|Republic of the Gambia
|Form of government
|Telephone area code
The Republic of The Gambia (officially: Republic of
the Gambia) is located in West Africa and is the
smallest country on the African continent with an area
of 11.295 km² . The Gambia borders Senegal in the
north, east and south, and the Atlantic in the west .
The country extends as a narrow strip on both sides of
the river of the same name, the west-east extension is
approximately 340 km, the maximum width of the country
is 50 km. The coastline is 80 km.
The Gambia is mostly flat, in the west there is a
hilly landscape, here heights of up to 200 m are
reached. The Gambia River and its numerous tributaries
determine the country's landscape. The Gambia originates
in northern Guinea and is around 1.5 km wide inland.
Before it flows into the Atlantic, its river bed widens
to a width of 11 km, but narrows to 5 km shortly before
the mouth. In the bank area, the soil is predominantly
marshy, the adjacent lowlands are regularly flooded;
these alluvial soils are the main cultivation area of
the Gambia. This does not apply to areas where the
deposits are saline (due to the tides). The capital
Banjul is located on a peninsula at the mouth of the
The climate in The Gambia is subtropical,
characterized by a rainy season from June to October and
high temperatures all year round. The amount of
precipitation in the coastal areas is higher than
inland, with an average of 1,000 to 1,500 mm. In the
capital Banjul, the mean January temperatures are 23 กใ
C, in July 28 กใ C. During the dry season, the Harmattan
desert wind often blows, bringing dry air and dust from
Flora and fauna
Mangroves dominate in the mouth of the Gambia (up to
approx. 100 m upstream). Towards the interior follow
fresh water swamps, dense shrub growth and oil palms.
The somewhat higher bank areas are grasslands with
isolated groups of trees (baobab and carob tree, cedar,
mahahgoni). With decreasing rainfall, the vegetation in
the east of the country gradually changes into dry
The wildlife of the Gambia mainly includes the
species typical of African river landscapes, which in
addition to the numerous fish species include
crocodiles, hippos and numerous insects (tsetse fly,
mosquito). In addition to antelopes, warthogs and
monkeys, leopards, hyenas and jackals also live in the
grasslands. There are also endangered animal species
such as the red colobus, the African wild dog and the
red-fronted gazelle. The Gambia is home to more than 400
different species of birds, including falcons, swallows,
herons, ringed plovers and kingfishers.
The population of The Gambia comprises around 1.35
million people who belong to different ethnic groups.
The largest group are the Mandingo with a share of 42%,
followed by the Fulbe (18%), Wolof (16%) and Diola
(10%). The official language English is spoken by about
half of the population, other languages include
Manding, Wolof and Ful. Around 90% of the population are
followers of Islam, and around 9% are Christians. The
capital Banjul has approximately 34,000 residents; the
largest city is Serekunda with 322,400 residents.
Almost half of the Gambian people are under 15 years
old. Life expectancy for women is 57 years, for men 53
years. According to COUNTRYAAH,
population growth is estimated at 2.8%. There is
no compulsory schooling in the country, literacy is a
The Gambia is a presidential republic in the British
Commonwealth of Nations according to the 1997
constitution. The head of state and head of government
is the president (since January 1994 the former chief of
the military junta, Yahya Jammeh), who is elected by the
people for a term of five years (re-election possible).
The legislature lies with the parliament, which
consists of a chamber (national assembly) with 53 seats.
Of these, 48 are directly selected for five years, five
are appointed by the President.
The case law is based on British and Islamic law
The Gambia is divided into six districts (divisions)
with a total of 35 districts.
Despite extensive development aid, the Gambia is one
of the poorest countries in the world. The domestic
economic situation has stabilized in recent years, but
the upswing is not reaching the majority of the
population. Widespread poverty, high population growth
and heavily indebted public budgets are the greatest
Agriculture, which employs almost four fifths of the
Gambians, accounts for one fifth of the gross domestic
product (GDP). The main crops are peanuts and cotton
(export goods) as well as rice, millet, sorghum,
cassava, corn and palm kernels. In addition, citrus
fruits and vegetables are cultivated. Livestock breeding
(cattle, sheep, goats, poultry) is important for the
population's own needs, animal skins are processed and
exported. The income from fishing serves to cover own
needs, fish and fishery products are also export goods.
Due to the high population growth, food must be
The industry has developed slightly in recent years
and now contributes 13% to GDP. Mainly, they are
companies that process peanuts, animal skins and fish.
There are also wood and textile processing companies.
The energy requirement is covered by smaller diesel
The Gambia primarily has to import food, as well as
practically all factory products and fuels - especially
from China, but also from Senegal and Great Britain. The
export of peanuts and peanut products, fish products and
cotton goes to Thailand, Great Britain, France and
Tourism is an important source of foreign exchange
The road network covers a total of around 3,700 km,
of which around 700 km are paved. Almost 400 km of
waterways can be used for inland navigation. The capital
Banjul on the Atlantic coast is an important seaport in
West Africa. There is also an international airport
The currency is the Dalasi (= 100 butut).