The Gambia economy is based on agriculture.
Peanuts and peanut products dominate exports. Tourism is
also important, as are money shipments from Gambians
working abroad. The dependency on aid is great.
The dominance of peanut exports makes the economy
vulnerable to varying world market prices of peanuts.
Drought leads to negative growth in some years. In
2007-2010, growth was relatively high and the country
coped well with the global financial crisis. In 2011,
however, the economy shrank due to drought, and after a
couple of better years came the next economic downturn
in 2014, partly due to bad harvests and partly to
reduced tourism as a result of the Ebola epidemic in
Major imports by Gambia, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
At the same time, Gambia is one of the world's most
aid-dependent countries. The Western world's criticism
of increasing human rights violations during the 2000s
and 2010s has reduced the flow of aid from traditional
donors such as the EU and the US. Instead, new donor
countries have been added. Taiwan was an important donor
until 2013, when the Gambia severed diplomatic relations
with the country. The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has
become a major lender, which means interest-free loans.
External debt represented just over half of GDP in 2014.
The ruling party ARPC has been pursuing
market-oriented economic policy through the Vision 2020
program since 1994, with support from the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. The goal is a
more stable economy with a reduced budget deficit and
increased domestic investment. The program also includes
poverty reduction. Poor transport opportunities,
electricity shortages and low educational level are
among the obstacles that slow down development.
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including WAG which represents the country of Gambia.
Natural resources are largely missing and the
industry is poorly developed. However, a certain
expansion of the economy has taken place during the
2000s and 2010s, with an increase in tourism, industry
and the re-exports important to the economy, that is,
the import goods coming via the Gambian Atlantic port
can be exported immediately (see Foreign Trade).
Tourism is the largest source of foreign currency. An
investment in the sector was already made in the 1970s,
with the intention of creating a new and less weather
dependent source of income. Swedes were the first major
group of tourists, but since then the British visitors
have become more. A large part of the profits go to
foreign travel companies, as most visitors buy package
tours. However, the tourism industry provides jobs for
thousands of Gambians on the coast; second to
agriculture, tourism is the sector that employs the
Money that foreign Gambians send to the family also
provides an important financial contribution. Around
half a million Gambians are expected to live in other
countries, especially in the UK, other Western Europe
and the United States.
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 712 (2018)
US $ 1,624 million (2018)
6.6 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
23.0 percent (2017)
Manufacturing industry's share of GDP
4.5 percent (2017)
The service sector's share of GDP
56.6 percent (2017)
6.9 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
86.6 percent (2018)
US $ 650 million (2017)
US $ 129 million (2017)
US $ 426 million (2017)
- USD 111 million (2017)
Commodity trade's share of GDP
43 percent (2018)
Main export goods
peanut products, fruits and vegetables, fish
Largest trading partner
India, UK, France, China, Senegal