What continent is Gambia in?

What continent is Gambia in?

If you’re curious about the geographic location of Gambia, you might be wondering which continent it belongs to. Gambia is a small West African country that is situated on the mainland of Africa. This article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the continent that Gambia is a part of, its neighboring countries, and other interesting facts about its geographical location. So, let’s delve into the details and explore the continent to which Gambia belongs.

About Gambia

Geographical Location

Gambia is a small West African country located on the western coast of the continent. It is officially known as the Republic of The Gambia and is surrounded by Senegal, except for its coastline which faces the Atlantic Ocean. The country is situated at the latitude of 13.4432° N and longitude of 15.3101° W.

Size and Population

Gambia has a total land area of approximately 10,689 square kilometers, making it the smallest country on mainland Africa. Despite its small size, Gambia is densely populated with an estimated population of over 2.4 million people. The capital city, Banjul, is the largest urban center in the country and serves as its administrative, economic, and cultural hub.

The Gambia’s size and population may be modest, but its vibrant culture, diverse wildlife, and rich history make it a fascinating destination for travelers and researchers alike.

History of Gambia

Colonial Period

The history of Gambia dates back to its colonial period, which began in the late 15th century. Gambia was initially discovered by the Portuguese explorer, Nuno Tristão, in 1445. However, it was the English who established the first permanent settlement in the region in 1661, known as James Island.

During the colonial era, Gambia became a significant trading center for European powers due to its strategic location along the Gambia River. The British Empire played a prominent role in the colonization of Gambia, as they gradually gained control over the region. Gambia became a British protectorate in 1820 and later a colony in 1888.

The colonial period brought significant changes to Gambia’s social, political, and economic landscape. The British introduced cash-crop agriculture, primarily focusing on peanuts, which became a major export commodity. They also built infrastructure such as roads, railways, and administrative buildings, shaping the urban development of Gambia.

Independence and Post-Independence

Gambia gained independence from British colonial rule on February 18, 1965, becoming the smallest country on the African mainland. Dawda Jawara, a prominent political figure, became Gambia’s first Prime Minister and later its first President.

The post-independence era in Gambia was marked by political and economic challenges. President Jawara’s government faced various obstacles, including corruption, economic instability, and political unrest. However, Gambia managed to maintain a relatively stable democracy compared to many other African nations.

In 1994, Yahya Jammeh led a military coup, overthrowing Dawda Jawara’s government and assuming power. Jammeh ruled Gambia for over two decades until his defeat in the 2016 presidential elections. The peaceful transition of power to the newly elected President, Adama Barrow, marked a significant milestone in Gambia’s political history.

Since then, Gambia has been striving to rebuild its economy, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve the overall well-being of its citizens. The country has witnessed positive developments, including increased foreign investment, infrastructure development, and a growing tourism sector.

In conclusion, Gambia’s history encompasses a rich colonial past and a journey towards independence and post-independence development. Understanding this history provides valuable insights into the nation’s cultural heritage, political dynamics, and socioeconomic progress.

Political and Administrative Divisions


Gambia, officially known as the Republic of The Gambia, is a small West African country that is politically and administratively divided into five regions. These regions are further subdivided into local government areas, districts, and wards. Each region has its own unique characteristics, cultural heritage, and administrative structure.

  1. Banjul: This is the smallest and the capital city of The Gambia. It is also considered a region on its own. Situated on an island at the mouth of the Gambia River, Banjul serves as the administrative and economic center of the country. It is home to important government institutions, diplomatic missions, and commercial activities.

  2. Kanifing: Located in the western part of the country, Kanifing is another important region of The Gambia. It is densely populated and encompasses the Greater Banjul Area, which includes the capital city and its surrounding urban settlements. Kanifing is known for its vibrant markets, bustling streets, and diverse cultural scene.

  3. Lower River: Situated in the southern part of The Gambia, the Lower River region is predominantly rural and characterized by fertile agricultural lands. It is traversed by the Gambia River, providing ample opportunities for fishing and farming. The region is known for its natural beauty, serene landscapes, and traditional villages.

  4. Central River: The Central River region is located in the central part of The Gambia and is divided into two parts: North Bank and Upper River. This region is largely rural, with agriculture being the main economic activity. The Gambia River flows through this region, sustaining the livelihoods of the local communities.

  5. Upper River: As a part of the Central River region, the Upper River is situated in the eastern part of The Gambia. It is characterized by vast savannah grasslands and sparse population. Agriculture, particularly peanut farming, is the primary occupation of the people in this region.

Local Government

The Gambia follows a decentralized system of governance, with local governments playing a significant role in the administration of the country. Local government areas, commonly referred to as districts, are responsible for providing essential services and addressing the needs of the local communities.

Each region is further divided into districts, which are then divided into wards. The local government areas have elected councilors who represent the interests of their respective communities. These councilors are responsible for making decisions on local matters, such as infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and social welfare.

The decentralization of power to local governments promotes grassroots democracy and empowers communities to actively participate in decision-making processes. It allows for more effective governance, as local authorities are better equipped to address the specific needs and challenges faced by their communities.

In conclusion, The Gambia is divided into five regions, each with its own unique characteristics and administrative structure. These regions are further subdivided into districts and wards, which are governed by local governments. This decentralized system of governance ensures that the needs of the local communities are addressed effectively and promotes grassroots democracy.

The Gambia is a country located on the western coast of Africa, making it part of the continent of Africa. Its unique geographical location, surrounded by Senegal on three sides and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the fourth side, gives The Gambia its distinct shape and characteristics. As one of the smallest countries in Africa, The Gambia is known for its diverse wildlife, vibrant culture, and rich history. Whether it’s exploring the bustling capital city of Banjul, embarking on a river safari along the Gambia River, or immersing oneself in the local traditions and customs, The Gambia offers a truly authentic African experience. So, when wondering which continent The Gambia is in, the answer is clear – Africa.

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