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Gambia, The (2008)

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Gambia, The 2008 year

 Gambia, The
Administrative divisions 5 divisions and 1 city*; Banjul*, Central River, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, Western
Age structure 0-14 years: 44.1% (male 373,831/female 370,397)

15-64 years: 53.2% (male 445,365/female 452,311)

65 years and over: 2.8% (male 23,582/female 22,873) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats
Airports 1 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)
Area total: 11,300 sq km

land: 10,000 sq km

water: 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. Geographically surrounded by Senegal, it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty, but tensions have flared up intermittently since then. Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president and banned political activity. A new constitution and presidential elections in 1996, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule. JAMMEH has been elected president in all subsequent elections, including most recently in late 2006.
Birth rate 38.86 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $160.4 million

expenditures: $165.7 million (2007 est.)
Capital name: Banjul

geographic coordinates: 13 27 N, 16 34 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)
Coastline 80 km
Constitution approved by national referendum 8 August 1996; effective 16 January 1997
Country name conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia

conventional short form: The Gambia
Death rate 11.99 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $628.8 million (2003 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Barry L. WELLS

embassy: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, Banjul

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

telephone: [220] 439-2856, 437-6169, 437-6170

FAX: [220] 439-2475
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Abdul Rahman COLE (since 24 December 2007)

chancery: Suite 905, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

telephone: [1] (202) 785-1379

FAX: [1] (202) 785-1430
Disputes - international attempts to stem refugees, cross-border raids, arms smuggling, and other illegal activities by separatists from southern Senegal's Casamance region, as well as from conflicts in other west African states
Economic aid - recipient $58.15 million (2005)
Economy - overview The Gambia has no confirmed mineral or natural resource deposits 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, and instability of the Gambian dalasi (currency) have drawn some of the reexport trade away from The Gambia. The Gambia's natural beauty and proximity to Europe has made it one of the larger markets for tourism in West Africa. The government's 1998 seizure of the private peanut firm Alimenta eliminated the largest purchaser of Gambian groundnuts. Despite an announced program to begin privatizing key parastatals, no plans have been made public that would indicate that the government intends to follow through on its promises. Unemployment and underemployment rates remain extremely high; short-run economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, on continued technical assistance from the IMF and bilateral donors, and on expected growth in the construction sector.
Electricity - consumption 134.9 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 145 million kWh (2005)
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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

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 - 27.79 (2007), 28.066 (2006), 28.575 (2005), 30.03 (2004), 27.306 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: President Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH (since 18 October 1996); note - from 1994 to 1996 he was chairman of the Junta; 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)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held 22 September 2006 (next to be held in 2011)

election results: Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH reelected president; percent of vote - Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH 67.3%, Ousainou DARBOE 26.6%, Halifa SALLAH 6.0%
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $147.7 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 41.5 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels, re-exports
Exports - partners India 38.6%, UK 15.9%, Indonesia 7.9%, France 7%, Italy 4.6% (2006)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 32.8%

industry: 8.7%

services: 58.5% (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 7% (2007 est.)
Geographic coordinates 13 28 N, 16 34 W
Geography - note almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 1.8%

highest 10%: 37% (1998)
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $276 million f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 2,050 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Imports - partners China 25.2%, Senegal 11.3%, Cote d'Ivoire 8.1%, Brazil 6.6%, Netherlands 4.5%, UK 4% (2006)
Independence 18 February 1965 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate -2.3% (2007 est.)
Industries processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing
Infant mortality rate total: 70.14 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 76.55 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 63.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.5% (2007 est.)
Irrigated land 20 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court
Labor force 400,000 (1996)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 75%

industry: 19%

services: 6% (1996)
Land boundaries total: 740 km

border countries: Senegal 740 km
Land use arable land: 27.88%

permanent crops: 0.44%

other: 71.68% (2005)
Languages English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Legal system based on a composite of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly (53 seats; 48 members elected by popular vote, 5 appointed by the president; to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 25 January 2007 (next to be held in 2012)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APRC 47, UDP 4, NADD 1, independent 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 54.54 years

male: 52.68 years

female: 56.46 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 40.1%

male: 47.8%

female: 32.8% (2003 est.)
Location Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 18 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: extent not specified
Merchant marine total: 5 ships (1000 GRT or over) 32,064 GRT/9,751 DWT

by type: passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 1

foreign-owned: 1 (Australia 1) (2007)
Military branches Gambian National Army (National Guard, GNA), Gambian Navy (GN) (2007)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 0.5% (2006)
National holiday Independence Day, 18 February (1965)
Nationality noun: Gambian(s)

adjective: Gambian
Natural hazards drought (rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years)
Natural resources fish, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon, silica sand, clay, petroleum
Net migration rate 0.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Political parties and leaders Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC (the ruling party) [Yahya A. J. J. JAMMEH]; Gambia People's Democratic Party or GPDP [Henry GOMEZ]; National Alliance for Democracy and Development or NADD [Halifa SALLAH]; National Convention Party or NCP [Sheriff DIBBA]; 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]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 1,688,359 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.781% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 3, FM 2, shortwave 0 (2001)
Religions Muslim 90%, Christian 9%, indigenous beliefs 1%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.009 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.985 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.031 male(s)/female

total population: 0.997 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: adequate; a packet switched data network is available; two mobile-cellular service providers

domestic: adequate network of microwave radio relay and open-wire; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity approaching 30 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 220; microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (1997)
Telephones - main lines in use 52,900 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 404,300 (2006)
Television broadcast stations 1 (government-owned) (1997)
Terrain flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills
Total fertility rate 5.21 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways 390 km (on River Gambia; small ocean-going vessels can reach 190 km) (2006)
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