ABOUT GAMBIA

President

 

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President of the Republic of The Gambia and
Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces

Biography

On the 15th February 1965, a few days before The Gambia attained its independence from British rule, Mamudou Barrow and Kadijatou Jallow were blessed with a baby boy named Adama Barrow. Growing up in the small village of Mankamang Kunda in Jimara in the Upper River Region of the Gambia, Adama was amongst the few children who were opportuned to be sent to school.  He attended Koba Kunda Primary School in Basse from 1976 to 1981. In an environment with limited opportunities, Adama had to leave his home for the capital city Banjul, to attend his Junior Secondary and High School at Crab Island and Muslim High School respectively.   Upon completion of his High School education in 1988, he ventured into business and got his work experience with Alhajie Musa Njie, a well known business man in his hay days in Banjul.

Over the years, Adama has developed his skills from a sales man to becoming the Sales  Manager at Musa Njie and Sons Limited. He then travelled to the United Kingdom where he spent four years.  Upon returning to The Gambia, Adama started his own business enterprise and is the Chief Executive Officer of Majum Estate Agency.

Adama Barrow expressed interest in politics since 1996 when he gave support to the opposition party, United Democratic Party.   He contested for the National Assembly elections in 2007 in the Jimara Constituency. Over the years he became an active member of the UDP and rose to the rank of Deputy Treasurer and became the party Presidential candidate  in 2016 when the party leader and members of the executive were imprisoned for three years for exercising their civic and political rights in the bid to promote democracy as a result of the death of their party member Solo Sandeng.

The political climate in The Gambia has changed drastically in recent times and Adama Barrow has emerged as the leader of the Coalition calling for unity to bring about positive change in the Gambian politics.  In an interview with Adama, he said his reason for joining politics is to contribute to changing the governance system in the country.

Adama is married with two wives and five children.  He enjoys football as well as reading newspapers.  He speaks English, Mandinka, Wollof, Sarahuleh and Fula.  He has humble personality but a strong sense of direction which is his strength in making him a successful businessman and aspiring leader of our great nation.

History of Gambia 
The first written account of the Gambia came from records of Arab traders in the 9th and 10th century AD, who established the trans-Saharan trade route for slaves, gold, and ivory. The Portuguese took over this trade using maritime routes in the 15th century. At that time, the Gambia was part of the Mali Empire. Between 1651 and 1661 part of the Gambia was (indirectly) a colony of polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. The countlanters settled on James Island, which they called St. Andrews Island and used it as a trading base from 1651 until its capture by the English in 1661.

The 1783 treaty of Paris gave Great Britain trading right to the river Gambia and its banks, but the French retained a tiny enclave at Albreda on the north bank of the river, which was finally ceded to Great Britain in 1857. The British divided the territory of the Gambia into a colony consisting of Banjul (occupied in 1816) and its surrounding areas of kombo st.mary with the rest of the country declared as a protectorate and where native law and rule, through the chiefs, were in effect. In 1889 an agreement between France and Britain established the present boundaries of Gambia and Senegal.

During world war II, over 2000 Gambian troops fought with the allies in Burma. Banjul served as an air stop for the U.S Air corps and a port of call for allied naval convoys.
The Gambia achieved independence on 18 February 1965, as a constitutional monarch within the common wealth. Five year later on 24th April 1970, the Gambia became a republic within the commonwealth, with prime minister Sir dawda kairaba jawara as head of state.

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
The Gambia is 340 kilometres long, but only 48 kilometres wide, with a total area of 295 km2, and follows the course of the River Gambia as it meanders west through mangrove swamps, bamboo forests, and salt flats, to the capital city Banjul, which is located along the 80 kilometre stretch of Atlantic coast. The Gambia lies at the southern edge of the Sahel and is made up of mostly savannah and open woodland vegetation.About 1,300 km2 (11.5%) of the Gambia’s area is covered by the river Gambia, which virtually divides Gambia into two. Gambia shares
Gambia has a tropical climate, and experiences two seasons. The raining season is short, from July to September, with most of the precipitation falling at night. The dry season starts in late October and lasts till early June when the first rains for the year falls. The climate is dry and warm from December through February, the peak of the tourist season. The Gambia has a sub-tropical climate with plenty of sunshine throughout the year and average temperature highs between 29°C and 34°C.(state house)

THE PEOPLE
The Gambia’s population density of 92 people per square kilometres makes it the fourth most densely populated country in Africa. Eight different ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Mandingos, traditionally farmers, the Fulani, traditionally herders, and the Wollof, mainly traders, live peacefully together in The Gambia. Though each group speaks its own language, English is commonly spoken and is the official language of the country .Not only is there no ethnic strife in The Gambia but there is increasing cultural interaction and intermarriage, making the country a West African melting pot. The population is predominantly Muslim with more than 90% following Islam. (state house)

ECONOMY

The Gambia Government has made significant reforms in the past few years in the fiscal, financial and economic areas which have resulted in broad macroeconomic stability, and provided the necessary investments required for growth and development in the country. The Gambian economy has enjoyed an average growth rate of 4.1% in the past six consecutive years. Despite the global economic challenges, the Gambia Government remains cautiously optimistic that growth will be maintained and the current macroeconomic stability will be sustained in the medium to long term.

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was projected at 4.8 percent in 2013 compared to 5.9 percent in 2012. The annual GDP at constant prices in 2013 by sector was Agriculture (-1.8%), Industry (4.5%) and Services (8.1%) compared to 6.2%, 6.4% and 5.4% respectively (Source: Gambia Bureau of Statistics).

The real GDP growth is projected at 4.2% and 5.2% in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

FDI Stock and Inflows (2013): US$753.5mn stock / US$25.3mn inflows (source: UNCTAD)