A small country that is surrounded by Senegal, The Gambia has a population of just under two million people and the country’s main export is peanuts. Although The Gambia has maintained relative stability over the past few years, the country is struggling with another area, namely, infrastructure.
In a country with over 1600 miles of roads, only 35 percent of the roads have been paved. Roads in the capital Banjul have been maintained, but outside the city, roads are often blocked due to flooding or other weather related circumstances. In addition, electricity is not well developed and petroleum is imported as there is limited energy resources from inside the country. Some new steps have been taken in terms of greener and more reliable energy in The Gambia. Wind energy is a possibility in one town, which has been given a specific license.
Another important aspect about The Gambia is that the Gambia River runs through most of the country, so the infrastructure surrounding water travel must continue improving. The Port in Banjul is in great condition to work with different industries and more can possibly be done to open additional major ports or stops along the river for trade and industry.
Transportation by land and water have been seen by the government as critical for the country to function. Working on creating better roads and waterways will benefit infrastructure in The Gambia. River ports need to be updated as does the port in Banjul. Just because the port is operational, it does not mean that it cannot be improved.
In the last decade, technological infrastructure in The Gambia has been expanding quite rapidly. There are more telephone lines, and cellular usage is up although it has been challenging to coordinate. Furthermore, enhancing Internet communication is a possible next step as almost everyone in The Gambia gets their news from the radio.
Infrastructure in The Gambia is not perfect, but it is moving forward. Once it improves in these areas of transportation, energy, and telecommunication, the country will be on its way to bettering life for its citizens, as well as its economy and environment.
– Emilia Beuger