With Presidential elections due on November 24th, Guinea Bissau is back in the international media due to its complex political moment. A lot of people fail to realise that the challenges are far beyond the electoral process.
Lower cashew production and a slowdown in oil prices slowed the economy’s GDP growth to 3.8% in 2018.
Nevertheless, the World Bank sees the country going through a progressive recovery to around a 5.2% growth by 2020 with inflation below 3% over the medium term. The forecast is largely based in relatively high cashew prices, improvements in electricity supply and an increased investment in roads and other essential infrastructure, key items in the agenda of candidates.
These agendas also include economic diversification, through the development of value chain – with market support systems and agricultural technology to capitalise on agricultural opportunities.
The new Government will need to anticipate risks and mitigate their impact on the poorest populations, addressing the country’s high inequality with efforts to improve service delivery and to increase access to basic services.
However, accelerating or even keeping pace with poverty reduction will be difficult if the political situation remains unresolved and the key development challenges that limit growth, inclusion and sustainability are not addressed.