Living in The Gambia

Heart Disease and Lifestyle Improvement For Women

I take pleasure in touring round West Africa, particularly round culturally wealthy areas mixing nature with fashionable infrastructural developments. Both my air and street travels round this ECOWAS subregion in the final 15 years has been each instructive and enriching for me. I’ve been culturally immersed with range in languages, faith, tradition, meals, structure, local weather, financial life, natural world.

The information acquired, can’t be quantified in financial phrases, and i’ll suggest this academic excursions to our youths to allow them admire and tolerate different cultures, thus lowering conflicts and disputes amongst nations. Somewhere else, i’ve written and held a number of seminars on working and dwelling in Ghana about 11 years in the past.

Today, the success story of Ghana is obvious to all and this nation Ghana, has emerged as top-of-the-line economies in the subregion. Again, i’m introducing one other rising nice financial system to you, The Gambia.

Before the entire world flood right here, and also you'll be overlooked, why not take my advise severely and make investments, work, stay or vacation in this stunning nation to expertise what I'm speaking about? I like this peaceable nation blessed with hospitable folks. Gambians welcome you with pure inspiring smiles. The Gambia is bounded spherical by an historic river, wealthy in pure sources of sea meals, animals and therapeutic powers. Welcome to The Gambia, the smiling coast of West Africa.

From the pure great thing about Makasutu Village, historic websites of Kunta Kinteh village, James Island, Kachikally Crocodile pool, Kanilai Farm, and so many different websites to the seashores and folks, you’ll hardly need to depart. Little marvel, there are such a lot of repeat vacationers coming to The Gambia for the previous 10-15 years that I've met. They come from throughout Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa. At the seashore, the fantastic thing about the Sea, the sand and solar will remind you of Mother Africa.

How in regards to the funding local weather, very favorable and investor pleasant.With a secure financial system with a single digit inflation charge and forex alternate of US $ 1.0 = GMD26 (As at ninth April, 2010). The Gambia is a multicultural nation with numerous immigrants from West Africa, Europe, America, Middle East and Asia completely dwelling as traders, working with a number of NGOs, some retired traders whereas many others are engaged in importation companies and owned a number of buying malls. The Gambia is residence to traders, volunteers, professionals pursuing their profession, and vacation makers who’ve made this peaceable nation their vacation spot. Welcome to The Gambia, the place there isn’t any discrimination based mostly on faith, creed, coloration, race, gender, social standing, incapacity and with zero tolerance to corruption. Read on! Alsamadeh!

The main markets are in Banjul, Serrekunda and Brikama. Here, you possibly can store for staple meals like fish, meat, greens, clothings, jeweleries and style equipment. The locals welcome folks with pure smiles after exchanging the spiritual greetings: "Asalamalekun", which means, peace be unto you. Traditionally, Gambian ladies go to market every day to purchase what to prepare dinner.They will be seen with the plastic baskets with holders thronging to the busy markets to buy contemporary fish, meat, greens and take time to greet one another asking after every others' households, relations and get up to date about present social occasions and different ladies gossips. Some of the elites, nonetheless, choose to buy in buying malls round Kairaba Avenue, and purchase meals in giant portions to retailer at residence.

Mini-markets, or what some name supermarkets are everywhere in the Greater Banjul space competing with the standard markets. There are additionally the neighborhood outlets, referred to as "Fulah Shops", owned principally by Mauritanian residents and in some instances by Guineans. This is the place to get the domestically made bread referred to as, "Tapalapa". This is normally a protracted banana formed clay oven baked bread that’s normally transported on bicycles by the suppliers early in the morning, mid-day and sundown time. I choose shopping for this, when contemporary, it's delicate and extra interesting than the stale hardened and uninviting ones. A full one goes for D5 and the half is D2.50. The bread is normally offered with a pleasant unfold of butter, mayonnaises, egg, potato and spiced with jumbo or maggi sauce relying on the customer's preferences.

There can also be "Senfu", which has a crumb nature and less expensive, being offered for D3 for a full roll. However, i seen the "Senfu" is just not as filling because the "Tapalapa" that may maintain me going for the entire day, like a bowl of "Fufu", which is the energiser for many Nigerians, Ghanaians and Sierra-Leoneans in The Gambia. The native "Fufu" not like those discovered in Ghana and Nigeria are constructed from "Saddam Rice", as it’s referred to as domestically, by milling it into powder and cooked right into a stable paste in a pot. The hottest lunch meal, amongst Gambians, is the jollof rice, domestically known as "Benechin". Different varieties of stew are ready to eat the rice meal like "Plasas", "Super ganja", "Damoda", and many others. I benefit from the Gambia breakfast meal of "Thura Girthe", which may be very wealthy in protein. This is a combination of properly pounded rice cooked with milled groundnut and eaten with a variety of yogurt "Sour Milk".

