Economy of The Gambia

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Gambia > Map Economy History

The Gambia has a liberal, market-based economy characterized by traditional subsistence agriculture, a historic reliance on peanuts or groundnuts for export earnings, a re-export trade built up around its ocean port, low import duties, minimal administrative procedures, a fluctuating exchange rate with no exchange controls, and a significant tourism industry.

Agriculture accounts for 23% of gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 75% of the labor force. Within agriculture, peanut production accounts for 5.3% of GDP, other crops 8.3%, livestock 4.4%, fishing 1.8%, and forestry 0.5%. Industry accounts for 12% of GDP and forestry 0.5%. Manufacturing accounts for 6% of GDP. The limited amount of manufacturing is primarily agriculturally based (e.g., peanut processing, bakeries, a brewery, and a tannery). Other manufacturing activities include soap, soft drinks, and clothing. Services account for 19% of GDP.

In FY 1999 the United Kingdom and other EU countries were The Gambia's major domestic export markets, accounting for 86% in total; followed by Asia at 14%; and the African subregion, including Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, and Ghana at 8%. The United Kingdom and the other EU countries, namely Germany, France, Netherlands, and Belgium were the major source of imports, accounting for 60% of the total share of imports followed by Asia at 23%, and Cote d'Ivoire and other African countries at 17%. The Gambia reports 11% of its exports going to and 14.6% of its imports coming from the United States.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.5 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.9% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture:  21%
industry:  12%
services:  67% (1998 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.4% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 400,000
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 75%, industry, commerce, and services 19%, government 6%
revenues:  $90.5 million
expenditures:  $80.9 million, including capital expenditures of $4.1 million (2001 est.)
Industries: processing peanuts, fish, and hides; tourism; beverages; agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking; clothing
Electricity - production: 75 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  100%
hydro:  0%
nuclear:  0%
other:  0% (1999)
Agriculture - products: peanuts, millet, sorghum, rice, corn, cassava (tapioca), palm kernels; cattle, sheep, goats; forest and fishery resources not fully exploited
Exports: $125.8 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities: peanuts and peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels
Exports - partners: Benelux 59%, Japan 20%, United Kingdom 7%, Spain 2% (1999)
Imports: $202.5 million (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, manufactures, fuel, machinery and transport equipment
Imports - partners: Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Senegal, Belgium (1997)
Debt - external: $440 million (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $45.4 million (1995)
Currency: dalasi (GMD)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Gambia > Map Economy History