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Gambia, The :: Africa



The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Senegal, it formed a short-lived Confederation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. In 1991, the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty, although tensions flared up intermittently during the regime of Yahya JAMMEH. JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president and banned political activity. A new constitution and presidential election in 1996, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule. JAMMEH was elected president in all subsequent elections including most recently in late 2011. After 22 years of increasingly authoritarian rule, President JAMMEH was defeated in free and fair elections in December 2016. Due to The Gambia's poor human rights record under JAMMEH, international development partners had distanced themselves, and substantially reduced aid to the country. These channels have now reopened under the administration of President Adama BARROW, who took office in January 2017. The US and The Gambia currently enjoy improved relations. US assistance to the country has supported military education and training programs, as well as various capacity building and democracy strengthening activities. ++



Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

Geographic coordinates:

13 28 N, 16 34 W

Map references:



total: 11,300 sq km
land: 10,120 sq km
water: 1,180 sq km
country comparison to the world: 165

Area - comparative:

slightly less than twice the size of Delaware

Land boundaries:

total: 749 km
border countries (1): Senegal 749 km


80 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: extent not specified
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)


flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills


mean elevation: 34 m
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation 53 m

Natural resources:

fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon

Land use:

agricultural land: 56.1% (2011 est.)
arable land: 41% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 14.6% (2011 est.)
forest: 43.9% (2011 est.)
other: 0% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

50 sq km (2012)

Population distribution:

settlements are found scattered along the Gambia River; the largest communities, including the capital of Banjul, and the country's largest city, Serekunda, are found at the mouth of the Gambia River along the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards:


Environment - current issues:

deforestation due to slash-and-burn agriculture; desertification; water pollution; water-borne diseases

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

Geography - note:

almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the African mainland

People and Society


2,173,999 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146


noun: Gambian(s)
adjective: Gambian

Ethnic groups:

Mandinka/Jahanka 34%, Fulani/Tukulur/Lorobo 22.4%, Wolof 12.6%, Jola/Karoninka 10.7%, Serahuleh 6.6%, Serer 3.2%, Manjago 2.1%, Bambara 1%, Creole/Aku Marabout 0.7%, other 0.9%, non-Gambian 5.2%, no answer 0.6% (2013 est.)


English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars


Muslim 95.7%, Christian 4.2%, none 0.1%, no response 0.1% (2013 est.)

Demographic profile:

The Gambia's youthful age structure – almost 60% of the population is under the age of 25 – is likely to persist because the country's total fertility rate remains strong at nearly 4 children per woman. The overall literacy rate is around 55%, and is significantly lower for women than for men. At least 70% of the populace are farmers who are reliant on rain-fed agriculture and cannot afford improved seeds and fertilizers. Crop failures caused by droughts between 2011 and 2013 have increased poverty, food shortages, and malnutrition. ++ The Gambia is a source country for migrants and a transit and destination country for migrants and refugees. Since the 1980s, economic deterioration, drought, and high unemployment, especially among youths, have driven both domestic migration (largely urban) and migration abroad (legal and illegal). Emigrants are largely skilled workers, including doctors and nurses, and provide a significant amount of remittances. The top receiving countries for Gambian emigrants are Spain, the US, Nigeria, Senegal, and the UK. While the Gambia and Spain do not share historic, cultural, or trade ties, rural Gambians have migrated to Spain in large numbers because of its proximity and the availability of jobs in its underground economy (this flow slowed following the onset of Spain's late 2007 economic crisis). ++ The Gambia's role as a host country to refugees is a result of wars in several of its neighboring West African countries. Since 2006, refugees from the Casamance conflict in Senegal have replaced their pattern of flight and return with permanent settlement in The Gambia, often moving in with relatives along the Senegal-Gambia border. The strain of providing for about 7,400 Casamance refugees has increased poverty among Gambian villagers.