Gambians eat collectively. Small teams of between 5-Eight individuals are normally seen consuming from the identical bowl, and but, when a customer seems, she or he is beakoned to nonetheless be part of them and share out of it. This is the real love, i'm but to see anyplace. If you suppose there isn’t any free meal anyplace, you're flawed; come to The Gambia! This clarify the rationale for very low or non-existent crime charge. At least, a lunch meal is assured for anybody dwelling in The Gambia. Food is shared, nobody goes residence hungry. The ladies additionally waste numerous meals by all the time getting ready lots anticipating guests to hitch them when serving their meals. They bundle the rice meals in giant vast bowls with a canopy and wrap it in a standard method with fabric, that may safe the meals from spilling and carry to their husbands at their respective working locations for them to eat with colleagues. Sometimes, they go journey lengthy distances, to ship the meals, like a household dwelling in Lamin and the husband working in Serrekunda.


The official working hours is Eight am- 4pm from Monday to Thursday. Friday is half day. Most of Gambians are Muslims, and so they go for the Friday Special prayers in the afternoon. Although, the "African time" idea continues to be prevalent among the many folks, that is widespread with the federal government employees, the personal sector is healthier. Most critical enterprise appointments begin from 9am, although, they’re scheduled for 8am.

The main purpose typically for arriving at late work, will be on account of unavailability of business automobiles to move employees to their respective locations of labor. Even, at locations of labor, Gambians don’t forget to take their Chinese natural tea referred to as "Atire".


A primary time customer, to the Gambia will suppose the sport of soccer has it's origin from right here, due to the love and fervour connected to this recreation. There are fairly numerous playgrounds which can be by no means saved idle due to the teeming youths that religiously practice and play every day matches, particularly in the evenings after work or faculty. Similarly, on weekends, very first thing in the morning, you’ll discover everybody exercising or taking part in the sport they love most; soccer.

The discussions of most of those youths that constitutes half of the nation's inhabitants is centered on the European matches. Teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid, AC Milan and different massive groups have passionate followers in The Gambia.

There are many Football Viewing facilities which can be making a fortune exhibiting the stay matches to most Gambian. Although, a few of these youths won’t know the capital of Nigeria, they usually inform me it's Lagos, however they actually know all of the European Club Managers, first line ups and transfers of those key gamers, to not speak in regards to the newest scores in the premiership or championship.

The Gambia's nationwide group, referred to as the "Scorpion" is adored and also you dare not say something dangerous towards this group in order to not incur the wrath of my soccer lovers. A loss in recreation when "Scorpions" play, will flip your entire nation right into a grave yard, "a mourning period". But with a win; the Brazilian samba dancers will envy the dance steps of each the younger girls and boys singing: "ho, ho ho ho, ha, ha, ha, ha..haleyomii". Therefore, to make mates with Gambians is really easy, simply decide up a soccer matter!


The weather conditions of The Gambia is barely totally different from different ECOWAS nations. There is just one cycle of rainfall which begins round June and ends round October. It is normally sizzling through the raining durations, not like different nations that have chilly durations.

The Hamattan interval begins from November to February. However, the climate experiences erratic modifications typically. The seashores are clear and supply succor to visiting vacationers that need to expertise the fantastic thing about the solar, the ocean and the sand of the gambia.

There are a number of seashores to go to. From Banjul seashore to Palma Rima, Senegambia and as much as Sanyang. There are so many personal seashores alongside this line. Most white vacationers referred to as "Toubabs" are normally welcome at these seashores which have engaging conventional bars with pure juice, canned drinks, barbecue and particular packages for guests.

The menace of "bumsters" have been curtailed and there are vacationer police patrolling many of the busy seashores to discourage the "unsolicited friends." The seashores are besieged by virtually all Gambians throughout festive durations or throughout main musical concert events or reveals.


A customer arriving The Gambia round Easter or Christmas will suppose all Gambians are Christians, with the celebration and partying. Similarly, across the Muslim festivals of "Koriteh or Tobaski" will give one the impression that there isn’t any single Christian in city.

