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.
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
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.
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.