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Africa :: Gambia, The Print
Page last updated on August 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Gambia, The
  • Background field listing
    The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Senegal, it formed a short-lived Confederation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. In 1991, the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty, although tensions flared up intermittently during the regime of Yahya JAMMEH. JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president and banned political activity. A new constitution and presidential election 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. After 22 years of increasingly authoritarian rule, President JAMMEH was defeated in free and fair elections in December 2016. Due to The Gambia’s poor human rights record under JAMMEH, international development partners had distanced themselves, and substantially reduced aid to the country. These channels have now reopened under the administration of President Adama BARROW, who took office in January 2017. The US and The Gambia currently enjoy improved relations. US assistance to the country has supported military education and training programs, as well as various capacity building and democracy strengthening activities.



  • Geography :: Gambia, The
  • Location field listing
    Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    13 28 N, 16 34 W
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 11,300 sq km
    land: 10,120 sq km
    water: 1,180 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly less than twice the size of Delaware
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 749 km
    border countries (1): Senegal 749 km
    Coastline field listing
    80 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 18 nm
    continental shelf: extent not specified
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)
    Terrain field listing
    flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 34 m
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: unnamed elevation 53 m
    Natural resources field listing
    fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 56.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 41% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 14.6% (2011 est.)
    forest: 43.9% (2011 est.)
    other: 0% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    50 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    settlements are found scattered along the Gambia River; the largest communities, including the capital of Banjul, and the country's largest city, Serekunda, are found at the mouth of the Gambia River along the Atlantic coast
    Natural hazards field listing
    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation due to slash-and-burn agriculture; desertification; water pollution; water-borne diseases
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    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
    Geography - note field listing
    almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the African mainland
  • People and Society :: Gambia, The
  • Population field listing
    2,173,999 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Gambian(s)
    adjective: Gambian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Mandinka/Jahanka 34%, Fulani/Tukulur/Lorobo 22.4%, Wolof 12.6%, Jola/Karoninka 10.7%, Serahuleh 6.6%, Serer 3.2%, Manjago 2.1%, Bambara 1%, Creole/Aku Marabout 0.7%, other 0.9%, non-Gambian 5.2%, no answer 0.6% (2013 est.)
    Languages field listing
    English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
    Religions field listing
    Muslim 95.7%, Christian 4.2%, none 0.1%, no response 0.1% (2013 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    The Gambia’s youthful age structure – almost 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – is likely to persist because the country’s total fertility rate remains strong at nearly 4 children per woman. The overall literacy rate is around 55%, and is significantly lower for women than for men. At least 70% of the populace are farmers who are reliant on rain-fed agriculture and cannot afford improved seeds and fertilizers. Crop failures caused by droughts between 2011 and 2013 have increased poverty, food shortages, and malnutrition.

    The Gambia is a source country for migrants and a transit and destination country for migrants and refugees. Since the 1980s, economic deterioration, drought, and high unemployment, especially among youths, have driven both domestic migration (largely urban) and migration abroad (legal and illegal). Emigrants are largely skilled workers, including doctors and nurses, and provide a significant amount of remittances. The top receiving countries for Gambian emigrants are Spain, the US, Nigeria, Senegal, and the UK. While the Gambia and Spain do not share historic, cultural, or trade ties, rural Gambians have migrated to Spain in large numbers because of its proximity and the availability of jobs in its underground economy (this flow slowed following the onset of Spain’s late 2007 economic crisis).

