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Gambia Gambia

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Gambia – Quick View
ECR score30.23 (Mar 2011)
ECR rank134 (Mar 2011)
GDP 2010USD 1.040 billion
GNI per capita PPP 2009USD 1,330
FDI inflow 2009USD 47 million
Inflation 20103.86%
Central bank assets 2010USD 0.625 billion
Unemployment rateNA
Government deficit 2010USD 20.63 million
Tax revenue 2010USD 0.14 billion
Government typePresidential Republic
Recent political crisis1994 coup
Economic freedom score105th
Freedom of information score125th
Corruption perception index90th
Birth rate 200936 (per '000 people)
Population balance0-14 years – 42.30%
Population balance15-59 years – 52.80%
Population balanceAbove 60 years – 4.90%
Life expectancyMale – 54.2 years
Life expectancyFemales – 57.4 years
Mortality rate11 (per '000 people)
Literacy rate 200845%
Internet access7.1%

[Top] Economic Overview

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Gambia’s GDP at current prices in 2010 was estimated at GMD 28.43 billion, increasing 10.15% from 2009.

Gambia GDP at current prices

(Source: IMF)

The GDP at constant prices (2004=100) in 2010 was estimated at GMD 22.49 billion.

Gambia GDP and GDP growth rate

(Source: IMF)

Gross national income (GNI)

Gambia’s GNI per capita at PPP for the year 2009 was USD 1,330 rising slightly from USD 1,300 in 2009.

Gambia GNI per capita
(Source: World Bank)

Income tax rate

Income tax rates on individual incomes in Gambia are:


Taxable income (GMD)

Tax Rate (%)

0 – 7,500


7,501 – 17,500


17, 501– 27,500


27, 501– 37,500


37, 501– 47,500



Corporate tax rate

The corporate tax rate for companies in Gambia is 35% of profit or 2% of total turnover for the tax year.


Inflation rate

The inflation rate of Gambia in 2010 was estimated at 3.86%.

Gambia Inflation Rate

(Source: IMF)

Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow

In 2009, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow was USD 47 million, decreasing 32.86% from 2008.

Gambia FDI Inflow


Banking sector assets

In 2010, the total banking sector assets of the country amounted to GMD 17.8 billion, increasing 22.7% over 2009.

Central Bank of Gambia)

[Top] Financial Indicators & Government Financial

Consumer price index (CPI)

The consumer price index recorded a 2.47% hike in 2010.

Gambia Conusmer Price Index

(Source: IMF)

Interest rates

Interest Rate on Deposits, 2008





Short-term deposit a/c




Savings bank account




       Time Deposits

Three months




Six months




Nine months




12 months and over




(Source: Central Bank of Gambia)

Money supply

Monetary Aggregates in Gambia (GMD million)

End of Period



Total Money Supply






Currency outside banks



Demand deposits






Savings deposits



Time deposits



(Source: Central Bank of Gambia)

Government expenditure

In 2010, government expenditure amounted to GMD 5.91billion, or 20.4% of total GDP.   For 2011, the estimated expenditure is GMD 6.12 billion, or 19.5% of GDP.


Official exchange rate

Gambia Exchange Rate

(Source: AFDB)


Government finances

Fiscal budget deficit

In 2010, the fiscal budget deficit of the country amounted to GMD 587 million, representing 2.1% of total GDP of the country.


Total revenues

Also in 2010, total revenues and grants of Gambia amounted to GMD 5.08 billion, or 19.3% of total GDP of the country.


Tax revenues

Finally, In 2010, tax revenues amounted to GMD 4.07 billion.


Current account balance (CAB)

Gambia Current Account Balance

(Source: IMF)

Balance of payments

Balance of Payments, 2010 (GMD million)





Current Account
















Current Transfers




Capital and Financial Account




Currency and Deposits




Reserve Assets (increase -)




Overall Balance




(Source: Central Bank of Gambia)

[Top] Labour Force and Employment Overview

Labour force

Gambia’s total labour force in 2009 included 2,256,741.2, compared to 2,274,708.5 in the previous year.

(Source: World Bank)

Labour force participation rate

In 2008, the labour force particpation rate in Gambia was 70.4% among women and 83.2% among men.

(Source: UN)

Employment in agriculture

Gambia is primarily an agricultural country, employing about 68% of the total labour force.


Employment in service sector

Tourism is another major contributing sector to the country’s GDP, supporting 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.


Unemployment rate

Although no official data is available for unemployment, it is estimated to be very high, with a youth unemployment rate of over 40%.

(Source: UNDP)

Average monthly wages

As of 2007, the minimum daily wage for workers in both public and private sector was GMD 28.43.

(Source: Central Bank of Gambia)

Level of unionisation

The Gambia Workers' Confederation (GWC) is the major trade union centre in the country. It is affiliated with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).


[Top] Political Stability

Gambia operates under a Presidential Republic system of government.  Thus, the power in the country is shared at three different levels – Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary.  Executive powers are exercised by the President directly, or through the Vice-President, the Secretaries of State or the officers led by the President. Legislative powers are exercised by the Government and the National Assembly. The judiciary is independent from legislative and executive powers and its powers executed by the courts of law.

