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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Gambia, The


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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. (from the CIA)
 
 

 

Economic 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.

Environmental Issues

Deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent

Government Type

Republic

Population

1,735,464 (july 2008 est.)

Location

Western africa, bordering the north atlantic ocean and senegal

Area

Total: 11,300 sq km land: 10,000 sq km water: 1,300 sq km

Slightly less than twice the size of delaware

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of the gambia conventional short form: the gambia

Capital

Name: banjul geographic coordinates: 13 27 n, 16 34 w time difference: utc 0 (5 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

International Disputes

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

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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