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Canada-The Gambia relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and The Gambia established diplomatic relations in 1966, soon after the country gained its independence in 1965. After the 2016 elections which ended the dictatorial regime of President Jammeh that lasted 22 years, Canada has been actively involved in The Gambia’s transition to democracy. Canada also supported The Gambia’s reintegration in the Commonwealth and observer status in La Francophonie.

Canada is represented in the Gambia by the Embassy of Canada to Senegal, in Dakar.

The Gambia is represented in Canada by the Embassy of The Gambia in Washington, D.C.

Trade relations

In 2022, the main Canadian merchandise exports to The Gambia included vehicles and parts as well as consumer goods. The main Canadian merchandise imports from The Gambia are mainly industrial machinery, equipment and parts and forestry products. Bilateral merchandise trade amounted to $3.4 M. Exports were valued at $3.3 M and imports from The Gambia are estimated at around $166,200. To date, no commercial agreement exists between Canada and The Gambia. There are good synergies between Canadian capabilities and opportunities in The Gambia in the following sectors: education, oil and gas, information and technology, and energy sectors.

In 2022, 210 Gambian students had a valid permit to study in Canada. There were 160 in 2021 (IRCC).

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Development and humanitarian assistance

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) does not have a bilateral program in The Gambia, but contributes to the country's development through its partnership programs with Canadian, international and multilateral organizations.

The Gambia is a recipient of the Gavi Alliance, to which Canada is contributing $600 million by 2026, in vaccine procurement, immunization strategy development and health system strengthening. The Gambia has already benefited from nearly $34 million since 2000. On May 24, 2022, Minister Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced $20M over 4 years to support four West African countries, including The Gambia, to help them in taking climate action, building resilience, and driving a clean energy future.

In 2021-2022, official development assistance from Canada to The Gambia (all channels) was $10,4 million.

The Canadian Embassy in Senegal, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), funds projects implemented by local organizations that promote human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. In 2022-23, Canada funded two projects in The Gambia on strengthening the national judicial response to sexual and gender-based violence and raising awareness and advocating for the domestication of the Convention against Torture.

See Project Browser for additional information on programming in The Gambia.

Peace and security

Canada supports the Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparation Commission (TRRC) through Canada Fund for Local Initiatives projects. The Commission was created to uncover and provide remittances for human rights atrocities committed during the Jammeh regime. Canada also provides support through the Global Affair’s Technical Assistance Partnership program which funds the deployment of Canadian judicial experts to assist the unit of the Minister of Justice on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) for the investigation and prosecution crimes of SGBV in 2022 in The Gambia. Canada is an important contributor to the UN Peacebuilding Fund which supports a range of projects in The Gambia aimed at supporting the transition efforts. As announced in September 2020, Canada will intervene with the Netherlands in the case against Myanmar brought by The Gambia to the International Court of Justice.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and The Gambia have opportunities to work together in multilateral fora, such as:

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