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Gambia, The

 
Flag of Gambia, The
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Coordinates:
13.47 N  16.57 W

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Gambia, The Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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 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. Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH, the leader of the coup, has been elected president in all subsequent elections.
   Geography    Gambia, The Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
13 28 N, 16 34 W
Map references:
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Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 11,300 sq km
land: 10,000 sq km
water: 1,300 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than twice the size of Delaware
Land boundaries:
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total: 740 km
border countries: Senegal 740 km
Coastline:
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80 km
Maritime claims:
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: not specified
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)
Terrain:
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flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills
Elevation extremes:
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lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 53 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
fish, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon, silica sand, clay, petroleum
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 27.88%
permanent crops: 0.44%
other: 71.68% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
20 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
drought (rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years)
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
Environment - international agreements:
Definition 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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa
   People    Gambia, The Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,641,564 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
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.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 17.7 years
male: 17.6 years
female: 17.8 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.84% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
39.37 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.25 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
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:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 54.14 years
male: 52.3 years
female: 56.03 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.3 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,800 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
600 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
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)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Gambian(s)
adjective: Gambian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Muslim 90%, Christian 9%, indigenous beliefs 1%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 40.1%
male: 47.8%
female: 32.8% (2003 est.)
   Government    Gambia, The Top of Page
Country name:
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conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
conventional short form: The Gambia
Government type:
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republic
Capital:
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Banjul
Administrative divisions:
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5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Central River, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, Western
Independence:
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18 February 1965 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 18 February (1965)
Constitution:
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24 April 1970; suspended July 1994; rewritten and approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; reestablished January 1997
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on a composite of English common law, Koranic law, and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
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); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held 18 October 2001 (next to be held 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:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly (53 seats; 48 elected by popular vote, 5 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 17 January 2002 (next to be held February 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APRC 45, PDOIS 2, NRP 1,
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC - the ruling party [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:
Definition Field Listing
NA
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, ONUB, OPCW, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
chancery: Suite 1000, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1379
FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph D. STAFFORD, III
embassy: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, Banjul
mailing address: P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul
telephone: [220] 392856, 392858, 391971
FAX: [220] 392475
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green
   Economy    Gambia, The Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The Gambia has no significant mineral or natural resource deposits 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 The Gambia. The government's 1998 seizure of the private peanut firm Alimenta eliminated the largest purchaser of Gambian groundnuts. Despite an announced program to begin privatizing key parastatals, no plans have been made public that would indicate that the government intends to follow through on its promises. Unemployment and underemployment rates remain extremely high; short-run economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, on continued technical assistance from the IMF and bilateral donors, and on expected growth in the construction sector.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3.024 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$429 million (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1,900 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 30.8%
industry: 14.2%
services: 54.9% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
400,000 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 75%
industry: 19%
services: 6%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.8% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $46.63 million
expenditures: $62.66 million; including capital expenditures of $4.1 million (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
140 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
130.2 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$53 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$140.3 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels, re-exports
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
India 37.7%, UK 18.8%, Malaysia 6.6%, France 5.6%, Belgium 5.3% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$197 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
China 20.3%, Senegal 11.7%, Cote d'Ivoire 8%, Brazil 6%, US 5%, UK 4.9% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$82 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$628.8 million (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$59.8 million (2003)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
dalasi (GMD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
dalasi per US dollar - 30.38 (2005), 30.03 (2004), 27.306 (2004), 19.918 (2003), 15.687 (2002), 15.687 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Gambia, The Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
38,400 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
175,000 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: adequate; a packet switched data network is available
domestic: adequate network of microwave radio relay and open-wire
international: country code - 220; microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 3, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
1 (government-owned) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.gm
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
49,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Gambia, The Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2005)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3,742 km
paved: 723 km
unpaved: 3,019 km (2003)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
390 km (on River Gambia; small ocean-going vessels can reach 190 km) (2004)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 4 ships (1000 GRT or over) 30,976 GRT/10,978 DWT
by type: passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 1 (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Banjul
   Military    Gambia, The Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Gambian National Army (GNA), Gambian Navy (GN), Presidential Guard, National Guard
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 311,025
females age 18-49: 316,214 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 183,057
females age 18-49: 194,551 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.55 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.4% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Gambia, The Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition 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

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook