Back in the days
Although not much is known about the early history of The Gambia, it is clear that people have been inhabiting the banks of the River Gambia for thousands of years. Around 1200 the Fula first migrated to the region, and they still account for 20% of Gambia’s population. Between 1400 and 1600, under the rule of the Mali Empire, the Madinka started to live here, today the largest ethic group in the country at 42% of the total population. In the years that followed both the Portuguese, British and French tried to claim the area to incorporate it into their colonial empire. In 1783 the Treaty of Paris gave Great Britain the possession of The Gambia, while an 1889 agreement with France established the present boundaries.
As a British Crown Colony, The Gambia received its own executive and legislative councils in 1901 and gradually progressed towards self-government, with the pace of constitutional reform increasing after World War II. Following general elections in 1962 full internal self-governance was granted a year later,
to be finalized by official independence in 1965. First in the form of a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth, later as a republic with
Dawda Kairaba Jawara as head of state. In 1994, the Jawara government was deposed by a coup d’état led by Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. For two years he ruled the country as the leader of the Armed Forces Providing Ruling Council, to be sworn into office as president after elections. He was re-elected in 2001, 2006 and 2011. Under his iron fist presidency The Gambia decided to leave the Commonwealth in 2013, stating they would ‘never again be part of a neo-colonial organization’. However, under the rule of the new president, Adama Barrow who was elected in 2016, the country re-joined in early 2018 the intergovernmental organisation.