Statistical information The Gambia 1995The%20Gambia

Map of The Gambia | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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The Gambia in the World
The Gambia in the World


The Gambia - Introduction 1995
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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.

The Gambia - Geography 1995
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Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceAfrica

Total area total: 11,300 km²
Land: 10,000 km²
Comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Delaware

Land boundaries: total 740 km, 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


Natural resources: fish
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 16%
Permanent crops: 0%
Meadows and pastures: 9%
Forest and woodland: 20%
Other: 55%

Irrigated land: 120 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

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

The Gambia - People 1995
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Population: 989,273 (July 1995 est.)
Growth rate: 3.08% (1995 est.)

Noun: Gambian(s)
Adjective: Gambian

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

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

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

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 47% (female 231,636; male 231,053)
15-64 years: 51% (female 257,329; male 244,947)
65 years and over: 2% (female 11,850; male 12,458) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 3.08% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 45.97 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 15.19 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
Current issues natural hazards: rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last thirty years
Current issues international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Desertification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 120.8 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 50.55 years
Male: 48.25 years
Female: 52.92 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.23 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
Total population: 27%
Male: 39%
Female: 16%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

The Gambia - Government 1995
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
Conventional short form: The Gambia

Government type: republic under multiparty democratic rule

Capital: Banjul

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

Dependent areas

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

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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council Capt. Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since the military coup of 22 July 1994); Vice Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council Capt. Edward SINGHATEH (since March 1995); election last held on 29 April 1992; results - Sir Dawda JAWARA (PPP) 58.5%, Sherif Mustapha DIBBA (NCP) 22.2%, Assan Musa CAMARA (GPP) 8.0% (prior to the 22 July 1994 coup, next election was scheduled for April 1997)
Cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president from members of the House of Representatives (present cabinet appointed by Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council)

Legislative branch: unicameral
House of Representatives: elections last held on 29 April 1992 (next to be held April 1997); results - PPP 58.1%; seats - (43 total, 36 elected) PPP 30, NCP 6

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Aminatta DIBBA
In the us chancery: Suite 1000, 1155 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20,005
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 785-1399, 1379, 1425
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Andrew J. WINTER
From the us embassy: Fajara, Kairaba Avenue, Banjul
From the us mailing address: P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul
From the us telephone: [220] 392,856, 392,858, 391,970, 391,971
From the us FAX: [220] 392,475

Flag descriptionflag of The%20Gambia: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

The Gambia - Economy 1995
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Economy overview: The Gambia has no important mineral or other natural resources and has a limited agricultural base. About 75% of the population is engaged in crop production and livestock raising, which contribute 30% to GDP. Small-scale manufacturing activity - processing peanuts, fish, and hides - accounts for less than 10% of GDP. A sustained structural adjustment program, including a liberalized trade policy, had fostered a respectable 4% rate of growth in recent years. Reexport trade constitutes one-third of economic activity; however, border closures associated with Senegal's monetary crisis in late 1993 led to a halving of reexport trade, reducing government revenues in turn. The 50% devaluation of the CFA franc in January 1994 has made Senegalese goods more competitive and apparently prompted a relaxation of Senegalese controls, paving the way for a comeback in reexports. But overwhelming these developments were the devastating effects of the military's takeover in July 1994. By October, traffic at the Port of Banjul had fallen precipitously as importers nervously scaled back their activities with the commencement of the anticorruption drive by the new regime. Concerned with the growing potential for serious unrest after a countercoup attempt was bloodily put down by the regime, the United Kingdom and the EU in November issued a travelers advisory for The Gambia, which brought a halt to tourism almost immediately. The Gambia faces additional problems in 1995 if, as is likely, economic sanctions by Western governments remain in effect in response to indications that the military regime intends to stay in power far longer than expected by the donors.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA%

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 30% of GDP; one-third of food requirements is imported; major export crop is peanuts; other principal crops - millet, sorghum, rice, corn, cassava, palm kernels; livestock - cattle, sheep, goats; forestry and fishing resources not fully exploited

Industries: peanut processing, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing

Industrial production growth rate: 6.7%

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

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $94 million
Expenditures: $89 million, including capital expenditures of $24 million (FY92/93 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $81 million (f.o.b., FY92/93 est.)
Commodoties: peanuts and peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
Partners: Japan 60%, Europe 29%, Africa 5%, US 1%, other 5% (1989)

Imports: $154 million (f.o.b., FY92/93 est.)
Commodoties: foodstuffs, manufactures, raw materials, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Partners: Europe 57%, Asia 25%, USSR and Eastern Europe 9%, US 6%, other 3% (1989)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $286 million (FY92/93 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: dalasi (D) per US$1 - 9.565 (January 1995), 9.576 (1994), 9.129 (1993), 8.888 (1992), 8.803 (1991), 7.883 (1990)

The Gambia - Energy 1995
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 70 million kWh
Consumption per capita: 64 kWh (1993)

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

The Gambia - Communication 1995
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 3,500 telephones; telephone density - 4 telephones/1000 persons
Local: NA
Intercity: adequate network of radio relay and wire
International: 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

The Gambia - Military 1995
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $14 million, 3.8% of GDP (FY93/94)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

The Gambia - Transportation 1995
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 1
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 1

Airports with unpaved runways





Waterways: 400 km

Merchant marine: total:1 bulk ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 11,194 GRT/19,394 DWT

Ports and terminals

The Gambia - Transnational issues 1995
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Disputes international: short section of boundary with Senegal is indefinite

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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