According to ehistorylib, in 2005, Gambia had a population of approximately 1.7 million people, composed of Gambian nationals and other ethnic minorities. The main language spoken was English, with other regional languages having official status in certain areas. The economy in 2005 was largely based on agriculture and tourism, with a strong emphasis on exports. Foreign trade was an important part of the economy and Gambia had strong ties to its African neighbors as well as other countries around the world. Foreign relations in 2005 were mostly positive with the country having diplomatic ties to most countries around the world. Politically, Gambia was a presidential republic under President Yahya Jammeh who had been in power since 1996 following elections which saw his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction win a majority of votes. In 2005 there were multiple political parties operating in the country including both left-wing and right-wing parties as well as a free press which helped to ensure press freedom.
The Gambia. According to countryaah, Banjul is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Gambia. Two ministers and 17 high-ranking officials were dismissed in March after suspicions of corruption in their ministries and government works. President Yahya Jammeh initiated a campaign against bribery in the public administration in 2004 since Gambia was designated as one of the world’s most corrupt countries. One of the dismissed ministers resumed his ministry without further explanation after six months.
- Also see abbreviationfinder.org for how the acronym GA stands for the country of Gambia and other meanings of this two-letter abbreviation.
In August, Gambia doubled ticket prices for ferries across the Gambia River, triggering an economic conflict with Senegal, where traffic between the country’s north and south is heavily dependent on the shortcut through Gambia. Freight traffic to the Gambia was blocked and Senegalese began boycotting the Gambian ferries. The conflict lasted for two months, until the Gambia agreed to withdraw the price increase after international mediation.
Made up of Sudanese ethnic groups (Mandingo 34.1%, Fula 16.2%, Wolof 12.6%, Jola 9.2% etc.), it is distributed rather evenly along the river, albeit with an evident densification towards the mouth, where the capital Banjul is located. The latter, together with other towns, mostly located in the immediate hinterland, brings the urbanization rate of the country to around 57% (2008). The centers located along the river artery generally have administrative and commercial functions; the villages of the savannah, on the other hand, only practice agriculture. The living conditions of the population are very backward and this situation is confirmed by the trend of socio-demographic indicators: according to 2009 estimates, life expectancy at birth is just over 55 years, well over half of the adult population is illiterate and infant mortality is around 67.33 ‰. The very shape of the country helps to hinder the process of economic growth and infrastructure of the territory: in fact, even today, the only way of penetration is represented by the homonymous watercourse. The strong demographic increase and the scarcity of arable space, largely destined for the commercial production of peanuts, tend to progressively aggravate food dependence from abroad.
The population speaks local dialects, even if the official language is English; from the religious point of view, Muslims by far prevail (94.9% of the total), with minorities of Christians, both Protestants and Catholics.