The Gambia Portal

The Gambia, officially the Republic of the Gambia, is a country in West Africa. Geographically, The Gambia is the smallest country in continental Africa; it is surrounded by Senegal, except for its western coast on the Atlantic Ocean. It is situated on both sides of the lower reaches of the Gambia River, which flows through the centre of the country and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The national namesake river demarcates the elongated shape of the country, which has an area of 11,300 square kilometres (4,400 sq mi) and a population of 2,468,569 people in 2024. The capital city is Banjul, which has the most extensive metropolitan area in the country; the second- and third-largest cities are Serekunda and Brikama.

Arab Muslim merchants traded with native West Africans in The Gambia throughout the 9th and 10th centuries. In 1455, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to enter The Gambia, although they never established significant trade there. The region was made a part of the British Empire by establishment of a colony in 1765, and exactly 200 years later, in 1965, The Gambia gained independence under the leadership of Dawda Jawara. Jawara ruled until Yahya Jammeh seized power in a bloodless 1994 coup, with Jammeh ruling until 2017. Adama Barrow became The Gambia's third president in January 2017, after defeating Jammeh in the December 2016 elections. Jammeh initially accepted the results, but then refused to leave office, triggering a constitutional crisis and military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States that resulted in his removal two days after his term was initially scheduled to end.

The Gambia has been a member of the Economic Community of West African States since its conception in 1975 and is a member of the Commonwealth, with English being the country's sole official language, both legacies of its British colonial past. The Gambia's economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and especially tourism. In 2015, 48.6% of the population lived in poverty. In rural areas, poverty was even more widespread, at almost 70%. (Full article...)

Serer cultural vigil in Senegal.

The Serer people are a West African ethnoreligious group. They are the third-largest ethnic group in Senegal, making up 15% of the Senegalese population. They are also found in northern Gambia and southern Mauritania.

The Serer people originated in the Senegal River valley at the border of Senegal and Mauritania, moved south in the 11th and 12th century, then again in the 15th and 16th centuries as their villages were invaded and they were subjected to religious pressures. They have had a sedentary settled culture and have been known for their farming expertise and transhumant stock-raising. (Full article...)

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The Gambia, officially the Republic of the Gambia, competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which was held from 5 to 21 August 2016. The country's participation at Rio marked its ninth appearance at the Summer Olympic Games since its début at the 1984 Summer Olympics. The delegation included two track and field athletes, Adama Jammeh and Gina Bass, who both qualified after meeting the qualification standards for their respective events, one judoka, Faye Njie, who made the Games through a quota place and one swimmer, Pap Jonga, who earned a universality place to enter the Games. The Gambia made their début appearances in the judo and swimming events. Bass was selected as the flag bearer for the opening and closing ceremonies. All four athletes were eliminated from the first rounds of their events. (Full article...)


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Religions in The Gambia

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