Gambia (West Africa)
is a small country with an area of 4,000 square miles or
10,000 sq. km & has its capital at
Banjul. It is surrounded on all its borders by Senegal
except on the Atlantic Ocean coast. The nation is located at
the most western edge of the continent. It is the
continent's smallest country and has a total area of 11,300
square km. At one time or another in
history it was a part of the great Empires of West Africa.
Ancient pottery artifacts have been found which have been dated
to around 5,500.
Agricultural villages & towns with a knowledge
of iron have been unearthed & dated to around AD 500.
Farming is still the most important export accounting
for 32% of the gross domestic product, providing employment &
income for 80% of the population, and accounting for 70% of foreign exchange earnings.
season runs from around the middle of October to the middle of
June each year. This time of the year is characterised by a
relatively cool, dry wind called the Harmattan.
The Gambia is a multi-party democratic republic which gained its independence in 1965. An Executive Presidency was established on
the 24 April, 1970 which was later overturned following the July
22nd coup of 1994.
With regards to
defence the army is made up of infantry
battalions in the GNG, GNA & the navy which are under the DOD.
Defence expenditure was 0.5% of GDP in 2006.
The republic is a
multi-ethnic society with people from the sub-region with different
religious and linguistic backgrounds living side by side.
People's lives are marked by a series of rites of passage or
traditional rituals. There are at least 8 ethnic groups living
and each has its own and sometimes overlapping customs, traditions
and language. There are over 10 languages spoken by local people,
the majority of which belong to the Niger-Congo linguistic
family of the Atlantic or Congo branches.
As a guide, it takes just a
flight to reach The
from most European airports and it offers a less expensive alternative
holiday destination than the Caribbean. There is 48 km of
beach reaching south from
Kartong in the south.