Guinea Bissau, Economy and Government
palm products, centimes, subsistence agriculture, legislative elections, Cattle breeding
The economy of Guinea-Bissau is dominated by subsistence agriculture. Food crops include rice (which is the staple food of the population), plantains, cassava, and maize. The principal export crops include cashew nuts, which account for more than half of export earnings; peanuts, which are grown in the interior; palm products, raised on the islands and in the coastal region; and cotton. The fishing industry has grown rapidly and is a major source of export earnings. Cattle breeding is important in the interior. Manufacturing is mainly limited to the processing of raw materials and the production of basic consumer goods. The country has 4,400 km (2,734 mi) of roads. The unit of currency is the CFA franc, consisting of 100 centimes (712 francs equal U.S.$1; 2000 average).
Guinea-Bissauís constitution was enacted in 1984 and has been amended several times. According to this constitution, the president, who is directly elected to a five-year term, is head of state. The president may serve no more than two terms of office. Legislative power is vested in the 102-member National Peopleís Assembly, the members of which are directly elected to four-year terms. The legislature elects the 15-member Council of State and its prime minister, who heads the government. A political liberalization program approved in 1991 ended one-party dominance in Guinea-Bissau. Numerous political parties emerged over the course of the 1990s. The nation held its first multiparty presidential and legislative elections in 1994.
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