Serrekunda Exchange Complex
PO Box 387 Banjul
MDI Road, Kanifing, KSMD
The Gambia, West Africa
Tel no: 4378072 or 4378125
Fax: 4394615 or 449510
is The Gambia's only public service broadcaster. In
December 1995 the Government commissioned the Gambia
Radio and Television Service (GRTS) TV station.
Under the umbrella of Gambia Telecommunications Company
(Gamtel) it was to perform test transmissions from a
5KW transmitter situated at Abuko covering for the Greater
Later, a couple of transmitting stations were erected
at the villages of Bansang and Soma inland to achieve
national broadcasting coverage. Despite these earlier
efforts some areas of The Gambia, in particular the
up-river regions still remain outside the airing range.
Since the moment of its commissioning, GRTS has operated
as a public service station in the tradition of the
older established Radio Gambia. The majority of the
programmes are dedicated to a news,
public service announcements, education, entertainment
and religious programmes. Broadcasts are made in all
the 4 main languages as well as English and French.
Some programmes from foreign sources like the BBC News
of the UK, CNN of the USA, Deutsche Welle of Germany
and CFI of France are also regularly shown within the
GRTS stationís programme schedule.
As more and more television units become financially
accessible to local families, GRTS has become an ever
more vital and effective means of communication.
In 2002 the Government completed building the station's
headquarters to accommodate the GRTS's administrative,
technical, and operational needs.
Programming & National Development:
The importance of Television broadcasting for socio-economic
development of the Gambia cannot be over emphasised.
Knowledge and information are fundamental drivers of
increased productivity and are seminal to invention,
innovation and wealth creation. GRTS runs programmes
on new innovations in appropriate technology in agriculture
as a way of educating our farming communities. This
has tremendous impact on agricultural output of farmers
and has resulted in improved production, especially
in rice and vegetables.
Agriculture being the backbone of the countryís economy,
it is crucial to show programmes that can improve farming
methods, increase yields and ultimately increase food
sufficiency and food security. This in turn is believed
to reduce poverty levels, improves health status of
the Gambian people, in line with the goals and objectives
of their Poverty Reduction Strategy.
One of the critical problems facing Gambian society
today is the spread of HIV/AIDS within population. This
disease if not contained or minimised will have a detrimental
effect on The Gambia's socio-economic development as
it also affects the young and most energetic members
of the society. With a series of programmes shown by
TV on the AIDS epidemic many in the society came to
grips with realities that the disease is real and can
These and other educational programmes are a very essential
ingredient of poverty reduction strategy and need to
be expanded to cover all areas of the country.
Other GRTS programmes of major importance to poverty
reduction carried by the national TV relates to women
and women-related issues. In the Gambia, women do the
majority of the agricultural production, and programmes
that help educate and empower them are crucial in the
drive to gain self-sufficiency in food production and
Plans for Future Development:
It is apparent that if GRTS television is to become
a truly credible national service, it must establish
a widespread presence throughout The Gambia and be more
up-to-date with recent developments in education, agriculture,
infrastructural and health care service provision.
An essential point in planning ahead is the training
of people and the creation of a second channel for increased
viewer options and spread and to reduce the already
A number of GRTS engineers and producers have had the
benefit of international training and awareness, while
some organisations have also operated training courses
in Gambia in an attempt to reach as many trainees as