It is through the use of DNA technology that I can discover my African ancestry. DNA does not give me the name of a specific ancestor, but it does indicate my biological connections to present day living Africans and African countries. In the country Guinea Bissau, whose national name is the Républica da Guiné-Bissau, my mitochondrial DNA and my father’s Y-chromosome DNA match people of the Biafada and Balanta tribes. Guinea Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is a small country on the West African coast, about half the size of the state of South Carolina, and is a neighbor of countries of Senegal and Guinea. The terrain of Guinea Bissau is a low-lying coastal region of swamps, rain forests, and mangrove-covered wetlands, with about 25 islands off the coast.
Here are a few facts about Guinea Bissau.
- Land area: 10,811 sq mi (28,000 sq km)
- Total area: 13,946 sq mi (36,120 sq km)
- Population (2007 est.): 1,472,041 (growth rate: 2.1%)
- Birth rate: 36.8/1000
- Infant mortality rate: 103.3/1000
- Life expectancy: 47.2
Source: InfoPlease, Guinea Bissau, http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107604.html