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Africa :: Gambia, The
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  • Introduction :: GAMBIA, THE

  • The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Senegal, it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty, but tensions have flared up intermittently since then. Yahya JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president and banned political activity. A new constitution and presidential elections in 1996, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule. JAMMEH was elected president in all subsequent elections including most recently in late 2011.
  • Geography :: GAMBIA, THE

  • Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal
    13 28 N, 16 34 W
    Africa
    total: 11,295 sq km
    land: 10,000 sq km
    water: 1,295 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 167
    slightly less than twice the size of Delaware
    total: 749 km
    border countries: Senegal 749 km
    80 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 18 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: extent not specified
    tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)
    flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed elevation 53 m
    fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon
    arable land: 43.48%
    permanent crops: 0.49%
    other: 56.03% (2012 est.)
    50 sq km (2011)
    8 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.09 cu km/yr (41%/21%/39%)
    per capita: 65.77 cu m/yr (2005)
    drought (rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years)
    deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country in Africa
  • People and Society :: GAMBIA, THE

  • noun: Gambian(s)
    adjective: Gambian
    African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1% (2003 census)
    English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
    Muslim 90%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 2%
    1,925,527 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    0-14 years: 38.7% (male 374,353/female 371,488)
    15-24 years: 21% (male 199,306/female 204,324)
    25-54 years: 33% (male 310,901/female 324,227)
    55-64 years: 4% (male 37,506/female 39,958)
    65 years and over: 3.3% (male 29,793/female 33,671) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 93%
    youth dependency ratio: 88.4%
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.5%
    potential support ratio: 22% (2014 est.)
    total: 20.2 years
    male: 19.9 years
    female: 20.5 years (2014 est.)
    2.23% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    31.75 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    7.26 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    -2.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    urban population: 59% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 4.33% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    BANJUL (capital) 489,000 (2014)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    360 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    total: 65.74 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 71.21 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 60.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    total population: 64.36 years
    male: 62.04 years
    female: 66.74 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    3.85 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    9% (2013)
    5% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    0.11 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
    1.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 94.2% of population
    rural: 84.4% of population
    total: 90.1% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 5.8% of population
    rural: 15.6% of population
    total: 9.9% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 64% of population
    rural: 55% of population
    total: 60.2% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 36% of population
    rural: 45% of population
    total: 39.8% of population (2012 est.)
    1.2% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    12,900 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    400 (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
    animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
    7.9% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    17.4% (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    4.1% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 52%
    male: 61.4%
    female: 43.1% (2012 est.)
    total: 9 years
    male: 9 years
    female: 9 years (2010)
    total number: 103,389
    percentage: 25% (2006 est.)
  • Government :: GAMBIA, THE

  • conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
    conventional short form: The Gambia
    republic
    name: Banjul
    geographic coordinates: 13 27 N, 16 34 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Central River, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, Western
    18 February 1965 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 18 February (1965)
    previous 1970; latest adopted 8 April 1996, approved by referendum 8 August 1996, effective 16 January 1997; amended several times, last in 2009 (2009)
    mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Yahya JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); note - from 1994 to 1996 he was chairman of the junta; Vice President Isatou NJIE-SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Yahya JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); Vice President Isatou NJIE-SAIDY (since 20 March 1997)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 24 November 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
    election results: Yahya JAMMEH reelected president; percent of vote - Yahya JAMMEH 71.5%, Ousainou DARBOE 17.4%, Hamat BAH 11.1%
    description: unicameral National Assembly (53 seats; 48 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 5 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 29 March 2012 (next to be held in 2017)
    election results: percent of vote by party - APRC 51.8%, independent 38.8%, NRP 9.4%; seats by party - APRC 43, independent 4, NRP 1
    highest court(s): Supreme Court of The Gambia (consists of the chief justice and 6 other justices; court sessions held with 5 justices)
    judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission, a 6-member independent body of high-level judicial officials, a presidential appointee, and a National Assembly appointee; justices appointed for life or until mandatory retirement age
    subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Special Criminal Court; Khadis or Muslim courts; district tribunals; magistrates courts
    Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Yahya JAMMEH] (the ruling party)
    Gambia People's Democratic Party or GPDP [Henry GOMEZ]
    National Alliance for Democracy and Development or NADD [Halifa SALLAH]
    National Convention Party or NCP [Sheriff DIBBA]
    National Reconciliation Party or NRP [Hamat BAH]
    People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS [Halifa SALLAH]
    People's Progressive Party or PPP [Omar JALLOW]
    United Democratic Party or UDP [Ousainou DARBOE]
    National Environment Agency or NEA
    West African Peace Building Network-Gambian Chapter or WANEB-GAMBIA
    Youth Employment Network Gambia or YENGambia
    other: special needs group advocates; teachers and principals
    ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Sheikh Omar FAYE (since 1 April 2014)
    chancery: Suite 240, Georgetown Plaza, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 785-1379, 1399, 1425
    FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Richard T. YONEOKA (since August 2014)
    embassy: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, Banjul
    mailing address: P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul
    telephone: [220] 439-2856, 437-6169, 437-6170
    FAX: [220] 439-2475
    three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green; red stands for the sun and the savannah, blue represents the Gambia River, and green symbolizes forests and agriculture; the white stripes denote unity and peace
    lion; national colors: red, blue, green, white
    name: "For The Gambia, Our Homeland"
    lyrics/music: Virginia Julie HOWE/adapted by Jeremy Frederick HOWE
    note: adopted 1965; the music is an adaptation of the traditional Mandinka song "Foday Kaba Dumbuya"
  • Economy :: GAMBIA, THE

