Welcome to the Internetsite of the Consulate General Of The Republic Of The Gambia in Cologne.
Have a first overview about the country at the westcoast of Africa.
For further information, please contact us. 



Facts about The Gambia

Location:                 West Africa – The smallest country on mainland Africa
Capital:                    Banjul
Land Area:              11,295 Sq.km (4361 Sq. Miles)
Population:              estimated 1.622.271 in 2010
Climate:                   Sub-tropical climate with two distinct seasons
Timezone:               Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Currency:                Dalasi (GMD)
Religion:                  Islam about 90 % of the population
                                Christianity and African Traditional Religions (ATR) 10%
Official Language:   English

Local Languages Mandinka, Wollof, Fula, Jola, Sarahule, Serere, Manjago, Aku


 
 H.E Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhaji Yahya A.J.J Jammeh
President of the Republic of The Gambia




History and Politics

The Gambia's history began long before any kind of European arrival and was influenced by Arab traders as well as by the rule of several empires throughout the Middle Ages until the 16th century, when the Portuguese, one of the first European traders, arrived in The Gambia.

They left a hundred years later, having introduced crops likecotton and peanuts, and sold their trading rights to the British. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the British and the French struggled constantly for control of regional trade. Britain gained all rights to trade in 1783, and administered the territory from Sierra Leone until 1888, when The Gambia became a crowned colony.

The Gambia gained independence from Britain in 1965 and became a Republic in 1970 with Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara as first President. He retained power until the beginning of the Second Republic in 1994 under current President H.E. Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. The Gambia was one of the very few multiparty democracy systems in Africa.

The Gambia has experienced political stability since its status as an independent country. In 1994 peaceful coup followed by a nearly two year-ban of political parties. The 1996 constitution and parliamentary elections in 1997 have completed a return to constitutional and civilian rule in the country. H.E. Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, the leader of the 1994 political change has been elected president in all subsequent elections. 



Geographical Features

The Gambia is a small country in West Africa and is surrounded by Senegal on three sides and borders on the Atlantic Ocean. It extends inland at widths varying from 24 to 48 kilometers along the banks of the River Gambia.The most striking feature and perhaps a significant asset of The Gambia is the River Gambia, which meanders west through mangrove swamps of bambo forests, with its mouth on the Atlantic.

The Gambia is located in the drought threatened sahelian scrub land which means it has very limited natural resources. The prevailing climatic pattern favours only a short agrarian production period (on average three months) which is the main source of employment and food supply for 80% of the population who reside in the rural areas.

The climate is dry and warm from December through February, the peak of the tourist season. It has an average temperatures ranging from 18 to 30 degree Celsius during the dry season (December to June) and 23 to 33 degree Celsius during the wet season (July to November). The relative humidity is about 68% along the coast and 41% inland during the dry season and generally about 77% throughout the country during the wet season.




Demography

The population of The Gambia was estimated at 1.622.271 in 2010. The annual growth rate is estimated at 2.7%. The population of the Gambia is mainly young with more than half (about 63.55%) aged below 25 years. Elderly persons of 65 years and above account for only 3.36% of the population. In 2003, the urbanisation rate was estimated at 50.3%.

The Gambia’s social diversity is reflected in the different ethnic groups. The main ethnic groups are the Mandinkas (39.5%), Fula (18.8%), Wollof (14.6%), Jola and Karoninka (10.6%). The majority of the population are Muslims (90%).


Holidays In The Gambia

1st January: New Years Day

18th February: Independence Day

1st May: Workers Day

25th May: Africa Day

22 July: Revolution Day

15th September: St. Mary's Day

December 25th: Christmas Day

Moveable Holidays: Easter and Muslim Holiday


Social aspects

The rural population is being depleted by rural-urban migration and by the scourge of HIV/AIDS. These, coupled with the high incidence of poverty, unemployment, poor infrastructure and high dependence on an narrow agricultural commodity base make for a very precarious existence for individuals and families, and for the country, a tenuous national development challenge. Basic social indicators show that poverty is pervasive, predominantly in rural areas, and increasing, e.g. from 34% in 1994 to 69% of the population in 1998 (Household Poverty Report). The Gambia had an illiteracy rate of 75 % and primary school enrollment rate of 56 % in 2002.

However, The Gambia has achieved substantial progress in health during the past fifteen years.

Performance in the sector is relatively good when compared with other African countries. Equally, there have been significant strides in improving gender equality, economic and political good governance as well as substantial improvement in education and access to water supply.


For further information please contact The Embassy of Gambia, Brussels or the Government and Ministries Of The Gambia