Country - Gambia



The Gambia Country Information

The Gambia is an African country lying in the west side of the continent. Gambia is almost fully surrounded by a single country Senegal, leaving a small part of the extreme western border exposed to the ocean waters of the Atlantic. Splitting the country into two slices like the loaves of a lengthy horizontal tubular sandwich, the Gambia River swirls and gyrates through twisted routes westwards and drains finally into the Atlantic Ocean. The official name of the country is the Republic of Gambia and its capital city is Banjul.

English has become the official language of The Gambia, as a remnant of the erstwhile British rule. The country achieved freedom from the United Kingdom in 1965. Ever since its independence, the country did not conduct polls for political succession for a prolonged period of 29 years and the political power was always vested in its first President Dawda Jawra who also held the position of Prime Minister between 1962 and 1970. Non-adherence to the policy of holding regular periodic elections has resulted in the military coup in 1994.  Yahya Jammeh, the leader of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council took up the reins of the government in the capacity of the President in 1996 but he too continued to rule the country as a despot unhindered for 20 years. A collective effort for dethroning Yahya Jammeh by the opposing political parties entailed in holding elections and Adama Barrow was voted to power propped up by the coalition of parties in 2016.

The economy of the country is mainly based on agriculture. As per the estimate of 2015, the adult literacy rate is 55.6% with the literacy rate for males at 63.9% and 47.6% for females. The exports of Gambia include peanuts, fish and cotton mainly to Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain and France whereas the chief imports comprise fuel, machinery and manufacturing items from France, Senegal, Netherlands and Hong Kong. Agriculture contributes to about 30% of its GDP.

The Arch 22 is the imposing concrete portal catching the attention of tourists and was built in commemoration of military coup that occurred on July 22, 1994. Being in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gambia River, visitors to the country can go in for fishing and indulge in water related activities. Pelicans and cormorants are the special birds that inhabit the forest lands in the country side. The National Museum of Gambia in the capital city of Banjul houses the artifacts which reflect the traditional culture of the country.