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Africa Economic Brief - Volume 8 Issue 2 - Decentralization in Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau is a small country with a population of 1.7 million along the West African coast. Since gaining its independence from Portugal in 1974, the country has wit - ness ed recurrent political upheavals, with four successful coups d’état, 15 coup attempts, and a short civil war in 1998– 99. In 1994, the country opened itself to “multipartyism,” with hopes of political stabilization. Under the new and more democratic Constitution, revised in 1996, decentralization was put forth as an explicit political requirement, based on the belief that full democracy could not be achieved without local elections and empowerment. Twenty years later, this has not been put to test. Local governance remains a distant goal.