AU Watch

​Republic of The Gambia

Brief Overview

The Gambia is a small fragile country in West Africa. Stretching 450 km along the Gambia River, its 10, 689 sq. km area is surrounded by Senegal, except for a 60 km Atlantic Ocean front. The country has a population of 2.1 million. With 176 people per square kilometer, it is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Most of the population (57%) is concentrated around urban and peri-urban centers.

Political Context

Presidential elections in December 2016 resulted in a political transition after the incumbent President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, who had led the country for 22 years, was defeated by Adama Barrow, the presidential candidate of a political coalition.

The Parliamentary elections in April 2017 led to an absolute majority for United Democratic Party (UDP) with 31 seats in the 53-seat National Assembly. The former ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party was reduced to five seats. In the local elections of May 2018, 62 of the 120 seats went to the UDP and 18 to the APRC.

The cabinet was reshuffled in March 2019, as the vice president was removed, along with two other prominent members of the UDP.

Economic Overview

The Gambia’s small economy relies primarily on tourism, rain-dependent agriculture and remittances, and is vulnerable to external shocks. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth was estimated at 6.5% in 2018 (from 4.8% in 2017), driven by strong recovery in tourism, trade and construction, as well as improvements in electricity provision.

The agriculture sector witnessed a slight revival in 2018 and grew by 0.9% compared to the sharp contraction of 4.4% in 2017. The number of tourists touched a record high and increased by 26% in 2018 compared to 2017. In the same spell, credit to private sector rebounded strongly – a growth of 32% in 2018 (from 3% in 2017).

However, the fiscal situation deteriorated as the fiscal deficit increased to 6.0% in 2018 from 5.3% in 2017, mainly due to lower grant revenues spending overruns on goods and services, and unbudgeted transfers to state-owned enterprises. (Tax revenues, marred by weak tax administration and high discretionary tax exemptions, remained relatively stable at 10.4% of GDP.

The macroeconomic framework continues to be characterized by high debt levels. Public debt is estimated to decline by one percentage point, down to 87% of GDP in 2018. Although Interest payments were less than last year, they still accounted for 25% of domestic revenues in 2018, leaving limited fiscal space for public investment and improved service delivery.

The key long-term development challenges facing The Gambia are related to its undiversified economy, poor governance framework, small internal market, limited access to resources, lack of skills necessary to build effective institutions, high population growth, and lack of private sector job creation.

Republic of The Gambia
Capital: Banjul
Population:1.9 million

Area: 11,295 sq km (4,361 sq miles)

Languages: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula

Major religions: Islam, Christianity

Life expectancy: 58 years (men), 60 years (women)

Currency: dalasi

UN, World Bank

President: Adama Barrow

Important Addresses and Contacts

Physical Contacts of the Presidency

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Important Information of Key Human Rights Issues in The Gambia


Number Prisons in The Gambia

Number Prisoners in The Gambia
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Police Stations in The Gambia

Corruption in The Gambia

 

What are the current and ongoing human rights issues in ​​The Gambia​

 

(1) Freedom of the Press

 

(2) Human Rights Defenders Issues

 

(3) Impunity

Membership of African Regional Organisations

 

African Union (AU)

Joined the OAU 

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Key Regional Human Rights & Governance InstrumentsSigned and Ratified

 

  1. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

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2.Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights

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  1. Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights

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4.Protocol on Amendments to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa

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  1. African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption

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  1. African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

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  1. Statute of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL)

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  1. OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa

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  1. African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention)

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  1. Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Right of Establishment

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  1. African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons

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  1. Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa

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