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Gambia, See : Flags, Maps

Gambia, The (Africa)

Introduction ::Gambia, The

Background:

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 A. J. J. 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 has been elected president in all subsequent elections including most recently in late 2006.

Geography ::Gambia, The

Location:

Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

Geographic coordinates:
13 28 N, 16 34 W

Map references:

Africa

Area:

total: 11,295 sq km country comparison to the world: 166 land: 10,000 sq km

water: 1,295 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:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 18 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: extent not specified

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 elevation 53 m

Natural resources:

fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon

Land use:

arable land: 27.88%

permanent crops: 0.44%

other: 71.68% (2005)

Irrigated land:

20 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

8 cu km (1982)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 0.03 cu km/yr (23%/12%/65%)

per capita: 20 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

drought (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, 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:

almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa

People ::Gambia, The

Population:

1,824,158 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

Age structure:

0-14 years: 43.6% (male 389,877/female 386,218)

15-64 years: 53.5% (male 472,216/female 479,595)

65 years and over: 2.8% (male 24,985/female 25,190) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 18 years

male: 17.9 years

female: 18.2 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.528% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Birth rate:

37.31 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 22

Death rate:

12.03 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 86

Urbanization:

urban population: 57% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 4.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 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: 0.98 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 67.49 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 22 male: 73.52 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 61.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 54.07 years country comparison to the world: 201 male: 52.32 years

female: 55.86 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.96 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 25

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.9% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 55

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

8,200 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 111

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

600 (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 81

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria

water contact disease: schistosomiasis

respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis

animal contact disease: rabies (2009)

Nationality:

noun: Gambian(s)

adjective: Gambian

Ethnic groups:

African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1% (2003 census)

Religions:

Muslim 90%, Christian 8%, indigenous beliefs 2%

Languages:

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

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 40.1%

male: 47.8%

female: 32.8% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years

male: 7 years

female: 7 years (2004)

Education expenditures:

2% of GDP (2004) country comparison to the world: 170

Government ::Gambia, The

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia

conventional short form: The Gambia

Government type:

republic

Capital:

name: Banjul

geographic coordinates: 13 27 N, 16 34 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Central River, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, Western

Independence:

18 February 1965 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 18 February (1965)

Constitution:

approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; effective 16 January 1997

Legal system:

based on a composite of English common law, Islamic 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 he 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); Vice President Isatou NJIE-SAIDY (since 20 March 1997)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 22 September 2006 (next to be held in 2011)

election results: Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH reelected president; percent of vote - Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH 67.3%, Ousainou DARBOE 26.6%, Halifa SALLAH 6%

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly (53 seats; 48 members elected by popular vote, 5 appointed by the president; members to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held on 25 January 2007 (next to be held in 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APRC 47, UDP 4, NADD 1, independent 1

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Yahya
A. J. J. 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 N.
K. BAH]; People's Democratic Organization for Independence and
Socialism or PDOIS [Halifa SALLAH]; United Democratic Party or UDP
[Ousainou DARBOE]

Political pressure groups and leaders:

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

International organization participation:

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, 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, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNAMID,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO,
WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Alieu Momodou NGUM

chancery: Suite 240, Georgetown Plaza, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 785-1379, 1399, 1425
FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Cindy GREGG

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

Flag description:

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 anthem:

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:

The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits and a limited agricultural base, and relies in part on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. About three-quarters of the population depends on the agricultural sector for its livelihood. 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 markets for tourism in West Africa, boosted by government and private sector investments in eco-tourism and upscale facilities. In the past few years, The Gambia's re-export trade - traditionally a major segment of economic activity - has declined, but its banking sector has grown rapidly. Unemployment and underemployment rates 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. The quality of fiscal management, however, is weak. The government has promised to raise civil service wages over the next two years and the deficit is projected to worsen.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$3.406 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 173 $3.244 billion (2009 est.)

$3.073 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.04 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 57 5.6% (2009 est.)

6.3% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,900 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 190 $1,800 (2009 est.)

$1,800 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 30.1%

industry: 16.3%

services: 53.6% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

777,100 (2007) country comparison to the world: 146

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 75%

industry: 19%

services: 6% (1996)

Unemployment rate:
NA%

Population below poverty line:
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

50.2 (1998) country comparison to the world: 23

Investment (gross fixed):

28% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 25

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 152 4.6% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

9% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 38 11% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

27% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 6 27.92% (31 December 2007)

Stock of narrow money:

$222.9 million (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 172 $210.2 million (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$453.9 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 172 $438.9 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$293.5 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 169 $283.7 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Agriculture - products:

rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats

Industries:

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

Industrial production growth rate:

8.9% country comparison to the world: 21 note: although The Gambia had the highest industrial growth rate in the world in 2009, this growth is from a tiny industrial base (2010 est.)

Electricity - production:

160 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 180

Electricity - consumption:

148.8 million kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 182

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 193

Oil - consumption:

2,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 189

Oil - exports:

42 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 134

Oil - imports:

2,266 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 173

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 177

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 193

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 182

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 175

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 176

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 176

Current account balance:

-$90 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 76 -$81 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

$107 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 191 $95 million (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels, re-exports

Exports - partners:

India 42.06%, France 15.34%, UK 9.03%, China 7.38%, Hong Kong 4.55%,
Belgium 3.97% (2009)

Imports:

$306 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 195 $280 million (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment

Imports - partners:

China 20.45%, Senegal 11.97%, Brazil 8.48%, Cote d'Ivoire 4.71%,
Netherlands 4.68%, US 4.49% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$203 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 127 $224 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$530 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 159 $489 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

dalasis (GMD) per US dollar - 28.5193 (2010), 26.67 (2009), 22.75 (2008), 27.79 (2007), 28.066 (2006)

Communications ::Gambia, The

Telephones - main lines in use:

49,000 (2009) country comparison to the world: 162

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1.433 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 140

Telephone system:

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, approached 85 per 100 persons in 2009

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) (2009)

Broadcast media:

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; foreign cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable in some parts of the country (2007)

Internet country code:

.gm

Internet hosts:

1,453 (2010) country comparison to the world: 162

Internet users:

130,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 150

Transportation ::Gambia, The

Airports:

1 (2010) country comparison to the world: 211

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2010)

Roadways:

total: 3,742 km country comparison to the world: 159 paved: 723 km

unpaved: 3,019 km (2004)

Waterways:

390 km (on River Gambia; small ocean-going vessels can reach 190 km) (2008) country comparison to the world: 90

Merchant marine:

total: 5 country comparison to the world: 130 by type: passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Banjul

Military ::Gambia, The

Military branches:

Office of the Chief of Defense Staff: Gambian National Army (GNA),
Gambian Navy (GN) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 402,073

females age 16-49: 406,100 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 238,006

females age 16-49: 248,065 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 20,858

female: 20,762 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

0.9% of GDP (2009) country comparison to the world: 139

Transnational Issues ::Gambia, The

Disputes - international:

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 and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 5,955 (Sierra Leone) (2007)

World

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