Natural resources and energy
The Gambia has few mineral resources and only a few are extracted commercially. Imported oil is used to generate electricity. Wood and charcoal account for most of the energy demand, which is hard on the forest.
An Australian company, Carnegie Mineral Company, extracted from the mineral zircon and rutile from 2006. However, the Gambian government accused the company of fraud and in 2008 revoked its license to exploit deposits in the country. The company brought the case before an international arbitration court, which in a ruling in 2015 gave the company the right.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Gambia with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
There are sufficient deposits of uranium for recovery to pay off. There are also deposits of tin, salt and kaolin.
Investigations indicate that there may be oil offshore. The then President Jammeh stated in 2004 that large oil resources had been found, but no evidence has so far been presented for the claim.
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The mains are mainly confined to the coastal area and it is heavily loaded; Power outages are common. A new power station was put into operation in Brikama in 2011, which meant a necessary strengthening of capacity. The State Electricity and Water Agency explains its poor service with the fact that customers, not least state companies, do not pay their bills. The price of electricity is among the highest in Africa.
An environmental problem that the Gambia is grappling with is that the recurring drought in recent decades has resulted in the river water reaching an ever higher salt concentration.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
87 kilograms of oil equivalent (2007)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
513 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.3 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
51.5 percent (2015)
France promises new aid
France pledges financial support of EUR 50 million to The Gambia. The money will go to budget support, drinking water and agricultural projects.
The Truth Commission begins to investigate crimes under the dictatorship
A new Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to investigate the abuses committed under the former dictator Jammeh’s rule. It is Parliament that has decided on the TRCC whose mandate is both to find perpetrators, to create reconciliation and to investigate how the abuses have affected the structures of society. Victims and witnesses should be heard at public hearings. The Commission must be able to determine whether damages are to be paid and who should be prosecuted for crimes. Former President Jammeh is in exile in Equatorial Guinea.
Jammeh’s luxury cars are sold online
The Gambia government decides to sell former President Jammeh’s assets, five jets and 30 luxury cars. The purpose is for the money to go to school education. The hope is that they will bring in about $ 10 million through an online auction.
The Gambia economy is growing
A new economic forecast indicates that the Gambian economy will grow by between four and five percent in the year 2018 and 2019. Growth has accelerated due to larger harvests and increased tourism and trade. One reason for concern is the high external debt, which according to IMF figures amounted to 130 percent of GDP in 2017. At a donor conference in Brussels earlier in the year, new support for the country of $ 1.5 billion was promised.
Three young men are killed by police in connection with protests
Unrest erupts when police intervene against villagers in Faraba Banta protesting that their rice fields are being polluted around a sand roof. Three young men are killed by police. Several are also injured, both civilians and policemen. President Barrow writes a twitter message in which he regrets what has happened and promises that it should not be repeated and justice should be shipped. Five policemen are suspended from their posts (they are later charged) and six protesters are arrested. At a similar protest in May, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters. Later, the head of the national police resigns. President Barrow also promises to set up a commission to investigate what has happened, and he calls on any eyewitnesses to come forward.
New Constitutional Commission takes office
A new eleven-member Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) joins. They will review the constitution from 1997. The hope is that they will present a proposal for a new constitution by the end of 2019.
Paramilitary group suspected of murder of migrants in 2005
15th of May
A paramilitary unit, Junglers, controlled by former President Jammeh is accused by Human Watch of executing at least 50 migrants in 2005. The migrants came from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. The migrants, who were on their way to Europe, were arrested on a beach in Gambia suspected of being mercenaries in the country to try to overthrow Jammeh.
The Gambia appoints new mayors
The Gambians are up for re-election. This time to elect the mayor. This time, too, the election is expected to be a great success for President Barrow’s UDP, who did well in the local elections in April.
Success for UDP in local elections
The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) has had great success in local elections, winning 62 seats out of 120 in the country’s eight local councils. The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) wins 23 seats followed by Jammeh’s old party APRC which gets 18 seats.
Two former generals are facing martial law
The Gambian military is prosecuting two former generals, Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba, who accompanied former President Jammeh when he went into exile in Equatorial Guinea in 2017, but have since returned to their homeland and were arrested in their homes in January 2018. They is charged with deserting and is due to appear before martial law on April 4.
Free Trade Agreement in Africa
The Gambia is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.
Barrow faces moratorium on capital punishment
President Barrow announces a temporary stop for the death penalty in The Gambia. He sees it as a first step to eliminate it completely. No one has been executed in The Gambia since 2002, when nine soldiers were arched.
The Gambia again becomes a member of the Commonwealth
The Gambia again becomes a member of the Commonwealth . The country left the cooperation organization under Jammeh’s rule, accusing it of being “an extension of colonialism. All 52 member states approve Gambia’s application for re-entry.
Clear sign for political meetings
Police cancel the stop for political meetings that were introduced earlier in January. It invites all political parties planning meetings to apply for a permit.
Obiang refuses to extradite Jammeh
Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema refuses to extradite Gambia’s former president Jammeh. He motivates his decision that he must be respected as a former African leader, and that if he were extradited, it would make other African leaders unwilling to relinquish power. Jammeh ruled the Gambia with brutal methods for 22 years and he is accused of stealing the equivalent of $ 50 million from the Treasury when he left Gambia. In the home country, a campaign is underway to bring the former president to trial.
Former generals are arrested
Two former generals who fled the country along with Jammeh are arrested when they return to their home country. They are believed to have traveled to Gambia from Equatorial Guinea by air via Morocco. Both previously worked closely with the former president.
Stop for political meetings
Clashes between supporters of President Adama Barrow’s UDP and those supporting the ousted President Yahya Jammeh’s APRC lead to the police temporarily stopping all political meetings. The Gambia will hold local elections in April. However, representatives of the UDP say that it was the villagers who attacked APRC, not their party members.