During World War II, Gambian troops fought with the Allies in Burma. The Gambia's capital city served as an air stop for the U.S. Army Air Corps and a port of call for Allied naval convoys. The Gambia became independent from the United Kingdom in 1965. President Yayah Jammeh took power in a military coup d’état in 1994 and remained in office until he was defeated by President Adama Barrow in elections held on December 1, 2016. U.S. policy seeks to strengthen relations with The Gambia through promoting democracy and good governance.
U.S. Assistance to The Gambia
U.S. assistance supports democracy, human rights, girls' education, agricultural expansion, rural development, refugee support services, and the fight against HIV/AIDS. In addition, the Peace Corps maintains a large program with about 92 volunteers engaged in the environment/agriculture, public health, and education sectors, mainly at the village level. The U.S. also provides limited military training assistance to The Gambia.
Bilateral Economic Relations
In December 2017, POTUS approved the reinstatement of The Gambia’s eligibility for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, effective January 1, 2018. Also in December 2017, the Millennium Challenge Corporation selected The Gambia as eligible to develop a threshold program. A number of U.S. citizens have set up small businesses in The Gambia and several U.S. brand companies such as Western Union, MoneyGram, UPS, Motorola, and Coca Cola are represented in the country.