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Gambia, The (2001)

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Gambia, The 2001 year

 Gambia, The
Administrative divisions 5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Lower River, Central River, North Bank, Upper River, Western
Age structure 0-14 years:
45.22% (male 320,458; female 317,647)

15-64 years:
52.13% (male 364,900; female 370,717)

65 years and over:
2.65% (male 19,660; female 17,823) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products peanuts, millet, sorghum, rice, corn, sesame, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats; forest and fishery resources not fully exploited
Airports 1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Area total:
11,300 sq km

10,000 sq km

1,300 sq km
Area - comparative slightly less than twice the size of Delaware
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, but a new 1996 constitution and presidential elections, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, have completed a nominal return to civilian rule.
Birth rate 41.76 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$90.5 million

$80.9 million, including capital expenditures of $4.1 million (2001 est.)
Capital Banjul
Climate tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)
Coastline 80 km
Constitution 24 April 1970; suspended July 1994; rewritten and approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; reestablished in January 1997
Country name conventional long form:
Republic of The Gambia

conventional short form:
The Gambia
Currency dalasi (GMD)
Death rate 12.92 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $440 million (2001 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador George W. B. HALEY

Fajara, Kairaba Avenue, Banjul

mailing address:
P. M. B. No. 19, Banjul

[220] 392856, 392858, 391970, 391971

[220] 392475
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador John P. BOJANG

Suite 1000, 1155 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

[1] (202) 785-1399

[1] (202) 785-1430
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $45.4 million (1995)
Economy - overview The Gambia has no important mineral or other natural resources 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, instability of the Gambian dalasi, and the stable political situation in Senegal have drawn some of the reexport trade away from Banjul. The government's 1998 seizure of the private peanut firm Alimenta eliminated the largest purchaser of Gambian groundnuts; the following two marketing seasons have seen significantly lower prices and sales. A decline in tourism from 1999 to 2000 has also held back growth. Unemployment and underemployment rates are extremely high. Shortrun economic progress remains highly dependent on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management as forwarded by IMF technical help and advice, and on expected growth in the construction sector.
Electricity - consumption 69.8 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 75 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point:
unnamed location 53 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent
Environment - international agreements party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1%
Exchange rates dalasi per US dollar - 15.000 (January 2001), 12.729 (3d quarter 1999), 11.395 (1999), 10.643 (1998), 10.200 (1997), 9.789 (1996)
Executive branch chief of state:
President Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); 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); Vice President Isatou Njie SAIDY (since 20 March 1997); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Cabinet is appointed by the president

the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; the number of terms is not restricted; election last held 26 September 1996 (next to be held NA October 2001)

election results:
Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH elected president; percent of vote - Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH 55.8%, Ousainou DARBOE 35.8%
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $125.8 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities peanuts and peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
Exports - partners Benelux 59%, Japan 20%, UK 7%, Spain 2% (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green
GDP purchasing power parity - $1.5 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


67% (1998 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4.9% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 13 28 N, 16 34 W
Geography - note almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa
Highways total:
2,700 km

956 km

1,744 km (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $202.5 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Imports - partners China (including Hong Kong) 49%, UK 15%, Netherlands 11.6%, Brazil 10%, Senegal 10% (1997)
Independence 18 February 1965 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism; beverages; agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking; clothing
Infant mortality rate 77.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.4% (2000 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 2 (2001)
Irrigated land 150 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court
Labor force 400,000
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 75%, industry, commerce, and services 19%, government 6%
Land boundaries total:
740 km

border countries:
Senegal 740 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

45% (1993 est.)
Languages English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Legal system based on a composite of English common law, Koranic law, and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly (49 seats; 45 elected by popular vote, 4 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms)

last popular election held 2 January 1997 (next to be held NA January 2002)

election results:
percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - APRC 33, UDP 7, NRP 2, PDOIS 1, independents 2
Life expectancy at birth total population:
53.59 years

51.65 years

55.58 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


37.1% (2001 est.)
Location Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal
Map references Africa
Maritime claims contiguous zone:
18 NM

continental shelf:
not specified

exclusive fishing zone:
200 NM

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine none (2000 est.)
Military branches Army (includes marine unit), National Police, Presidential Guard
Military expenditures - dollar figure $2.6 million (2001 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2% (FY96/97)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
316,873 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
159,764 (2001 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 18 February (1965)
Nationality noun:

Natural hazards drought (rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years)
Natural resources fish
Net migration rate 2.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Political parties and leaders Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH]; National Reconciliation Party or NRP [Hamat N. K. BAH]; People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS [Sidia JATTA]; United Democratic Party or UDP [Ousainou DARBOE]

in August 1996 the government banned the following from participation in the elections of 1996: People's Progressive Party or PPP [former President Dawda K. JAWARA (in exile)], and two opposition parties - the National Convention Party or NCP [former Vice President Sheriff DIBBA] and the Gambian People's Party or GPP [Hassan Musa CAMARA]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 1,411,205 (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 3.14% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Banjul
Radio broadcast stations AM 3, FM 5, shortwave 0 (2000)
Radios 196,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Muslim 90%, Christian 9%, indigenous beliefs 1%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
1.1 male(s)/female

total population:
1 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment:
adequate; a packet switched data network is available

adequate network of microwave radio relay and open wire

microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 31,900 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 5,624 (2000)
Television broadcast stations 1 (government-owned) (1997)
Terrain flood plain of the Gambia river flanked by some low hills
Total fertility rate 5.68 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways 400 km
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