This is the sweetness and variety of the Gambian hospitality and tolerance of different religions in The Gambia. The folks take pleasure in good music. The native artists are adored, a few of whom are Jalibah Kuyateh, Titi Kololi, Freakie Joe, Asan Njie, Olugander and Sambou to say a number of.

The ladies, each younger and previous, take pleasure in dancing. The very bodily dances of leaping and kicking the air is widespread and that i usually marvel the place the ladies get the additional vitality and energy from. Some younger males that aren’t used to those dances, dare not problem these ladies in a dancing competitors, if they don’t need to be hospitalized.

The leisure business is due to this fact very vibrant. Most folks calm down by watching Nigerian, Senegalese and Ghanaian residence movies. There are a number of video rental outlets to select the newest Nigerian movies from. Most of the banks and resorts present international channels like DSTV, CNN, AlJAZEERA, EUROSPORT and many others.


Except for ECOWAS nationals, which can be allowed to work freely in some key authorities sectors like Education and Judiciary, different nationals are solely allowed to work as expatriate and must undergo a scrutiny and get approval from the immigration division, earlier than they are often permitted to work with the federal government.

However, traders are allowed to carry in their work power, offered they abide by the immigration legal guidelines of acquiring a piece / residential allow. Openings exist all yr spherical for certified academics in Senior secondary faculties everywhere in the nation.

Most of the vacancies are normally stuffed by Nigerians, Ghanaians, Senegalese, Sierra-Leoneans, Liberians and a handful of different ECOWAS nationals. Openings additionally exist for lecturers in University of The Gambia, a number of skilled coaching institutes and different tertiary institutes like Management Development Institute (MDI), Gambia College and Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).

Although, the personal institutes remuneration is greater than the federal government pay scale. Most of the secondary faculties in the provinces are in want of academics, most academics moderately choose to switch to the city cities leaving the agricultural villages with out certified educating power.

Government sponsored faculties remuneration bundle for non-Gambian academics are between D3,500-D4,000 per shift (Morning or afternoon) relying on the entry degree expertise and qualification. The personal faculties pay between D4,500-D10,000, relying on the college and expertise of the instructor.

Most faculties choose academics which have gathered "Gambian experience", which means, they should have taught in The Gambia for some years to grasp the system. Combining each shifts means extra revenue. Most authorities faculties choose to pay full wage for the morning shift and half wage for the afternoon shift. There are different a number of alternatives of revenue incomes, by organizing research courses for the scholars after shut of faculty by some academics. Most academics usually change faculty to these paying extra, and each time period witnesses a mass drift of academics round.

The coveted faculties are: Marina International, SBEC, Zenith, SOS, Scanaid and West African International. Linguistics and sciences are the popular topics usually in excessive demand. English language, English Literature, Mathematics, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Agric Science, Applied Electricity and many others, are "hot cake" topics for most faculties.
ECOWAS certified academics (M.Sc, B.Sc & HND holders in the topics listed above) are normally being employed in secondary faculties in The Gambia.

Other professionals wanted to work in the personal sectors are:

1. Lawyers with LL.b diploma which have efficiently accomplished Law faculty and referred to as to Bar to work as
Magistrates / Judges with the Ministry of Justice.
2. Professional Graphic & Website Designers.
3. Professional Advertisers.
4. Desktop & Laptop Repair Technicians.
5. Automobile Technicians.
6. Theater Arts & Dramatic artists.
7. Film Directors & Producers.
8. Professional Actors & Actresses.
9. Radio & TV Program Presenters.
10. Fish Breeding & Farming
11. Aquarium Making & Gold Fish Rearing.
12. Leadership Development Trainers.
13. Trainers in distinctive abilities & vocations.
14. Cottage Industry set-up trainers (Body lotions, soaps, cartons, shoe polish and many others.)

The monetary business has witnessed an outstanding progress with addition of extra banks becoming a member of the league lately, bringing the full variety of banks to 14 in the Gambia. Most of those Nigerian banks are opening up branches and can want extra workers.

Although, it’s far cheaper to rent the locals than expatriate by the banks, due to the particular tax paid for not hiring Gambians. The identical rule applies to the resort and tourism business. The Non Governmental Organizations, NGOs are allowed to carry in their personnel.

Volunteers are additionally welcome in The Gambia. Volunteers can have a cultural immersion and acquire worldwide expertise in this peaceable nation. For vacation makers, i’ll suggest visiting this small however distinctive nation for these in search of a Peaceful, Affordable and Memorable African Retreat (PAMAR!)



