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Countries > Gambia Gambia Flag

Languages   6 languages are spoken in Gambia. We have 93 products available for 5 of those languages.


Capital: Banjul
Population: 1,300,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Gambia Map

Geography

Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

Geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 16 34 W

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 11,300 sq km
land : 10,000 sq km
water: 1,300 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Delaware

Land boundaries:
total: 740 km
border countries: Senegal 740 km

Coastline: 80 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf : not specified
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)

Terrain: flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 53 m

Natural resources: fish

Land use:
arable land: 19%
permanent crops : 1%
permanent pastures: 9%
forests and woodland: 28%
other: 45% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years

Environment - current issues: deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa

People

Population: 1,455,842 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 45.1% (male 329,530; female 326,627)
15-64 years: 52.3% (male 377,357; female 383,548)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 20,237; female 18,543) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.09% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 41.25 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 12.63 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:2.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth:1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.09 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 76.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 53.98 years
male : 52.02 years
female:56.01 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.61 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Nationality:
noun : Gambian(s)
adjective: Gambian

Ethnic groups: African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-Gambian 1%

Religions: Muslim 90%, Christian 9%, indigenous beliefs 1%

Languages: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.5%
male : 58.4%
female: 37.1% (2001 est.)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
conventional short form : The Gambia

Data code: GA

Government type: republic under multiparty democratic rule

National capital: Banjul

Administrative divisions: 5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Lower River, MacCarthy Island, North Bank, Upper River, Western

Independence: 18 February 1965 (from UK); note - The Gambia and Senegal signed an agreement on 12 December 1981 that called for the creation of a loose confederation to be known as Senegambia, but the agreement was dissolved on 30 September 1989

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 February (1965)

Constitution: 24 April 1970; suspended July 1994; rewritten and published in March 1996; approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; rewritten and reestablished in January 1997

Legal system: based on a composite of English common law, Koranic law, and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996; note - from 1994 to 1996 was Chairman of the Junta); Vice President Isatou Njie SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996; note - from 1994 to 1996 was Chairman of the Junta); Vice President Isatou Njie SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet is appointed by the president
elections:president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; the number of terms is not restricted; election last held 18 October 2001 (next to be held NA October 2006)
election results: Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH reelected president; percent of vote - Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH 52.9%, Ousainou DARBOE 32.7%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (53 seats; 48 elected by popular vote, five appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: elections: last held 17 January 2002 (next to be held NA January 2007)
election results : ppercent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - APRC 45, PDOIS 2, NRP 1,

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH]; Gambian People's Party-Progressive People's Party-United Democratic Party or GPP-PPP-UDP Coalition [Ousainou DARBOE]; National Convention Party or NCP [Sheriff DIBBA]; National Reconciliation Party or NRP [Hamat N. K. BAH]; People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS [Sidia JATTA]
note: in August 2001, an independent electoral commission allowed the reregistration of the GPP, NCP, and PPP, three parties banned since 1996

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John P. BOJANG K. JUWARA
chancery: Suite 1000, 1155 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1399, 1379, 1425
FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jackson McDONALD
embassy: Fajara, Kairaba Avenue, Banjul
mailing address: P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul
telephone : [220] 392856, 392858, 391970, 391971
FAX: [220] 392475

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green

Economy

Economy - overview:The Gambia has no important mineral or other natural resources and has a limited agricultural base. About 75% of the population depends on crops and livestock for its livelihood. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of peanuts, fish, and hides. Reexport trade normally constitutes a major segment of economic activity, but a 1999 government-imposed preshipment inspection plan, and instability of the Gambian dalasi (currency) have drawn some of the reexport trade away from Banjul. The government's 1998 seizure of the private peanut firm Alimenta eliminated the largest purchaser of Gambian groundnuts; the following two marketing seasons have seen substantially lower prices and sales. A decline in tourism in 2000 has also held back growth. Unemployment and underemployment rates are extremely high. Shortrun economic progress remains highly dependent on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management as forwarded by IMF technical help and advice, and on expected growth in the construction sector. Record crops undergirded sturdy growth in 2001.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $2.5 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5.7% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,770 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 21%
industry: 12%
services: 67% (1998 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 4% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 400,000 (1986 est.)
by occupation: agriculture 75.0%, industry, commerce, and services 18.9%, government 6.1%

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues: $90.5 million
expenditures: $80.9 million, including capital expenditures of $4.1 million (2001 est.)

Industries: processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism; beverages; agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking; clothing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 30,000 kW (1995)

Electricity - production: 75 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita:69.75 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: peanuts, millet, sorghum, rice, corn, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats; forest and fishing resources not fully exploited

Exports:
total value : $139.2 million (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities: peanuts and peanut products 70%, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
partners: Benelux 26%, Japan 15%, UK 14%, Brazil 7% (2000)

Imports:
total value: $200.3 million (f.o.b., 2001)
commodities: foodstuffs, manufactures, raw materials, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
partners:China (including Hong Kong) 18%, UK 10%, Netherlands 8%, France 6%, Brazil 6% (2000)

Debt - external: $440 million (2001 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $45.4 million (1995)

Currency: 1 dalasi (GMD) = 100 butut

Exchange rates:dalasi per US dollar - 15.000 (January 2001), 12.788 (2000), 11.395 (1999), 10.643 (1998), 10.200 (1997)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Communications

Telephones: 31,900 (2000)

Telephone system: adequate; a packet switched data network is available
domestic: adequate network of microwave radio relay and open wire
international: microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 3, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2001)

Radios: 196,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:1 (government-owned) (1997)

Televisions: 5,000 (2000)

Transportation

Railways: 0 km

Highways:
total: 2,700 km
paved: 956 km
unpaved : 1,744 km (1996)

Waterways: 400 km

Ports and harbors: Banjul

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 1 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2001)

Military

Military branches: Army, Navy, National Police

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49 : 327,677 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 165,249 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $1.2 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.3% (FY01)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: None