The first traces of settlement in the estuary of the Gambia River are dated back to the Stone Age. The oldest written record of the area dates from the 5th century BC. by the Carthaginian Hanno, who tried to circumnavigate Africa. Over the centuries, various Negroid tribes settled in the area of what is now the Gambia, which ran cattle and wandering fields. Before 1000 AD the area was under the influence of the western Sudanese empire Ghana, from the 13th century it belonged to the Islamic empire of Mali. By this time, Islamized tribes such as the Wolof, Mandingo and Fulbe had already settled in the area of today’s Gambia and founded various small kingdoms there.
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In the middle of the 15th century, the Venetian navigator Alvise Cadamosto entered the country on behalf of the Portuguese in the delta delta of the Gambia River. Several commercial branches were founded, from which the exploration and conquest of the country began. Slaves brought in from the hinterland were shipped to South America and the Caribbean Islands. Portugal also allowed other nations such as Great Britain and France to use the Gambia as a transport route. When the Portuguese had to withdraw from the area, a battle broke out between France and Great Britain over the areas of what is now the Gambia and Senegal (which surrounds the Gambia).While France was able to conquer a large part of the area for itself, the British settled in the delta and lower reaches of the Gambia River.
In 1765 the estuary of the Gambia River and some reconquered areas in what is now Senegal’s British colony (Senegambia) became, and in 1816 the coastal area received protectorate status. In 1815 the city of Bathurst was founded at the mouth of the Gambia (today’s capital Banjul).
In 1843 the coastal area was declared a crown colony, the hinterland of what is now the Gambia was only added in 1888. According to AbbreviationFinder, an Anglo-French Agreement of 1889 established the borders of what is now the Republic of The Gambia.
Aspirations for independence
At the beginning of the 20th century, an independence movement gradually began to form, which increased after the end of the Second World War. Great Britain granted political say, which was followed by the establishment of various parties in the country such as the “United Party” (UP) and the “People’s Progressive Party” (PPP). Gambia was granted limited autonomy in 1960, and the PPP led by Dawda Kaiwara Jawara emerged victorious in the first general election. Nevertheless, Pierre N’Jie was initially appointed by the UP as head of government of the Gambia, and it was only in 1962 that Dawda Kaiwara Jawara took over from the strongest party, the PPP. On February 18, 1965, Gambia gained full independence under the British Commonwealth of Nations.
The presidential republic
In 1970 the Gambia was declared a presidential republic after a referendum. Dawda Kaiwara Jawara became president and head of government in one. Jawara ruled the country for over 20 years. In 1982 the Gambia united with Senegal to form the “Senegambia” confederation, the president of which was the Senegalese head of state, Jawara was the vice president. The confederation only existed until 1989, when Senegal President Abdou Diouf Diouf dissolved it. A friendship contract regulated the continued close relationship between the two countries.
In July 1994, Jawara was overthrown by an army coup and fled to Senegal in exile. The coup leader, General Yayah Jammeh, declared himself chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council, overruled the constitution, and banned parties. Under international pressure – both the United States and the European Union (with Britain) cut Gambia’s vital financial support – the military junta announced general elections in 1996 and promised to transfer power to a civilian government. A new constitution entered into force in 1997. In early 1997 elections (the ban on parties had been lifted), Yayah Jammeh’s party won the majority of seats and has been able to hold them to this day.He was elected president in 1996 and confirmed in office in 2001, 2006 and 2011, with opposition parties repeatedly talking about electoral fraud. There are repeated protests by the population and attempted coups (most recently in March 2006) against the state leadership. The President caused a stir when he announced that he could cure AIDS with herbal medicines and prayers. The regional head of the UN development program UNDP, Fadzai Gwaradzimba, criticized the healing method as scientifically unsustainable and was then exposed from the country. The human rights situation in The Gambia has been sharply criticized internationally; freedom of the press is restricted.criticized the healing method as scientifically unsustainable and was then expelled from the country. The human rights situation in The Gambia has been sharply criticized internationally; freedom of the press is restricted.criticized the healing method as scientifically unsustainable and was then expelled from the country. The human rights situation in The Gambia has been sharply criticized internationally; freedom of the press is restricted.