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Facts about the Gambia

The Gambia is West Africa’s smallest country. It is – almost 80 km of coastline to the Atlantic – completely enclosed by neighboring Senegal. The population is approx. 1.6 million, of which approx. 50,000 in the capital Banjul and the nearby town of Serrakunda. There are eight different tribal people, all of whom have their own language and culture. The official language is English.


The Gambia River’s upland, which would later become today’s Gambia, was, as far as is known, originally inhabited by the people of diola, and from the 13th century it was during the Mali kingdom, where the area was inhabited by inter alia fulani, wolof and mandinka. The latter immigrated in the 14th century with Islam and created small kingdoms along the river and organized trade. In 1455, the Portuguese discovered the Alvise Cadamosto Gambia River, which led to the creation of several trading stations dealing with gold, ivory and especially slaves, while the Empire lost control of the area and went under. This trade took place with local rulers and European merchants from Portugal, the Netherlands and the UK. There were frequent internal conflicts among Europeans. In 1588, Britain acquired the rights to trade and established the British Fort James on an island in the river in 1660.

The Board

Troels Nørlem, 
Troels (1960) is a journalist and photographer. He is a former photographer in Mozambique.

Marie-Louise Arnfast
Member of the Board
Marie-Louise has worked with communication for many years, among other things. in private companies. She currently runs the communication agency Arnfast & Kirkeby together with a partner.

Jesper Heldgaard 
Deputy Chairman
Jesper (1956) is a freelance journalist, specializing in development, relief, globalization, climate change and world trade.

Torben Due
Board member

Torben worked for the UN Food Program 1986-2012 in many different countries and has since worked as an independent consultant.