Last updated in May 2016
The Federal Republic of Germany recognised Guinea-Bissau as a sovereign state on 12 August 1974. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations since 1975. Before the East-West conflict ended, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in particular was strongly engaged in socialist Guinea-Bissau. Many of the country’s citizens studied in the former GDR, including President Malam Bacai Sanhá, who died in 2012, and some members of the government that is currently in power.
Normal political relations were resumed in July 2014. Following the April 2012 coup, Germany had limited cooperation with the transitional government to technically necessary contacts. Together with the European Union institutions, international organisations and bilateral partners, Germany supports the current government’s efforts to stabilise the country and implement economic reforms.
There has been no bilateral development cooperation since 1998, but Germany supports projects by civil society organisations like the Weltfriedensdienst (World Peace Service) as well as basic-needs-oriented microprojects being conducted by local organisations.
Two well-known German companies are contemplating involvement in infrastructure projects there (port and road construction) and in the country’s raw materials industry (cement), but the current political situation in Guinea-Bissau is hardly conducive to such involvement.