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THE GAMBIAEdit

World Factbook (1982) The Gambia.jpg
(See reference map VII)

LANDEdit

10,360 km2; 25% uncultivated savanna, 16% swamps, 4% forest parks, 55% upland cultivable areas, built-up areas, and other

Land boundaries: 740 km

WATEREdit

Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 50 nm

Coastline: 80 km

PEOPLEEdit

Population: 635,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.8%

Nationality: noun—Gambian(s); adjective—Gambian

Ethnic divisions: over 99% Africans (Mandinka 40.8%, Fulani 13.5%, Wolof 12.9%, remainder made up of several smaller groups), fewer than 1% Europeans and Lebanese

Religion: 85% Muslim, 15% animist and Christian

Language: English official; Mandinka and Wolof most widely used vernaculars

Literacy: about 10%

Labor force: approx. 165,000, mostly engaged in subsistence farming; about 15,000 are wage earners (government, trade, services)

Organized labor: 25% to 30% of wage labor force at most

GOVERNMENTEdit

Official name: Republic of The Gambia

Type: republic; independent since February 1965 (The Gambia and Senegal in early 1982 formed a loose confederation named Senegambia, which calls for the integration of their armed forces, economies and monetary systems, and foreign policies)

Capital: Banjul

Political subdivisions: Banjul and five divisions

Legal system: based on English common law and customary law; constitution came into force upon independence in 1965, new republican constitution adopted in April 1970; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: 18 February

Branches: Cabinet of 10 members; 44-member House of Representatives, in which four seats are reserved for chiefs, four are appointed, 35 are filled by election for five-year terms, a Speaker is elected by the House, and the Attorney General is an appointed member; independent judiciary

Government leader: Sir Alhaji Dawda Kairaba JAWARA, President

Political parties and leaders: People's Progressive Party (PPP), Secretary General Dawda K. Jawara; United Party (UP), Pierre N'Jie; and National Convention Party (NCP), Sherrif Dibba (Dibba is to be tried for treason because of his complicity in the August 1980 coup attempt; the NCP may be disbanded)

Suffrage: universal adult

Elections: general elections held April 1977; PPP 31 seats, NCP 4 seats; next general elections scheduled for 1982

Communists: small underground group

Member of: AFBD, APC, Commonwealth, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, GATT, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IMCO, IMF, ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMD, WTO

ECONOMYEdit

GNP: $200 million (1980), about $333 per capita; real growth rate 2.8% (1980)

Agriculture: main crops—peanuts, millet, sorghum, rice, palm kernels

Fishing: catch 17,446 metric tons (1979); exports $956,000 (1974)

Major industry: peanut processing

Electric power: 10,000 kW capacity (1980); 35 million kWh produced (1980), 57 kWh per capita

Exports: $27.4 million (1980); peanuts and peanut products, fish, and palm kernels

Imports: $141.2 million (1980); textiles, foodstuffs, tobacco, machinery, petroleum products

Major trade partners: exports—mainly EEC; imports—EEC

Aid: economic commitments—Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF (1970-79), $91.0 million; Communist countries (1974-79), $17 million; OPEC, ODA (1974-79), $36.0 million; US (FY70-79), $18.2 million

Budget: (1980-81) revenues $51.5 million, current expenditures $49.4 million, development expenditures $35.8 million

Monetary conversion rate: 1 Dalasi=US$0.716 (1981)

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June

COMMUNICATIONSEdit

Railroads: none

Highways: 3,083 km total; 431 km paved, 501 km gravel/laterite, and 2,151 km unimproved earth

Inland waterways: 400 km

Ports: 1 major (Banjul)

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airfields: 1 usable with permanent-surface runways 2,440-3,659 m

Telecommunications: adequate network of radio relay and wire; 3,500 telephones (0.5 per 100 popl.); 2 AM and no FM stations; no TV stations; 1 Atlantic Ocean satellite station

DEFENSE FORCESEdit

Military manpower: males 15-49, 141,000; 71,000 fit for military service

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 30 June 1981, $2.4 million; 6.2% of central government budget; includes fire and police expenditures