguese colony of Portuguese Guinea in the 19th century. Upon independence, declared in 1973 and recognised in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country's name to prevent confusion with the Republic of Guinea.

Only 14% of the population speaks the official language, Portuguese. 44% speak Kriol, a Portuguese-based creole language, and the remainder speaks native African languages. The main religions are Islam and African traditional religions, and there is an important Christian (mostly Catholic) minority.

It is a member of the African Union, Economic Community of West African States, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the Latin Union, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, La Francophonie and the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone.

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