  • The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits and a limited agricultural base. It relies heavily on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. Remittance inflows to The Gambia amount to about 20% of the country’s GDP. The government has invested strongly in the agriculture sector because three-quarters of the population depends on the sector for its livelihood and agriculture provides for about one-fifth of GDP. The agricultural sector has untapped potential - less than half of arable land is cultivated. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of peanuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia's natural beauty and proximity to Europe has made it one of the larger tourist destinations in West Africa, boosted by government and private sector investments in eco-tourism and upscale facilities. Tourism normally brings in about one-fifth of GDP, but suffered in 2014 from tourists’ fears of Ebolavirus in neighboring West African countries. The Gambia's re-export trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports and China was its largest trade partner for both exports and imports in 2013. In 2012 the IMF renewed an extended credit facility of $28.3 million for three years. Unemployment and underemployment remain high. Economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, and on continued technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors. International donors and lenders continue to be concerned about the quality of fiscal management. The Gambia's debt interest payments are projected to consume about 31% of government revenue in 2015. Relations with international donors have been tarnished by the country’s human rights record on homosexuality and human trafficking, perceptions of graft, and a declaration by the president in 2014 that the country would stop using English as the national language.
    $3.362 billion (2014 est.)
    $3.131 billion (2013 est.)
    $2.944 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 180
    $918 million (2014 est.)
    7.4% (2014 est.)
    6.3% (2013 est.)
    5.3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    $1,700 (2014 est.)
    $1,700 (2013 est.)
    $1,600 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 210
    7.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    1.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    6.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    household consumption: 92.4%
    government consumption: 8.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 23.8%
    investment in inventories: 0.3%
    exports of goods and services: 28%
    imports of goods and services: -53.1%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 22.8%
    industry: 11.8%
    services: 65.5% (2014 est.)
    rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats
    peanuts, fish, hides, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing
    0.3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    777,100 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    agriculture: 75%
    industry: 19%
    services: 6% (1996)
    NA%
    48.4% (2010 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2%
    highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)
    50.2 (1998)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    revenues: $177.6 million
    expenditures: $242.6 million (2014 est.)
    19.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    -7.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    calendar year
    5.6% (2014 est.)
    5.7% (2013 est.)
    9% (31 December 2009)
    11% (31 December 2008)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    33.5% (31 December 2014 est.)
    28% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    $192.9 million (31 December 2008)
    $186.7 million (31 December 2007)
    $176.2 million (31 December 2008)
    $180.4 million (31 December 2007)
    $217.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $215.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    $534.7 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $511.5 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    $416.3 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $398.3 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    $NA
    -$163.2 million (2014 est.)
    -$165.1 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    $107.4 million (2014 est.)
    $104.6 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
    China 57%, India 23.2% (2013)
    $353.1 million (2014 est.)
    $355.8 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
    China 30.3%, Senegal 9.1%, Brazil 8.2%, India 6.7% (2013)
    $227.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $210.6 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    $583.9 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    $547.4 million (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    dalasis (GMD) per US dollar -
    39.98 (2014 est.)
    36.57 (2013 est.)
    32.08 (2012 est.)
    29.4615 (2011 est.)
    28.012 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: GAMBIA, THE

  • 230 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    213.9 million kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    62,000 kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    100% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    3,350 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    42 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    3,434 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    472,200 Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: GAMBIA, THE

  • 64,200 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    1.526 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    general assessment: adequate microwave radio relay and open-wire network; state-owned Gambia Telecommunications partially privatized in 2007
    domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity, aided by multiple mobile-cellular providers, is roughly 80 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 220; microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; a landing station for the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) undersea fiber-optic cable is scheduled for completion in 2011; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
    state-owned, single-channel TV service; state-owned radio station and 4 privately owned radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available, some via shortwave radio; cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable in some parts of the country (2007)
    AM 3, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2001)
    1 (government-owned) (1997)
    .gm
    656 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    130,100 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 146
  • Transportation :: GAMBIA, THE

  • 1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 218
    total: 1
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 3,740 km
    paved: 711 km
    unpaved: 3,029 km (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    390 km (on River Gambia; small ocean-going vessels can reach 190 km) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    total: 4
    by type: passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 1 (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    major seaport(s): Banjul
  • Military :: GAMBIA, THE

  • Office of the Chief of Defense Staff: Gambian National Army (GNA), Gambian Navy (GN), Republican National Guard (RNG) (2010)
    18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; service obligation 6 months (2012)
    males age 16-49: 423,306
    females age 16-49: 438,641 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 315,176
    females age 16-49: 347,017 (2010 est.)
    male: 20,508
    female: 20,853 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: GAMBIA, THE

  • attempts to stem refugees, cross-border raids, arms smuggling, and other illegal activities by separatists from southern Senegal's Casamance region, as well as from conflicts in other west African states
    refugees (country of origin): 9,025 (Senegal) (2013)
    current situation: The Gambia is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Gambian women, girls, and, to a lesser extent, boys are exploited for prostitution and domestic servitude; boys in some Koranic schools are forced into street vending or begging; women, girls, and boys from West African countries are trafficked to The Gambia for sexual exploitation, particularly catering to European tourists seeking sex with children; some Gambian trafficking victims are identified in neighboring West African countries
    tier rating: Tier 3 – The Gambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government did not report prosecuting or convicting any trafficking offenders in 2013, did not formally identify trafficking victims, and did not indicate whether victims received any government-supported services; a government program continued to provide resources and financial support to 12 Koranic schools on the condition that their students were not forced to beg (2014)
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