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The Gambia Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      The Gambia has no important mineral or other natural resources and has a limited agricultural base. About 75% of the population is engaged in crop production and livestock raising, which contribute 30% to GDP. Small-scale manufacturing activity - processing peanuts, fish, and hides - accounts for less than 10% of GDP. A sustained structural adjustment program, including a liberalized trade policy, had fostered a respectable 4% rate of growth in recent years. Reexport trade constitutes one-third of economic activity; however, border closures associated with Senegal's monetary crisis in late 1993 led to a halving of reexport trade, reducing government revenues in turn. The 50% devaluation of the CFA franc in January 1994 has made Senegalese goods more competitive and apparently prompted a relaxation of Senegalese controls, paving the way for a comeback in reexports. But overwhelming these developments were the devastating effects of the military's takeover in July 1994. By October, traffic at the Port of Banjul had fallen precipitously as importers nervously scaled back their activities with the commencement of the anticorruption drive by the new regime. Concerned with the growing potential for serious unrest after a countercoup attempt was bloodily put down by the regime, the United Kingdom and the EU in November issued a travelers advisory for The Gambia, which brought a halt to tourism almost immediately. The Gambia faces additional problems in 1995 if, as is likely, economic sanctions by Western governments remain in effect in response to indications that the military regime intends to stay in power far longer than expected by the donors.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $1 billion (1993 est.)

    • National product real growth rate:

    • National product per capita:
      $1,050 (1993 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      6.5% (1993)

    • Unemployment rate:

    • Budget:

        $94 million

        $89 million, including capital expenditures of $24 million (FY92/93 est.)

    • Exports:
      $81 million (f.o.b., FY92/93 est.)

        peanuts and peanut products, fish, cotton lint, palm kernels

        Japan 60%, Europe 29%, Africa 5%, US 1%, other 5% (1989)

    • Imports:
      $154 million (f.o.b., FY92/93 est.)

        foodstuffs, manufactures, raw materials, fuel, machinery and transport equipment

        Europe 57%, Asia 25%, USSR and Eastern Europe 9%, US 6%, other 3% (1989)

    • External debt:
      $286 million (FY92/93 est.)

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 6.7%

    • Electricity:

        30,000 kW

        70 million kWh

        consumption per capita:
        64 kWh (1993)

    • Industries:
      peanut processing, tourism, beverages, agricultural machinery assembly, woodworking, metalworking, clothing

    • Agriculture:
      accounts for 30% of GDP; one-third of food requirements is imported; major export crop is peanuts; other principal crops - millet, sorghum, rice, corn, cassava, palm kernels; livestock - cattle, sheep, goats; forestry and fishing resources not fully exploited

    • Economic aid:

        US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $93 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $535 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $39 million

    • Currency:
      1 dalasi (D) = 100 butut

    • Exchange rates:
      dalasi (D) per US$1 - 9.565 (January 1995), 9.576 (1994), 9.129 (1993), 8.888 (1992), 8.803 (1991), 7.883 (1990)

    • Fiscal year:
      1 July - 30 June

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