The National Assembly is comprised of 53 members, each elected for a five year term. Of the 53 members, 48 are directly elected and 5 are appointed by the President.

Political parties in the country include

  • APRC - Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction.
  • GPP - Gambian People's Party
  • PPP - Progressive People's Party
  •  UDP - United Democratic Party

Gambia experienced a military coup in 1994 when the elected government was overthrown. The country returned to constitutional rule two years later in 1996, when its military leader won a presidential election.

(Source:, Constitution of Gambia)

Business and economic freedom

Gambia is ranked 105th in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom, with a score of 57.4, 2, increasing by 3 points from its score in the 2010 index. The country’s overall score is higher than the regional average, but lower than the global average.

Gambia Economic Freedom Indices


Corruption perception

Gambia is ranked 91st on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2010. CPI measures the perceived level of public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories around the world.


Freedom of information


Gambia is ranked 125th on the Press Freedom Index 2010 with a score of 40.5, indicating that media in the country is restricted.  For example, the national television station is operated by the government.

The Point, Daily Observer and Foroyaa are some of the key newspapers in the country.

(Source:BBC News,

Judicial system

The judiciary in Gambia consists of

  • Supreme Court
  •  Court of Appeal
  •  Khadis (Muslim) Courts
  • District tribunals
  •  Magistrate courts
The Supreme Court and the Gambia Court of Appeal form the highest entitites of the judicial system in the country.

[Top] Demographic Overview

Total population

The total estimated population of Gambia in 2010 was estimated at 1.72 million, marking an increase of 2.63% from the previous year.

(Source: IMF)

Gender balance

Representation of the gender in the country is almost equal.  In the year 2009, females accounted for 50.4% of the total population, with a gender ratio of 98.4 males per 100 females.

Gambia Population by Gender

(Source:AFDB, UN)

Individuals below 14 years of age constitute 42.3% of the population.  While individuals in the age group of 15 to 64 constitute 54.9% of the population. Finally, people aged above 65 constitute only 2.8% of the population.

(Source: AFDB)

Birth rate and death rate

In 2009, the crude birth rate (per 1,000 people) was registered as 36.3, and crude death rate was 11.1 (per 1,000 people).

(Source: AFDB)

Average life expectancy

dIn 2009, the life expectancy of the total population was 56.3 years. The life expectancy for males and females was 54.2 years and 57.4 years respectively.

(Source: UN)

Racial/ ethnic environment

The major ethnic groups in Gambia include Mandinka, Fula, Wolof, Jola, and Sarahule. The major religions followed in Gambia are Muslim and Christianity.




Migration data, 2010

Estimated number of international migrants at mid-year


Estimated number of refugees at mid-year


International migrants as a percentage of the population


Refugees as a percentage of international migrants


(Source: UN)

Human development index (HDI)

The country was ranked 151st on the Human Development Index 2010 conducted by the United Nations. The HDI provides a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrolment in education) and having basic standard of living (measured by purchasing power parity, PPP, income).

(Source: UNDP)

[Top] Soft Infrastructure

Literacy rate

As of 2009, the literacy rates in Gambia were:  

  • 15 years and above: 46%
  • 15-24: 65%
  • Females 15-24: 60%
  • Males 15-24: 71%

(Source: World Bank)


In Gambia, education is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 16 years. There are four levels of education

  • Pre-school
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education
  • Higher education

Pre-School Education is fundamentally kindergartens and nursery schools, for children before the age of six.

Primary school education is the first level of compulsory education, for children 6-12 years of age.

Secondary school is for students aged 12 to 15.  Post-compulsory secondary education includes general upper-secondary education and vocational training from 15-18 years of age.

The pupil to teacher ratio in primary school is 37:1.

The combined enrolment ratio for both males and females is estimated at 46.8%.

The government expenditure on education in  2000 was 2.7%.

(Source:, UNDP,

Health care resources

There are three levels of health care system in Gambia – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.

Primary health care system operates in villages under a trained village health worker and a midwife. Secondary health care includes large and small health care centres.  Finally, tertiary health services are delivered by referral hospitals, the Medical Research Council (MRC), and several private clinics.

For every 100,000 people in Gambia, there are 10 physicians, 130 nurses and midwives and 80 hospital beds.

Major causes for death in the country include lower respiratory infections, and malaria. In 2006, 29% of the country’s population was undernourished.

Additonally, in 2006, the per capita health expenditure was USD 57, and the total expenditure on health constituted 5% of the GDP.

(Source:, UNDP,

[Top] Hard Infrastructure

Mass public transit

The various means of public transport in the country include buses and cabs.


The total length of the road network in the country is about 3,742 km, of which 19.3% are paved..



The Port of Banjul is the major port in Gambia, which the Gambia Ports Authority is responsible for administering the docks situated at Banjul.

(Source: worldportsource,


There is only one airport in the country, the Banjul International Airport with a runway length of 11,800 ft.


Telecommunications network

In 2009, there were 49,000 fixed telephone line subscribers, and 1.4 million mobile phone subscribers in the country.

(Source: ITU World Telecommunication)

Internet access

As of June 2010, the country had 130,100 internet users, creating a penetration rate of 7.1%.


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