The Federal Republic of Germany recognised Guinea-Bissau as a sovereign state on 12 August 1974, and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 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.
Since gaining independence, Guinea-Bissau has experienced frequent changes of government and recurrent crises. A short phase of democratic renewal came to an abrupt end in August 2015 with the dismissal of the country’s then Prime Minister, Domingos Simões Pereira. Guinea-Bissau has since been mired in a political crisis that has pitted the state’s constitutional organs against one another. The crisis has also brought the work of the country’s parliament almost to a complete standstill. The African regional organisation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) are attempting to mediate between the conflicting parties. ECOWAS forces have been helping to stabilise the situation since 2012. The United Nations also has a peace mission in Guinea-Bissau, the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS).
There has been no bilateral development cooperation since 1998, but Germany continues to work with European Union institutions, international organisations and bilateral partners to assist the Guinea-Bissau Government with its efforts to stabilise the country and implement economic reforms. Germany is also supporting projects by civil society organisations such as the World Peace Service (WFD) and Caritas Internationalis as well as microprojects by local organisations, which are overseen by the German Embassy in Dakar, Senegal.