Age structure:

0-14 years: 35.96% (male 392,714/female 389,027)
15-24 years: 20.09% (male 216,307/female 220,514)
25-54 years: 35.85% (male 382,138/female 397,324)
55-64 years: 4.4% (male 45,614/female 50,143)
65 years and over: 3.69% (male 36,773/female 43,445) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 86.9
youth dependency ratio: 82.1
elderly dependency ratio: 4.7
potential support ratio: 21.1 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 21.8 years
male: 21.5 years
female: 22.2 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182

Population growth rate:

1.87% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Birth rate:

27 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 43

Death rate:

6.7 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Net migration rate:

-1.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154

Population distribution:

settlements are found scattered along the Gambia River; the largest communities, including the capital of Banjul, and the country's largest city, Serekunda, are found at the mouth of the Gambia River along the Atlantic coast as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 62.6% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.07% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

451,000 BANJUL (capital) (2020)
note: includes the local government areas of Banjul and Kanifing

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:

20.9 years (2013 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate:

597 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 13

Infant mortality rate:

total: 54.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 60.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 65.8 years
male: 63.5 years
female: 68.3 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190

Total fertility rate:

3.21 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

16.8% (2018)
note: percent of women aged 15-50

Drinking water source:

improved: urban: 91.4% of population
rural: 80.4% of population
total: 87.1% of population
unimproved: urban: 8.6% of population
rural: 19.6% of population
total: 12.9% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:

3.3% (2017)

Physicians density:

0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2015)

Hospital bed density:

1.1 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: urban: 80.4% of population
rural: 44.5% of population
total: 66.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 19.6% of population
rural: 55.5% of population
total: 33.7% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

2% (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

28,000 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

1,100 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

10.3% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 139

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

10.3% (2018)
country comparison to the world: 63

Education expenditures:

2.4% of GDP (2018)
country comparison to the world: 155


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 50.8%
male: 61.8%
female: 41.6% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2010)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 13.1%
male: 9.1%
female: 17.2% (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106


Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia
conventional short form: The Gambia
etymology: named for the Gambia River that flows through the heart of the country

Government type:

presidential republic


name: Banjul
geographic coordinates: 13 27 N, 16 34 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: Banjul is located on Saint Mary's Island at the mouth of the Gambia River; the Mandinka used to gather fibrous plants on the island for the manufacture of ropes; "bang julo" is Mandinka for "rope fiber"; mispronunciation over time caused the term became the word Banjul

Administrative divisions:

5 regions, 1 city*, and 1 municipality**; Banjul*, Central River, Kanifing**, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, West Coast


18 February 1965 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 18 February (1965)


history: previous 1965 (Independence Act), 1970; latest adopted 8 April 1996, approved by referendum 8 August 1996, effective 16 January 1997; note - referendum on new constitution planned over the next 2 years
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least three-fourths majority vote by the Assembly membership in each of several readings and approval by the president of the republic; a referendum is required for amendments affecting national sovereignty, fundamental rights and freedoms, government structures and authorities, taxation, and public funding; passage by referendum requires participation of at least 50% of eligible voters and approval by at least 75% of votes cast; amended 2001, 2004, 2010

Legal system:

mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law

International law organization participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent only: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2017); Vice President Isatou TOURAY (since 15 March 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Adama BARROW (since 19 January 2017); Vice President Isatou TOURAY (since 15 March 2019)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 1 December 2016 (next to be held in 2021); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Adama BARROW elected president; percent of vote - Adama BARROW (Coalition 2016) 43.3%, Yahya JAMMEH (APRC) 39.6%, Mamma KANDEH (GDC) 17.1%

Legislative branch:

description: unicameral National Assembly (58 seats; 53 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 5 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 6 April 2017 (next to be held in 2022)
election results: percent of vote by party - UDP 37.5%, GDC 17.4%, APRC 16%, PDOIS 9%, NRP 6.3%, PPP 2.5%, other 1.7%, independent 9.6%; seats by party - UDP 31, APRC 5, GDC 5, NRP 5, PDOIS 4, PPP 2, independent 1; composition - men 52, women 6, percent of women 10.3%

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Supreme Court of The Gambia (consists of the chief justice and 6 justices; court sessions held with 5 justices)
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the president after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission, a 6-member independent body of high-level judicial officials, a presidential appointee, and a National Assembly appointee; justices appointed for life or until mandatory retirement at age 75
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Special Criminal Court; Khadis or Muslim courts; district tribunals; magistrates courts; cadi courts

Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction or APRC [Fabakary JATTA] ++ Coalition 2016 [collective leadership] (electoral coalition includes UDP, PDOIS, NRP, GMC, GDC, PPP, and GPDP) ++ Gambia Democratic Congress or GDC [Mama KANDEH] ++ Gambia Moral Congress or GMC [Mai FATTY] ++ Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress or GPDP [Sarja JARJOU] ++ National Convention Party or NCP [Yaya SANYANG and Majanko SAMUSA (both claiming leadership)] ++ National Democratic Action Movement or NDAM [Lamin Yaa JUARA] ++ National People's Party or NPP [Adama BARROW] ++ National Reconciliation Party or NRP [Hamat BAH] ++ People's Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism or PDOIS [Sidia JATTA] ++ People's Progressive Party or PPP [Yaya CEESAY)] ++ United Democratic Party or UDP [Ousainou DARBOE]

International organization participation:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Dawda D. FADERA (since 24 January 2018)
chancery: 5630 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
telephone: [1] (202) 785-1399
FAX: [1] (202) 342-0240

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Richard "Carl" PASCHALL (since 9 April 2019)
telephone: [220] 439-2856
embassy: Kairaba Avenue, Fajara, P.M.B.19, Banjul
mailing address: P.M.B. 19, Banjul
FAX: [220] 439-2475

Flag description:

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green; red stands for the sun and the savannah, blue represents the Gambia River, and green symbolizes forests and agriculture; the white stripes denote unity and peace

National symbol(s):

lion; national colors: red, blue, green, white

National anthem:

name: For The Gambia, Our Homeland
lyrics/music: Virginia Julie HOWE/adapted by Jeremy Frederick HOWE
note: adopted 1965; the music is an adaptation of the traditional Mandinka song "Foday Kaba Dumbuya"


Economic overview:

The government has invested in the agriculture sector because three-quarters of the population depends on the sector for its livelihood and agriculture provides for about one-third of GDP, making The Gambia largely reliant on sufficient rainfall. The agricultural sector has untapped potential - less than half of arable land is cultivated and agricultural productivity is low. Small-scale manufacturing activity features the processing of cashews, groundnuts, fish, and hides. The Gambia's reexport trade accounts for almost 80% of goods exports and China has been its largest trade partner for both exports and imports for several years. ++ The Gambia has sparse natural resource deposits. It relies heavily on remittances from workers overseas and tourist receipts. Remittance inflows to The Gambia amount to about one-fifth of the country's GDP. The Gambia's location on the ocean and proximity to Europe has made it one of the most frequented tourist destinations in West Africa, boosted by private sector investments in eco-tourism and facilities. Tourism normally brings in about 20% of GDP, but it suffered in 2014 from tourists' fears of Ebola virus in neighboring West African countries. Unemployment and underemployment remain high. ++ Economic progress depends on sustained bilateral and multilateral aid, on responsible government economic management, and on continued technical assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors. International donors and lenders were concerned about the quality of fiscal management under the administration of former President Yahya JAMMEH, who reportedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars of the country's funds during his 22 years in power, but anticipate significant improvements under the new administration of President Adama BARROW, who assumed power in early 2017. As of April 2017, the IMF, the World Bank, the European Union, and the African Development Bank were all negotiating with the new government of The Gambia to provide financial support in the coming months to ease the country's financial crisis. ++ The country faces a limited availability of foreign exchange, weak agricultural output, a border closure with Senegal, a slowdown in tourism, high inflation, a large fiscal deficit, and a high domestic debt burden that has crowded out private sector investment and driven interest rates to new highs. The government has committed to taking steps to reduce the deficit, including through expenditure caps, debt consolidation, and reform of state-owned enterprises.

GDP real growth rate:

4.6% (2017 est.)
0.4% (2016 est.)
5.9% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

7.1% (2019 est.)
6.5% (2018 est.)
8% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$5.376 billion (2019 est.)
$5.073 billion (2018 est.)
$4.761 billion (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.746 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$815 (2019 est.)
$792 (2018 est.)
$765 (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars
country comparison to the world: 214

Gross national saving:

6.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
7.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
3.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 20.4% (2017 est.)
industry: 14.2% (2017 est.)
services: 65.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 90.7% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 12% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 19.2% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -2.7% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 20.8% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -40% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

50.3 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (manioc, tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats


peanuts, fish, hides, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing

Industrial production growth rate:

-0.8% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 175

Labor force:

777,100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 75%
industry: 19%
services: 6% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate:


Population below poverty line:

48.4% (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 36.9% (2003)


revenues: 300.4 million (2017 est.)
expenditures: 339 million (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

20.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-2.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117

Public debt:

