The official name is the Republic of The Gambia.
Located in western Africa. The area is 11.3 thousand km2, the population is 1.46 million people. (2002). The official language is English. The capital is the city of Banjul (57.8 thousand people, 2001). Public holiday – Independence Day February 18 (since 1965). The monetary unit is the dalasi.
Member of the UN (since 1965), IMF (since 1993), AfDB, AU, OIC, FAO, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WTO, etc.
Geography of the Gambia
It is located between 13°47′ and 16°48′ West longitude and 13°03′ and 13°49′ North latitude. In the west it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The coast is flat, with sandy capes, dissected by a bay – the estuary of the Gambia River. It borders on the north, east and south with Senegal.
The territory is a flat low-lying plain (up to 100 m) in the Gambia river basin. There are deposits of ilmenite (5 million tons) and kaolin. The soils are clayey alluvial and partly lateritic.
The climate is equatorial monsoon. Average monthly temperatures are +25-27°C. Precipitation is from 750 to 1500 mm per year. One of the largest rivers in West Africa is the Gambia. (1200 km).
The vegetation cover is dominated by savannas with acacias and baobabs. In the valley of the Gambia River there are small areas of gallery river forests. Lions and leopards are gone. Small herds of antelopes, a large number of monkeys, hippos, crocodiles, birds (about 400 species) and insects. There are many fish in the coastal waters.
The population of the Gambia
According to Countryaah, population growth 3.09% per year (2002). Birth rate 41.25%, mortality 12.63%, infant mortality 76.39 people. per 1000 newborns (2002). Average life expectancy – 53.98 years (2002).
Sex and age structure of the population: 0-14 years old – 45.1% (ratio of men and women 1.01); 15-64 years old – 52.3% (0.98); 65 years and older – 2.6% (1.09) (2002). Rural population 70%, urban 30% (1999). Among the population over 15 years of age, 47.5% are literate (men 58.4%; women 37.1%) (2001).
Ethnic groups (%): Mandingo (42), Fulbe (18), Wolof (16), Diola (10), Serahuli (9), Serer, Tukuler, Bambara, Europeans, Lebanese, etc. Languages - English, Mandingo, wolof, fula. Muslims – 90%, Christians – 9%, local beliefs – 1%.
History of the Gambia
The territory of the Gambia was part of the empire of Mali (13th-15th centuries) and Songhai (15th-16th centuries). K ser. 19th century most of the Gambia was captured by Great Britain and declared a colony, from 1894 a British protectorate. In 1963, the Gambia received internal self-government, and since 1965, independence. April 24, 1970 proclaimed a republic. In 1994, a coup d’état took place, as a result of which President Daoud Kairaba Jawar was overthrown. The Provisional Ruling Council (UPU), headed by Lieutenant Yaya Jammeh, came to power. By decision of the UPU, the operation of the Constitution of 1970 and the activities of the parties were suspended. Jammeh was proclaimed the president of the country.
On August 8, 1996, a new constitution was approved in a referendum. The ban on the activities of political parties has been lifted. After these transformations, presidential elections were held, in which Jammeh won. The UPU was dissolved, and parliamentary elections were held in 1997. This marked the transition from a military to a civilian form of government. Jammeh was re-elected in 2001.
Science and culture of the Gambia
Research institutes: Medical Research Council Laboratories, Medical Research Council on Nutrition. The University of the Gambia, in the absence of its own classrooms, conducts training on the premises of three other universities (Gambian College, Institute of Technology, Institute for Management Development).
Education from the age of seven is free, but not compulsory. Duration – 6 years. Secondary education (from the age of 13) includes the first cycle of 5 years and the second – 2 years.
In 1998-99, 76% and 17% of the children of the corresponding age group completed primary and first cycle of secondary school, and only 6% completed the second cycle of secondary school. In 1997, the study of the Koran was introduced at all levels of education.
The cultural heritage of the Gambia is not rich. Among the art crafts are common: weaving of mats and baskets, decorative woodcarving. There are also sculptures and masks. Primitive earrings, rings, bracelets are made of ivory and metal.
In traditional music, the leading role belongs to professional storytellers. Of the musical instruments, drums and lutes are more common. In the 1970s The National Ensemble of the Gambia was created. Singer, drummer Bakary Marong and popular songwriter Vicky Blay won fame.