The Gambia

The Gambia is a very small and narrow country whose borders mirror the meandering River which shares its name.

It is less than 50 kilometres wide at its widest point, with a total area of 11,295 km2. About 1,300 square kilometres or 11.5% of The Gambia’s total area is covered by water. It is the smallest country on the African mainland. In comparative terms, The Gambia has a total area slightly less than that of the island of Jamaica. Source Wikipedia

As can be seen on the map below, The Gambia is surrounded on three sides by its neighbour Senegal.

Map of Gambia
Map of Gambia | It lies between latitudes 13 and 14°N, and longitudes 13 and 17°W.

An interesting history.

A small country with an interesting history. Up until 1965, it was occupied mostly by the French and the British. Each trying to achieve control of the lucrative River Gambia. It gained independence from the United Kingdom on 18 February 1965. From 1965 until 1994 it’s president was Dawda Jawara and his People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Following a  military coup led by Yahya Jammeh and with two years of direct rule, a new constitution was written and in 1996, the leader of the AFPRC, Yahya Jammeh, was elected as President. He ruled in a dictatorship until the 2016 election, which Adama Barrow won freeing the Gambia from more than 25 years of fear.

The Commonwealth, leaving and returning

Under Jammeh’s rule, it left the Commonwealth of Nations on 3 October 2013, stating that “The Gambia will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any institution that represents an extension of colonialism”.

With the support of the British government, President Adama Barrow made application to re-join the Commonwealth of Nations to Secretary-General Patricia Scotland on 22/1/2018 and subsequently renewed its status as a Commonwealth republic on 8/2/2018.

Gambia Presidents from 1965 – present day

President Dawda Jawara
Dawda Jawara 1665 – 1994
President Yahya Jammeh
Yahya Jammeh 1994 – 2016
President Adama Barrow
Adama Barrow 2016 –

Gambia’s Climate

The Gambia has a tropical climate. Rains start usually in June and continue until November. August is considered to be the wettest month. From November through to end of May is known as the dry season with almost 12 hours of sunshine each day. Temperatures tend to be between 30 degrees and 34 degrees.

Languages spoken

English is the official language of the Gambia and is spoken most commonly. French is also spoken due to Gambia’s proximity to Senegal. The most popular local language is Mandinka followed by Wolof, Fula, Serer, Krio and Jola.

The Gambian Economy

Gambia’s economy relies heavily upon Agriculture, fishing and ever increasingly on Tourism.

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