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Gambia, The

Country of Gambia, The Flag

Capital: Banjul

Population: 2,347,706

Brief History of Gambia, The:

The area that is today The Gambia was once a member of the Mali and the Kaabu Empires. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish trade with the Kingdom of Mali and The Gambia, but in 1588 they sold the trading rights to Britain.

The Gambia was a major exporter of slaves. It's estimated that 3 million slaves were sold to European slave ships. In 1888 it became an official British colony. Although slavery was abolished earlier in Britain, slavery was abolished in The Gambia in 1906.

The Gambia became a fully independent country in 1965. In 1994, Yahya Jammeh took over the government in a military coup. He has remained in power since.

Country of Gambia, The Map

The Geography of Gambia, The

Total Size: 11,300 square km

Size Comparison: slightly less than twice the size of Delaware

Geographical Coordinates: 13 28 N, 16 34 W

World Region or Continent: Africa

General Terrain: flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills

Geographical Low Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: unnamed location 53 m

Climate: tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)

Major cities: BANJUL (capital) 436,000 (2009), Serekunda

The People of Gambia, The

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: English (official), Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, other indigenous vernaculars

Independence: 18 February 1965 (from UK)

National Holiday: Independence Day, 18 February (1965)

Nationality: Gambian(s)

Religions: Muslim 90%, Christian 9%, indigenous beliefs 1%

National Symbol: lion

National Anthem or Song: For The Gambia, Our Homeland

Economy of Gambia, The

Major Industries: processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing

Agricultural Products: rice, millet, sorghum, peanuts, corn, sesame, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats

Natural Resources: fish, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon, silica sand, clay, petroleum

Major Exports: peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels, re-exports

Major Imports: foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment

Currency: dalasi (GMD)

National GDP: $3,496,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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