Where Is The Gambia?
The smallest country in mainland Africa, The Gambia is located in West Africa. This country of 10,689 square km has a short coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and is bordered by only one country, being surrounded by Senegal on all other sides. The nation is named after the Gambia River which dissects the nation into two parts by flowing through its center. The country has a population of about 1,857,181 people. The Gambia has a population density of 176.1 persons per square km.
What Type of Government Does The Gambia Have?
The Gambia is a presidential republic where the President of the country holds the office of both the head of government and head of state. The nation’s Constitution of divides the government into the three branches of legislative, executive, and judicial. There have been several periods in The Gambia’s history when dictatorial governments have been imposed by military coups.
What Is The Capital of The Gambia?
Banjul serves as the capital of the country. The city was formerly known as Bathurst. The city proper has a population of around 31,301 living in an area of 12 square km. The metropolitan area hosts a population of 413,397 (as of 2013) and has an area of 93 square km.
Banjul is located in the Banjul Division of The Gambia. It is on the Banjul Island, also known as the St. Mary's Island where the Gambia River drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Bridges connect the capital city to the mainland to the west and also to other parts of the Greater Banjul Area. Ferry services also help in transporting passengers and goods from the island to the mainland.
History of Banjul
Banjul was established as a military post by Captain Alexander Grant who served the British army. It was founded in 1816 under the orders of the British Colonial Office that had ordered the foundation of a military post to suppress the slave trade that was highly active in the region at that time. Another aim was to allow British merchants ejected from Senegal (that had been annexed by France) to have a nearby outlet for trade. Banjul Island was selected by Captain Grant as the position of the new military outpost. It was named after the 3rd Earl Bathurst, Henry Bathurst. Soon, the settlement of Bathurst started growing and it became the capital of The Gambia, a British colony at that time. By 1947, Bathurst was governed by its own town council. Following the independence of The Gambia in 1965, Bathurst was promoted to a city status and made the capital of the country. In 1973, the name of the city was changed to Banjul.
Role of Banjul as the Capital City of The Gambia?
As the capital city of the country, Banjul hosts the official residence of the President of The Gambia which is called the State House. The Parliament of the country also meets in the parliament building located in the city. Other ministry offices, embassies, and national highest courts of the country are also located here. The city also serves as the commercial, educational, and transportation hub of The Gambia.