    The Gambia’s role as a host country to refugees is a result of wars in several of its neighboring West African countries. Since 2006, refugees from the Casamance conflict in Senegal have replaced their pattern of flight and return with permanent settlement in The Gambia, often moving in with relatives along the Senegal-Gambia border. The strain of providing for about 7,400 Casamance refugees has increased poverty among Gambian villagers.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 35.96% (male 392,714/female 389,027)
    15-24 years: 20.09% (male 216,307/female 220,514)
    25-54 years: 35.85% (male 382,138/female 397,324)
    55-64 years: 4.4% (male 45,614/female 50,143)
    65 years and over: 3.69% (male 36,773/female 43,445) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 86.9
    youth dependency ratio: 82.1
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.7
    potential support ratio: 21.1 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 21.8 years
    male: 21.5 years
    female: 22.2 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Population growth rate field listing
    1.87% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Birth rate field listing
    27 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Death rate field listing
    6.7 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Net migration rate field listing
    -1.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Population distribution field listing
    settlements are found scattered along the Gambia River; the largest communities, including the capital of Banjul, and the country's largest city, Serekunda, are found at the mouth of the Gambia River along the Atlantic coast
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 62.6% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 4.07% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    451,000 BANJUL (capital) (2020)

    note: includes the local government areas of Banjul and Kanifing

    Sex ratio field listing
    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: 0.91 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    20.9 years (2013 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    597 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 54.9 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 60.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 49.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 65.8 years
    male: 63.5 years
    female: 68.3 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Total fertility rate field listing
    3.21 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    9% (2013)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 91.4% of population
    rural: 80.4% of population
    total: 87.1% of population
    unimproved: urban: 8.6% of population
    rural: 19.6% of population
    total: 12.9% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    3.3% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    1.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 80.4% of population
    rural: 44.5% of population
    total: 66.3% of population
    unimproved: urban: 19.6% of population
    rural: 55.5% of population
    total: 33.7% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    1.9% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    26,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <1000 (2018 est.)
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    10.3% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    16.5% (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Education expenditures field listing
    2.1% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 50.8%
    male: 61.8%
    female: 41.6% (2015)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 9 years
    male: 9 years
    female: 9 years (2010)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 13.1%
    male: 9.1%
    female: 17.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
  • Government :: Gambia, The
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
    conventional short form: The Gambia
    etymology: named for the Gambia River that flows through the heart of the country
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Banjul
    geographic coordinates: 13 27 N, 16 34 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: Banjul is located on Saint Mary's Island at the mouth of the Gambia River; the Mandinka used to gather fibrous plants on the island for the manufacture of ropes; "bang julo" is Mandinka for "rope fiber"; mispronunciation over time caused the term became the word Banjul
    Administrative divisions field listing
    5 regions, 1 city*, and 1 municipality**; Banjul*, Central River, Kanifing**, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, West Coast
    Independence field listing
    18 February 1965 (from the UK)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 18 February (1965)
    Constitution field listing
    history: previous 1965 (Independence Act), 1970; latest adopted 8 April 1996, approved by referendum 8 August 1996, effective 16 January 1997; note - referendum on new constitution planned over the next 2 years
    amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the Assembly membership in each of several readings and approval by the president of the republic; a referendum is required for amendments affecting national sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedoms, government structures and authorities, taxation, and public funding; passage by referendum requires participation of at least 50% of eligible voters and approval by at least 75% of votes cast; amended 2001, 2004, 2010
    International law organization participation field listing
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2017); Vice President Isatou TOURAY (since 15 March 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2017); Vice President Isatou TOURAY (since 15 March 2019)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 1 December 2016 (next to be held in 2021); vice president appointed by the president
    election results: Adama BARROW elected president; percent of vote - Adama BARROW (Coalition 2016) 43.3%, Yahya JAMMEH (APRC) 39.6%, Mamma KANDEH (GDC) 17.1%
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National Assembly (58 seats; 53 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 6 April 2017 (next to be held in 2022)
    election results: percent of vote by party - UDP 37.5%, GDC 17.4%, APRC 16%, PDOIS 9%, NRP 6.3%, PPP 2.5%, other 1.7%, independent 9.6%; seats by party - UDP 31, APRC 5, GDC 5, NRP 5, PDOIS 4, PPP 2, independent 1; composition - men 52, women 6, percent of women 10.3%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court of The Gambia (consists of the chief justice and 6 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 at age 75
    subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Special Criminal Court; Khadis or Muslim courts; district tribunals; magistrates courts; cadi courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Fabakary JATTA]
    Coalition 2016 [collective leadership] (electoral coalition includes UDP, PDOIS, NRP, GMC, GDC, PPP, and GPDP)
    Gambia Democratic Congress or GDC [Mama KANDEH]
    Gambia Moral Congress or GMC [Mai FATTY]
    Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress or GPDP [Sarja JARJOU]
    National Convention Party or NCP [Yaya  SANYANG and Majanko SAMUSA (both claiming leadership)]
    National Democratic Action Movement or NDAM [Lamin Yaa JUARA]
    National Reconciliation Party or NRP [Hamat BAH]
    People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS [Sidia JATTA]
    People's Progressive Party or PPP [Yaya CEESAY)]
    United Democratic Party or UDP [Ousainou DARBOE]
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador Dawda D. FADERA (since 24 January 2018)
    chancery: 5630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
    telephone: [1] (202) 785-1399
    FAX: [1] (202) 342-0240
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Richard "Carl" PASCHALL (since 9 April 2019)
    telephone: [220] 439-2856
    embassy: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, P.M.B.19, Banjul
    mailing address: P.M.B. 19, Banjul
    FAX: [220] 439-2475
    Flag description field listing
    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
    National symbol(s) field listing
    lion; national colors: red, blue, green, white
    National anthem field listing
    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
  • Economy - overview field listing