The authorities welcome funding in all sectors, particular consideration is, nonetheless, given to Agriculture due to the significance of meals safety to any nation. Other sectors like Real Estate & Properties, Mining Industry, Hotel & Tourism, Health, Education, Manufacturing and Agro-allied Sectors are key areas to enter and get authorities incentive, in tax aid and whole assist.

ECOWAS residents take pleasure in free motion of individuals and items inside the 16 nations block, the required capital wanted to re-locate to the Gambia to work, stay, make investments or vacation is way lower than what’s required to quiet down in different ECOWAS nations. With the electrical energy tariffs coming down (due to the federal government initiative), NAWEC, the electrical energy firm is doing her finest to ensure secure provide of electrical energy and plenty of companies solely depend on this secure electrical energy provide.

Incidences of armed theft assault are very uncommon. I’ve not seen or witness or hear about armed theft assaults in the final six years. I solely learn in one of many newspapers, one or two occasions, about such assaults in the provinces some few years in the past. People transfer about with out worry of molestation or assault. Petty cell phone theft are normally widespread.

The residential homes are inexpensive, and rents of 1 to 3 months advance funds, are demanded. The individuals are heat and hospitable. For as little as D500 monthly, a room will be rented across the busy areas like Brikama, Latrikunda, Lamin, Tabokoto, Wellingara and Coastal street areas.

The 2-bed room flats with all of the conveniences goes for between D1,500-D2,500 monthly in these areas relying on the completed style and proximity to the busy highways. ECOWAS residents can enter and settle in the nation with alternatives to begin small companies.

For these sensible residents in the nation, there are a number of companies to select from and do effortlessly in this funding pleasant nation. Anyone coming to the Gambia for the primary time, should to begin with plan and put together, realizing what to do and the place to remain and having enough details about the tradition and enterprise local weather.


The particular areas, sensible traders, can rush into to take a position presently, from our detailed analysis findings are:
A) Setting up a personal college with residential campus to draw all ECOWAS residents.
B) Eateries like MacDonald's, Chicken George, Mr. Briggs, Sweet Sensation, Tantalizers, TFC, and many others
C) Botanical Garden / Love Garden across the Tourist areas.
D) Building low price properties to be offered or rented out to folks.
E) Ground nut processing manufacturing unit.
F) Feed Mill for Poultry, Rabbitry and Turkey Production.
G) Cashew Processing Factory (CNS Oil, brake oil, glue, rubber, electrical wires and many others).
H) Natural Juice canning manufacturing unit (Fruits like mangoes, orange, lime and many others abound).
I) Fresh Flower manufacturing and export.
J) Fish Canning / Food packaging for export.

There are different 90 companies we’ve got surveyed to be potential on the spot cash earners for sensible traders to tackle. Kindly request for an in depth mission profile on this. The Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zones Agency, (GIPFZA) welcome traders with distinctive gives of tax aid, authorities assist and non-bureaucratic processing of vital paperwork to permit for fast set-up and funding in the Gambia.

To have a good thought of ​​the enterprise local weather, i like to recommend that every one potential traders learn the newest enterprise listing (The Gambia Business Directory).


The Gambia, although small, however has a strong financial system with fourteen business banks, 4 GSM firms, a superb variety of airways plying the subregion and the surface world. There are greater than 5 every day newspapers, round eight radio stations and plenty of resorts of worldwide requirements together with the 5-star Sheraton Hotel.

The main roads from the airport to most busy business facilities like Kairaba, Brufut, West Field, Senegambia, Brikama, Latrikunda and Banjul are all tarred with properly lighted road lights. Clean, contemporary and handled pipe borne water is accessible to most properties 24hrs uninterrupted.

Communication and web companies are fairly cheaper than most different nations. The price of beginning a enterprise in The Gambia is way cheaper each in the quick time period and long run. The actual property enterprise is having fun with an incredible growth with 30% return yearly on investments, and the Meltdown phenomenon is just not simply noticeable in The Gambia.

The Gambia is a vacationer vacation spot and repeated guests are widespread in this excellent and peace loving smiling coast of The Gambia. Although, The Gambia is a tax based mostly financial system, the federal government makes substantial earnings from Tourism and exportation of agricultural commodities like Groundnut, Fishes, Cotton and stable minerals.

