State & Government



The Gambia


Independence: February 18, 1965.
Constitution: January 16, 1997.
Head of State: H.E. Adama Barrow 
The Government:

The Gambia is a multi-party democratic republic.  The President of the Republic, who is directly elected by universal adult suffrage, is the Head of State and holds executive authority.  Legislative authority is vested in a unicameral parliament called the National Assembly.  The legal system is based on a composite of common law, Koranic law, and customary law. The judicial system is composed of lower courts such as the Magistrates Court, Khadis (Muslim) Courts, and District tribunals, and at the higher level, there is the Supreme Court and The Gambia Court of Appeal.

Executive power is vested in the President who is also Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President appoints the Cabinet that include the vice-president, who is leader of government business in the House of Representatives.

Legislative power is vested in the National Assembly, with 53 members: 48 elected and 5 nominated members.  The speaker of the national assembly heads the parliament.

Administrative areas:
Capital and the five Regions
Banjul City Council (BCC), Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Western Region, Lower River Region, Upper River Region, Central River Region, North Bank Region.

The Gambia, a former British colony for over 200 years, gained its independence on the 18th of February 1965.  The country became a Republic in 1970 under the leadership of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara who ruled until his succession by H.E Lt.Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh in 1994. Two years later,  The Gambia was returned to a Democratic Government whereby the incumbent H.E. President Yahya  A.J.J. Jammeh introduced a new Constitution. Under the current Constitution, general elections through secret ballots are held every five years to elect candidates who constitute the country’s National Assembly.

For administrative purposes, the country is divided into a capital (Banjul) and Seat of Government together with the adjoining Kanifing muniscipaliity and the Regions.  The Regions are each headed by a Governor who is the administrative head.   These regions are further subdivided into 35 Districts locally administered by Seyfolu (Chiefs).  Each district covers a number of villages and settlements with the Alkalo as the village head.

Over the years, Gambia has gained an international reputation as a land of peace and tranquillity