88% of GDP (2017 est.)
82.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Current account balance:

-$194 million (2017 est.)
-$85 million (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98


$643 million (2019 est.)
$448 million (2018 est.)
$435 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170

Exports - partners:

Guinea-Bissau 51.9%, Vietnam 14.6%, Senegal 8.8%, Mali 7.2% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels


$1.246 billion (2019 est.)
$851 million (2018 est.)
$754 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180

Imports - commodities:

foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment

Imports - partners:

Cote dIvoire 11.5%, Brazil 10.6%, Spain 10.2%, China 7.8%, Russia 6.4%, Netherlands 5.3%, India 5% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$170 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$87.64 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179

Debt - external:

$586.8 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$571.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174

Exchange rates:

dalasis (GMD) per US dollar -
51.75 (2020 est.)
51.4 (2019 est.)
49.515 (2018 est.)
41.89 (2014 est.)
41.733 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

population without electricity: 1 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 49% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 69% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 16% (2019)

Electricity - production:

304.1 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182

Electricity - consumption:

282.8 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Electricity - imports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

117,000 kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

97% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Refined petroleum products - production:

0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

3,800 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185

Refined petroleum products - exports:

42 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122

Refined petroleum products - imports:

3,738 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 138

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

607,300 Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 41,179
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.93 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 2,977,068
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 139.53 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: state-owned Gambia Telecommunications partially privatized but still retaining a monopoly with fixed-line service; multiple mobile networks offering effective competition; three licensed ISPs which serve local area without much competition; mobile penetrations above the African average; lack of availability of fixed-line services in many rural areas of the country; govt. started a National Broadband Network program aimed at closing the digital divide but not funded by Parliament in 2018; the Chinese company Huawei helping in the telecommunications sector (2020)
domestic: fixed-line stands at 2 per 100 subscriptions with one dominant company and mobile-cellular teledensity, aided by multiple mobile-cellular providers, is over 140 per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 220; landing point for the ACE submarine cable to West Africa and Europe; microwave radio relay links to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

1 state-run TV-channel; one privately-owned TV-station; 1 Online TV-station; three state-owned radio station and 31 privately owned radio stations; eight community radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available, some via shortwave radio; cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable in some parts of the country (2019)

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 406,918
percent of population: 19.84% (July 2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 4,433
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182


National air transport system:

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 53,735 (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

C5 (2016)


1 (2020)
country comparison to the world: 220

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 1


total: 2,977 km (2011)
paved: 518 km (2011)
unpaved: 2,459 km (2011)
country comparison to the world: 161


390 km (on River Gambia; small oceangoing vessels can reach 190 km) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 88

Merchant marine:

total: 8
by type: other 8 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 158

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Banjul

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

Gambia Armed Forces: the Gambian National Army (GNA, includes an air wing); Gambia Navy; Republican National Guard (2020)

Military expenditures:

0.8% of GDP (2019)
0.7% of GDP (2018)
1% of GDP (2015)
1.2% of GDP (2014)
0.8% of GDP (2013)
country comparison to the world: 129

Military and security service personnel strengths:

estimates for the size of the Gambian National Army (GNA) vary; approximately 3,000 active troops (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:

the GNA has a limited equipment inventory; the only reported weapons deliveries to the GNA since 2000 are second-hand patrol boats from Taiwan (2009) and one aircraft from Georgia (2004) (2019 est.)

Military deployments:

130 Sudan (UNAMID) (2020)

Military service age and obligation:

18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; service obligation 6 months (2012)

Transnational Issues

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

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: The Gambia is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Gambian women, girls, and, to a lesser extent, boys are exploited for prostitution and domestic servitude; women, girls, and boys from West African countries are trafficked to The Gambia for commercial sexual exploitation, particularly by European sex tourists; boys in some Koranic schools are forced into street vending or begging; some Gambian children have been identified as victims of forced labor in neighboring West African countries
tier rating: Tier 3 – The Gambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government demonstrated minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, investigating one trafficking case but not prosecuting or convicting any offenders in 2014; authorities did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any government employees complicit in trafficking, although corruption was a serious problem; the government identified and repatriated 19 Gambian girls subjected to domestic servitude in Lebanon but did not identify or provide protective services to any trafficking victims in The Gambia; a government program continued to provide resources and financial support to 12 Koranic schools on the condition that their students were not forced to beg (2015)