The U.N. Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau says the country has the potential to become stable and developed.
Joseph Mutaboba says development in Guinea-Bissau has been obscured by repeated crises. In the 35 years since independence from Portugal, the tiny West African country has been hit by coups, assassinations and a brief civil war. Child mortality is high, health care is limited, and the country's colonial-era buildings are crumbling.
Mutaboba says Guinea-Bissau has the potential to be as developed as other countries in the region. But he says crises seem to repeat themselves year after year.
They are a result of changing alliances, he says, within the military, government and even within society.
He says in a country of 1.6 million people there is high demand for senior positions and not enough vacancies. Politicians compete with one another, when they should be working together as a collective force for change.
He says the key to development in Guinea-Bissau is for key players to put aside their individual goals and work for the interests of all Bissau-Guineans.
Mutaboba says Guinea-Bissau is a small, poor country that has the potential to be rich.