GAMBIA,-THE

Information about travelling to Gambia,-The

Gambia,-The is located in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

Facts about Gambia,-The
Population1,735,464 (July 2008 est.
CapitalBanjul
Time zoneUTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Location Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

General info about Gambia,-The
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.
Disease threats
degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepat
Languages spoken
English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars
Ethnic division
African 99% (Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%), non-African 1% (2003 census)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
1.2% (2003 est.)
Climate
tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)
Resources
fish, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon, silica sand, clay, petroleum
Economy
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.
Environment
deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent

Cities in Gambia,-The




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