Teachers in the West African state of Guinea Bissau have been on strike for a week. Yesterday they were joined by health workers.

Teachers and children in the country frequently work in appalling conditions - schools often have no buildings or furniture. Teachers can remain unpaid for months and there have been frequent strikes as a result of this. The health workers are also striking about working conditions and salaries.

Guinea Bissau is one of the poorest countries in the world with 69% of the population living on less than 2$ a day. However private investors are already sniffing round, with one pointing out that the country is 'rich in a variety of mineral resources such as phosphate and bauxite. Most of these resources remain unexploited due to a lack of . Several offshore  discoveries have also been made although their commercial viability remains uncertain.

'Off Guinea-Bissau’s coast lie the magnificent Bijagós Islands, an archipelago of about 20 tropical islands. Although there are some facilities on the islands catering for tourists, their potential for  remains largely untapped.'

It is highly unlikely however that all this untapped potential will significantly benefit either the country's children or its teachers.