Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 4, 2015

More information about Guinea-Bissau is available on the Guinea-Bissau Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States established diplomatic relations with Guinea-Bissau in 1975, following its independence from Portugal. A new government headed by President Jose Mario Vaz assumed power in June 2014 after fair and free elections. Vaz’s inauguration ended a civilian Transitional Government that emerged in the wake of a coup in April 2012. While the United States is expanding its programs and presence in the country as a statement of our support for the elected government, optimism remains guarded as the country has seen a mix of coups, attempted coups, civil war, assassinations, and democratic elections.

There is no U.S. Embassy in Guinea-Bissau. All official U.S. contact with Guinea-Bissau is handled by the U.S. Embassy in Senegal. Local employees staff the U.S. Office in Bissau, and U.S. diplomats from the Embassy in Dakar travel frequently to Bissau.

U.S. Assistance to Guinea-Bissau

The United States is in the process of engaging with Guinea-Bissau as its newly elected government works to stabilize the country financially and begin the process of crucial security and judicial reforms. Following Vaz’s inauguration, the United States lifted restrictions on foreign assistance to Guinea-Bissau, which had been in place since shortly after the April 2012 coup. The United States’ top priorities in Guinea-Bissau are to promote security sector reform, combat drug trafficking, prevent an outbreak of Ebola, and implement multi-sector reforms, which would spur investment, sustainable development, and poverty reduction.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Guinea-Bissau is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). U.S. exports to Guinea-Bissau include agricultural products and machinery. The United States has a trade and investment framework agreement with the West African Economic and Monetary Union, of which Guinea-Bissau is a member.

Guinea-Bissau's Membership in International Organizations

Guinea-Bissau and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Guinea-Bissau is James Zumwalt, resident in Senegal; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Although Guinea-Bissau has a mission to the United Nations in New York, it currently does not have an embassy in, or diplomatic accreditation to, Washington DC.

More information about Guinea-Bissau is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Guinea-Bissau Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Guinea-Bissau Page
U.S. Embassy: Senegal (Virtual Presence Post - Guinea-Bissau)
History of U.S. Relations With Guinea-Bissau
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Travel and Business Information

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