Facts and Figures About The Gambia

Taken from The World Factbook
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Background: The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965; it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia with Senegal between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty. A military coup in 1994 overthrew the president and banned political activity, but a new 1996 constitution and presidential elections, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule. The country undertook another round of presidential and legislative elections in late 2001 and early 2002.

13 28 N, 16 34 W -- Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal


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


Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal
Geographic coordinates: 13 28 N, 16 34 W
Map references: Africa
total area: 11,300 sq km
land area: 10,000 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of Delaware
Land boundaries:
total: 740 km
border country: 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
International disputes: None
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
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 53 m
Natural resources: fish
Land use:
arable land: 19%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 80% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1998 est.)
current issues: deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
natural hazards: rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Desertification
Geographic note: almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa


Population: 1,641,564 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.3% (male 365,157/female 361,821)
15-64 years: 53% (male 431,627/female 438,159)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 22,889/female 21,911) (2006 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.84% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
39.37 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
12.25 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
1.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.05 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 71.58 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 78.06 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 64.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 54.14 years
male: 52.3 years
female: 56.03 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.3 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
6,800 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
600 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2005)
noun: Gambian(s)
adjective: Gambian
Ethnic divisions: African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1%
Religions: Muslim 90%, Christian 9%, indigenous beliefs 1%
Languages: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 40.1%
male: 47.8%
female: 32.8% (2003 est.)


Name of country:
conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
conventional short form: The Gambia
Data code: GA
Type of government: republic under multiparty democratic rule
Capital: Banjul
Administrative divisions: 5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Central River, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, Western
Independence: 18 February 1965 (from UK; 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 approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; 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 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); note - from 1994 to 1996 he was chairman of the Junta); 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 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%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (53 seats; 48 elected by popular vote, five appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 17 January 2002 (next to be held NA January 2007)
election results: percent 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
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
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
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dodou Bammy JAGNE
chancery: Suite 905, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1379
FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430 
US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph D. STAFFORD, III
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: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green


Economic 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 - $3.034 billion (2005 est.)
GDP real growth rate: 5.5% (2005 est.) 
GDP per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,900 (2005 est.)
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 30.8%
industry: 14.2%
services: 54.9% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (2001 est.)
Labor force: 400,000 (1996)
by occupation: agriculture 75%, industry, commerce, and services 19%, government 6%
Unemployment rate: NA%
revenues: $46.63 million
expenditures: $62.66 million; including capital expenditures of $4.1 million (2005 est.)
Industries: processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism; beverages; agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking; clothing
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
capacity: 30,000 kW
production: 140 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
consumption: 130.2 million kWh (2003)
Agriculture: peanuts, millet, sorghum, rice, corn, sesame, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats; forest and fishery resources not fully exploited
Exports: $140.3 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
commodities: peanuts and peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
partners: India 40.4%, UK 18.2%, Indonesia 8.3%, Senegal 4.6%, Belgium 4.3% (2005)
Imports:$197 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
commodities: foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
partners: China 21.3%, Senegal 11.3%, Cote d'Ivoire 8.4%, Brazil 6%, US 5.2%, UK 5.1%, Netherlands 4.1% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $82 million (2005 est.)
External debt:
$628.8 million (2003 est.) 
Economic aid: $59.8 million (2003)
Currency: 1 dalasi (D) = 100 butut
Exchange rates: dalasi per US dollar - - 30.38 (2005), 30.03 (2004), 27.306 (2004), 19.918 (2003), 15.687 (2002), 15.000 (January 2001), 12.788 (2000), 11.395 (1999), 10.643 (1998), 10.200 (1997) 9.555 (August 1996), 9.576 (1994), 9.129 (1993), 8.888 (1992), 8.803 (1991)
Fiscal year: calendar year


Railways: 0 km
total: 3,742 km
paved: 723 km
unpaved: 3,019 km (2003)
Waterways: 390 km (on River Gambia; small ocean-going vessels can reach 190 km) (2004)
Ports: Banjul
Merchant marine:
5 ships (1000 GRT or over) 32,064 GRT/9,751 DWT
by type: passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 1 (2006)
total: 1
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1 (2001)


Telephones - main lines in use: 44,000 (2005)  - 31,900 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 247,500 (2005)  -  5,624 (2000)
Telephone system:
general assessment: 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)
Internet country code: .gm
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 14 (2006)  - 2 (2001)
Internet users: 49,000 (2005)  - 5,000 (2001)


Branches: Gambian National Army (GNA) (includes marine unit), National Police, Presidential Guard
Manpower availability:
males age 18-49: 311,025
females age 18-49: 316,214 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 183,057
females age 18-49: 194,551 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $1.2 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 0.4% (2005 est.)

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