    The government has invested in the agriculture sector because three-quarters of the population depends on the sector for its livelihood and agriculture provides for about one-third of GDP, making The Gambia largely reliant on sufficient rainfall. The agricultural sector has untapped potential - less than half of arable land is cultivated and agricultural productivity is low. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of cashews, groundnuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia's reexport trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports and China has been its largest trade partner for both exports and imports for several years.

    The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits. It relies heavily on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. Remittance inflows to The Gambia amount to about one-fifth of the country’s GDP. The Gambia's location on the ocean and proximity to Europe has made it one of the most frequented tourist destinations in West Africa, boosted by private sector investments in eco-tourism and facilities. Tourism normally brings in about 20% of GDP, but it suffered in 2014 from tourists’ fears of Ebola virus in neighboring West African countries. 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 were concerned about the quality of fiscal management under the administration of former President Yahya JAMMEH, who reportedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars of the country’s funds during his 22 years in power, but anticipate significant improvements under the new administration of President Adama BARROW, who assumed power in early 2017. As of April 2017, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, and the African Development Bank were all negotiating with the new government of The Gambia to provide financial support in the coming months to ease the country’s financial crisis.

    The country faces a limited availability of foreign exchange, weak agricultural output, a border closure with Senegal, a slowdown in tourism, high inflation, a large fiscal deficit, and a high domestic debt burden that has crowded out private sector investment and driven interest rates to new highs. The government has committed to taking steps to reduce the deficit, including through expenditure caps, debt consolidation, and reform of state-owned enterprises.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $5.556 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.314 billion (2016 est.)
    $5.292 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 176
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $1.482 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    4.6% (2017 est.)
    0.4% (2016 est.)
    5.9% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $2,600 (2017 est.)
    $2,600 (2016 est.)
    $2,700 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 197
    Gross national saving field listing
    6.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    7.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    3.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 90.7% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 19.2% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -2.7% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 20.8% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -40% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 20.4% (2017 est.)
    industry: 14.2% (2017 est.)
    services: 65.4% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats
    Industries field listing
    peanuts, fish, hides, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    -0.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Labor force field listing
    777,100 (2007 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 75%
    industry: 19%
    services: 6% (1996 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing


    Population below poverty line field listing
    48.4% (2010 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2%
    highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 300.4 million (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 339 million (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    20.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -2.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Public debt field listing
    88% of GDP (2017 est.)
    82.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    8% (2017 est.)
    7.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Current account balance field listing
    -$194 million (2017 est.)
    -$85 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Exports field listing
    $72.9 million (2017 est.)
    $106.6 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Exports - partners field listing
    Guinea-Bissau 51.9%, Vietnam 14.6%, Senegal 8.8%, Mali 7.2% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
    Imports field listing
    $376.9 million (2017 est.)
    $310.5 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Imports - commodities field listing
    foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
    Imports - partners field listing
    Cote dIvoire 11.5%, Brazil 10.6%, Spain 10.2%, China 7.8%, Russia 6.4%, Netherlands 5.3%, India 5% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $170 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $87.64 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Debt - external field listing
    $586.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
    $571.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Exchange rates field listing
    dalasis (GMD) per US dollar -
    49.74 (2017 est.)
    43.8846 (2016 est.)
    43.8846 (2015 est.)
    41.89 (2014 est.)
    41.733 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Gambia, The
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 1 million (2017)
    electrification - total population: 47.8% (2016)
    electrification - urban areas: 69% (2016)
    electrification - rural areas: 15.5% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    304.1 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    282.8 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    117,000 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    97% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    3,800 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    42 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    3,738 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    607,300 Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
  • Communications :: Gambia, The
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 44,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 3,181,393
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 152 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: state-owned Gambia Telecommunications partially privatized but still retaining a monopoly with fixed-line service; multiple mobile networks offering effective competition; three licensed ISPs which serve local area without much competition; mobile penetrations above the African average; lack of availability of fixed-line services in many rural areas of the country; govt. started a National Broadband Network program aimed at closing the digital divide but not funded by Parliament in 2018; the Chinese company Huawei helping in the telecommunications sector (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line stands at 2 per 100 subscriptions with one dominant company and mobile-cellular teledensity, aided by multiple mobile-cellular providers, is over 152 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 220; landing point for the ACE submarine cable to West Africa and Europe; microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing

    1 state-run TV-channel; one privately-owned TV-station; 1 Online TV-station; three state-owned radio station and 31 privately owned radio stations; eight community 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 

    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 406,918
    percent of population: 19.84% (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 4,433
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 182
  • Military and Security :: Gambia, The
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Gambia Armed Forces: the Gambian National Army (GNA, includes an air wing); Gambia Navy; Republican National Guard (2020)
    Military expenditures field listing
    0.8% of GDP (2019)
    0.7% of GDP (2018)
    1% of GDP (2015)
    1.2% of GDP (2014)
    0.8% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing

    estimates for the size of the Gambian National Army (GNA) vary; approximately 3,000 active troops

    (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the GNA has a limited equipment inventory; the only reported weapons deliveries to the GNA since 2000 are second-hand patrol boats from Taiwan (2009) and one aircraft from Georgia (2004) (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    130 Sudan (UNAMID) (2019 est.)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; service obligation 6 months (2012)
  • Transportation :: Gambia, The
  • Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    C5 (2016)
    Airports field listing
    1 (2020)
    country comparison to the world: 221
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 1 (2019)
    over 3,047 m: 1
    Roadways field listing
    total: 2,977 km (2011)
    paved: 518 km (2011)
    unpaved: 2,459 km (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Waterways field listing
    390 km (on River Gambia; small oceangoing vessels can reach 190 km) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 8
    by type: other 8 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Banjul
  • Transnational Issues :: Gambia, The
  • Disputes - international field listing

    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

    Trafficking in persons field listing
    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; women, girls, and boys from West African countries are trafficked to The Gambia for commercial sexual exploitation, particularly by European sex tourists; boys in some Koranic schools are forced into street vending or begging; some Gambian children have been identified as victims of forced labor 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 demonstrated minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, investigating one trafficking case but not prosecuting or convicting any offenders in 2014; authorities did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any government employees complicit in trafficking, although corruption was a serious problem; the government identified and repatriated 19 Gambian girls subjected to domestic servitude in Lebanon but did not identify or provide protective services to any trafficking victims in The Gambia; 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 (2015)