- GDP (PPP):
- $6.1 billion
- 4.7% 5-year compound annual growth
- $2,428 per capita
- Inflation (CPI):
- Public Debt:
The Gambia’s economic freedom score is 57.9, making its economy the 101st freest in the 2023 Index. Its score is essentially unchanged from last year. The Gambia is ranked 11th out of 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is below the world average.
Much-needed measures to improve macroeconomic stability and economic growth, which include reforming fiscal policies and strengthening the management of public finance, have generated some positive results, but institutional weaknesses still constrain overall economic freedom. The judicial system lacks the capacity to defend property rights effectively. Corruption undermines prospects for long-term economic development.
The Gambia gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1965. Dictator Yahya Jammeh took power in 1994, was defeated by Adama Barrow in the 2016 presidential election, and refused to step down until regional countries forced him from office. Barrow decided to serve his full term until 2021, breaking a pledge to leave after three years, and won a second term in 2021 as head of the National People’s Party. The government encourages Chinese investment and has signed a duty-free trade agreement with Beijing. Heavy dependence on exports of peanuts leaves the economy vulnerable to price fluctuations and market shocks.
Rule of Law
The overall rule of law is weak in The Gambia. The country’s property rights score is below the world average; its judicial effectiveness score is below the world average; and its government integrity score is below the world average.
The top individual and corporate tax rates are, respectively, 35 percent and 27 percent. The tax burden equals 11.0 percent of GDP. Three-year government spending and budget balance averages are, respectively, 23.4 percent and –3.1 percent of GDP. Public debt equals 83.8 percent of GDP.
The overall regulatory framework is characterized by red tape and a lack of transparency, and regulations are applied inconsistently. The labor market remains stagnant, burdened with high unemployment and underemployment. The most recent available inflation rate is 7.4 percent.
The trade-weighted average tariff rate is 12.8 percent, and layers of nontariff barriers further deter trade flows. Foreign and domestic investors are generally treated equally under the law. Credit to the private sector has increased, but the overall financial system remains underdeveloped.