It is obligatory for each resident to have a TIN quantity (Tax Identification Number) earlier than a checking account will be opened. New buildings are arising every day and it’s common sight, to see many of the property house owners promoting their cellphone contacts for these in renting or leasing these properties from excessive rise buildings in Senegambia axis, Kairaba, Fajara, West Field, Tallinding, Tabokoto , Abuko, Lamin, Yundum and many others.

Gambians in diaspora are speeding residence to take a position in this excessive yielding property sector. A customer that final visited the nation a yr in the past, will discover a exceptional distinction in this infrastructural developments. The Gambia is a clear nation, particularly with the introduction of the month-to-month cleansing workouts, referred to as "SETSETAL", which is a particular cleansing day for everyone on the final Saturday of the month between the hours of 8-1pm and thereafter there may be free motion .

Municipal officers go round to make sure the wastes are correctly disposed and guarantee compliance to the legislation, that every one outlets and companies most be closed and no motion of business automobiles, till the tip of the cleansing train.

Health sensible, it’s protected to stay in The Gambia, as a result of the well being supply system may be very environment friendly and properly geared up with the most effective medical personnel in the world. There are varied well being facilities, properly unfold across the nation with ambulances standing by to shortly evacuate emergencies to Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital, RVTH, Banjul the place sophisticated instances are normally taken.

Visitors coming for the primary time, due to this fact, are suggested to take the suitable vaccinations beneficial. ECOWAS residents should take vaccinations towards yellow fever, meningitis, Polio and many others and guarantee these are stamped on their Yellow Card, that is even taken extra severely, when touring by street by Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal to The Gambia . Not having a sound Yellow Card may price you a fortune in fines you'll be requested to Pay!

Medical companies is free to Gambians, besides the registration card which is D5 solely. ECOWAS residents are, nonetheless, required to pay for price of therapy and hospitalization, relying on the therapy. Tourist visiting The Gambia are suggested to have a Travel Insurance when visiting

Transportation inside the nation is inexpensive. Moving from one location to a different is sort of simple. There are three classes of business street transportation. One, is the business Bus, that solely enable most of three passengers on a row which is handy, not like 4 on a row in a number of different nations. This kind of buses go across the main locations like Banjul to Serrekunda (D6), Banjul to Tabokoto (D10), Banjul to Brikama (D15), Serrekunda to Senegambia (D5) and many others.

The second class is the yellow and inexperienced painted taxis that take folks for D5 a drop or chartered companies for many vacationers and locals, referred to as "Town Trip". The final class, are the inexperienced painted and branded "Tourist Taxis" for vacationers from and to the airport, resort areas, most seashores and historic websites for brand new guests. They are costlier than the yellow painted ones.

Except when it is vitally essential, first time guests are, nonetheless, inspired to keep away from going out across the rush hours, like 7-8am and 4-6pm, particularly when commuters are going to or getting back from work. From Tabokoto, Lamin, West discipline, Serrekunda and Brikama in the morning to Banjul and returning again residence in the night is all the time very hectic and costly to take a taxi. The bus-stops are normally congested and the site visitors chaotic round these durations.

There are many properly organized tour operators with luxurious air conditioned buses to select from and to the airport all guests and vacationer that organize their visits by them. They additionally accomplice with most resorts on excursions to historic websites and across the cities.

There space ferry companies out there to move folks throughout the River Gambia. From Barra to Banjul is D25 solely. Visitors can come in to the nation both by land by the Gambian border with Senegal at Hamdallah, or from Guinea and Cassamace, Senegal by Basse. By air is thru the one airport at Yundum. The Banjul International Airport, top-of-the-line in the subregion with the longest run-way and fashionable radial amenities put in.

The airport is just not all the time busy and vacationers ought to all the time inform somebody to select them on the airport, particularly through the weekends when business actions are low. However, vacationer taxis can be found at any time for between D500-D800 relying on the space, normally between 15-30km from the airport.

There is a Bureau de Change on the airport to alter cash from different currencies like Euro, {dollars}, kilos and CFA to Dalaisi. For Visa Card carriers, there may be ECO Bank ATM on the airport. Bank PHB and Trust financial institution even have their ATMs on the airport.

On arrival in the nation, whenever you hear "Nagadef?", Meaning how are you, simply reply "Jamarek", which means i'm high quality. After a hand shake, say "Jerejef", which means thanks.
Jerejef, Jarama, Baraka (which means thanks in Three totally different native languages).