U.S. Relations With The Gambia

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
June 20, 2016

More information about The Gambia is available on The Gambia page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


During World War II, Gambian troops fought with the Allies in Burma. The Gambia's capital city served as an air stop for the U.S. Army Air Corps and a port of call for Allied naval convoys. The Gambia became independent from the United Kingdom in 1965. President Yayah Jammeh took power in a military coup d’etat in 1994, and has remained in office since. Presidential elections have been held every 5 years since 1996. The next presidential election is scheduled for December 1, 2016. On December 10, 2015 President Jammeh declared that The Gambia would henceforth be known as the Islamic Republic of The Gambia.

U.S. policy seeks to strengthen relations with The Gambia through promoting democracy and good governance, respect for human rights, and combatting transnational threats. Bilateral relations continue to evolve in response to human rights developments.

U.S. Assistance to The Gambia

U.S. assistance supports democracy, human rights, girls' education, agricultural expansion, rural development, refugee support services, and the fight against HIV/AIDS. In addition, the Peace Corps maintains a large program with about 100 volunteers engaged in the environment/agriculture, public health, and education sectors, mainly at the village level. The United States also provides limited military training assistance to The Gambia.

Bilateral Economic Relations

In 2015, The Gambia’s eligibility for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act was suspended. A number of U.S. citizens have set up small businesses in The Gambia and several U.S. brand companies such as Western Union, MoneyGram, UPS, Motorola, and Coca Cola are represented there.

The Gambia's Membership in International Organizations

The Gambia plays an active role in international affairs, especially West African and Islamic affairs. The Gambia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia is C. Patricia “Pat” Alsup; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

The Gambia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2233Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 240, Washington, D.C. 2007; tel. (202) 785-1399.

More information about The Gambia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State The Gambia Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook The Gambia Page
USAID West Africa Page | USAID West Africa Mission Page
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information