A nation identified by its chronic instability!

The Republic of Guinea-Bissau, a country located on the west coast of Africa between Senegal and Guinea, is a territory originating from a former Portuguese ultramarine (1) province. In 1963, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) launched the war of independence and the country was definitively freed from Portuguese influence in 1974.

Since then, Guinea-Bissau has experienced permanent instability sustained by incessant political and military upheavals. In 1980, a coup d'état brought to power the authoritarian dictator João Bernardo Vieira (1939-2009), known as “Nino Vieira”. Between 1980 and 1990, many attempts failed to overthrow the power in place. We had to wait for the start of the new millennium to see the arrival of a transitional government and the election of Kumba Lalá (1953-2014), the first president to be elected in a transparent ballot. In September 2003, Lalá was ousted by the army in a coup d'état and the businessman Henrique Rosa (1946-2013) was in turn sworn in as interim president. In 2005, former president Vieira was reelected again! The latter undertakes to pursue economic development, a beginning of democratic normalization as well as a great national reconciliation ... But between 2009 and 2019, other coups d'état and presidents follow one another ... without results. Since February 2020, Umaro Sissoco Embaló is the current president of the country ... but for how long?

Guinea-Bissau Issues

In almost 50 years and partly because of the context outlined above, the country has not devoted much energy to its currency! A first issue of 3 banknotes of 50, 100 and 500 pesos was put into circulation in 1975 by the National Bank of Guinea-Bissau (NBG). From 1983 to 1984, the NBG issued a second series of 5 banknotes of 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 pesos. As for the previous issue of 1975, the same figures linked to Independence are represented: on the 50 pesos, a portrait of Pansau Na Isna (1938-1969), on the 100 pesos, a portrait of Domingos Ramos (1935-1966) and on the 500 pesos, a portrait of Francisco Mendes (1939-1978) and on the 1,000 and 5,000 pesos, a portrait of Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral (1924-1973).

In 1990, the Central Bank of Guinea-Bissau (CBG) succeeded the NBG and issued a third series of 5 banknotes of 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 pesos, identical to the series of 1983-1984, but the banknotes had new signs. of security.


(1) The overseas provinces are administrative divisions of Portugal designating its colonies. This status was used from 1946 to 1976. Portuguese India was the first to obtain it, before it was generalized to all the Portuguese colonies in 1951. It continued until the mid-1970s, when the most of these proclaim their independence (Source: wikipedia).

Our sources