The Gambia

What would you like the youth of America to know?

That for the education and empowerment of young Gambians, the sky is the limit.

What they sent me:
I was delighted to get my first letter from Africa during Yahya Jammeh's presidency! I wrote to the then-leader of The Gambia, and loved the simple, elegant response (and the handwritten envelope!).

Called "Africa's Smiling Coast," it's the smallest country in Africa and has about 2 million people. On the West coast of Africa, The Gambia is almost completely surrounded by Senegal and hugs the Gambia River. At 4,127 square miles, it's a bit smaller than the state of Connecticut with 50 miles of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean.

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According to The Gambia Experience website, "The Gambia has its own sense of magic; a quiet alchemy of light and beauty, incarnated in the golden sands of its beaches, the endless skies and stunning sunsets, and in the smiles of its welcoming people.

"Located midway between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, The Gambia enjoys virtually uninterrupted sunshine and high daytime temperatures with almost no rainfall from November to June.

"The Gambian people are proud of their growing economy, their vibrant tourism industry and the strong agricultural base they have built -- and maintain a wish to be self-sufficient. Nevertheless, The Gambia is a developing country."

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Official Name
Republic of The Gambia


Current Leader
Adama Barrow

• In November 2016, Barrow was elected by Gambians who voted by placing marbles into drums marked for each candidate, ending President Jammeh's 22-year rule

• Barrow was inaugurated in Senegal over fears during the transition of power, but returned to his country shortly thereafter

• Barrow was a successful property developer who had never held public office

Previous Leader
Yahya Jammeh

• On January 24, 2017, after contesting the election of President Barrow, Yahya Jammeh was exiled to Equatorial Guinea

• Jammeh seized power in a coup in 1994

• He created the Jammeh Foundation for Peace to help alleviate local poverty and provide educational opportunities for underprivileged students

Recommended sites
Official Website

Girls' Education Initiative in The Gambia

The Gambia Experience