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Washington DC, August, 2014: President of the Gambia Yahya Jammeh and First Lady Zineb Jammeh at the US-Africa Leaders Summit (source: dpa)

Capricious leader stymies growth in drought-struck Gambia

External shocks and structural problems are threatening the viability of the Gambia, the smallest economy on the African mainland. While the government has implemented a few corrective measures recommended by the International Monetary Fund, the outlook remains decidedly gloomy.

<i>The country’s undiversified economy relies on tourism and agriculture, which were severely damaged by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and delayed summer rains last year. As a result, the trade and fiscal deficits widened, putting pressure on the currency. But the Gambia’s biggest problem is its deepening international isolation, caused by a repressive and unpredictable regime.</...

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 Teresa Nogueira Pinto
IMF staff report noted in August that ‘major policy slippages’ had considerably worsened the country’s economic prospects
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