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Germany and Guinea-Bissau: Bilateral relations

13.12.2022 - Article

The Federal Republic of Germany recognised Guinea-Bissau as a state on 12 August 1974 and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1975. Before the end of the East-West conflict, the German Democratic Republic in particular was very active in socialist Guinea-Bissau. Many people from Guinea-Bissau, including President Malam Bacai Sanhá, who died in 2012, studied in the former GDR.

Since its independence, Guinea-Bissau has experienced frequent changes of government and recurring crises. A brief phase of democratic renewal ended abruptly in August 2015 with the dismissal of Prime Minister Pereira.  Since the presidential elections in 2019, Umaro Sissoco Embaló has been President of Guinea-Bissau. He initially managed to calm the political crisis that had been simmering since 2015. In February 2022, parts of the military attempted a coup against Embaló. As a result of this, a military peace mission set up by the West African regional organisation ECOWAS has been helping to politically stabilise the country since April 2022.

An ongoing conflict over political powers led to the dissolution of parliament by the President in May 2022. Fresh parliamentary elections are planned for 2023.

There has been no bilateral development cooperation since 1998. However, Germany continues to support the country’s efforts at political stabilisation and economic reform together with the EU and international organisations. The German Government also provides funding for projects by civil society organisations (the World Peace Service, Caritas) and micro-projects by local organisations.

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