The Gambia is one of the smallest countries in West Africa, with a population of 1.5 million, and it is ranked 151 out of 169 countries in the UN Human Development Index. Its economy is primarily agrarian, but tourism is also a major industry, followed by fisheries and a fast-growing financial services sector. In 2010, the economy is expected to grow at a rate of 5%. The main areas of growth have been in the construction, telecoms and finance sectors. Because of the large population of Gambians abroad, remittances flowing into the country are also significant. Currently, inflation is about 4%, according to Central Bank figures in March 2010. Gambia is ranked 91 out of 178 countries on Transparency International’s Global Corruption Index, making it among the most improved countries on the planet.
As an ex-colony of Britain, English is the official language of communication. The country is peaceful and a popular destination for UK and other European tourists, mainly Scandinavian, German and Dutch, and is often referred to as ‘the smiling coast’.
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