GAMBIA

RISK RATING
Elevated
Default High Risk Score 5.80
Normal Average 4.13
Weighted Average 4.19
RISK RATING HISTORY
RISK RATING SCALE

Risk Rating Scale

Severe: 8.0 to 10
High: 6.0 to 7.9
Elevated: 4.0 to 5.9
Moderate: 2.0 to 3.9
Low: 0.0 to 1.9
EXCHANGE RATE
Country Outlook

In 2020, President Adama Barrow confirmed the fears of many of his critics. Not only has he broken his original pledge to remain in office for only three years by breaking away from the ruling coalition and forming his own political party, but he has displayed a similar governing style to his predecessor as he has repressed opposition voices. As the country prepares itself to usher in a third republic via the new constitution and host elections later this year and next, recent developments ultimately raise the prospects for civil unrest, primarily in the capital, Banjul. Moreover, the actions by security forces this year suggest there is a high risk of violence during such events. Red flags have also been raised over the fact that in the official budget, most of the country’s money is currently spent on defence and security.

  • President Adama Barrow has taken decisive action to ensure that he maintains his position at the helm of the country. Despite originally pledging that he would step down after an initial three years as president (January 2017 ‚Äď December 2019) and facilitate a transition to the hosting of new presidential elections (scheduled for 2021), President Barrow has not only indicated that he will now serve out a full five year term instead, but he has also recently established a new political party to do so, breaking up the ruling coalition. In response, 2020 has been marked by an increased incidence in civil unrest and, in a repeat of history, strict repression of opposition voices in the country by the president once hailed for reform.
  • A military coup will become more likely in case of security sector reforms. Opposition parties opposing Barrow‚Äôs second term ambitions will increasingly resort to protests to resist the current government ahead of 2021 elections. However, protests have been met with heavy-handed security responses, with demonstrations more often turning into violent riots and running battles with police. Such incidents raise fundamental questions regarding the scope of security sector reform that has occurred since Barrow‚Äôs election and was central to his pre-election campaign.
  • Gambia‚Äôs economy has performed well under the current administration. Sound economic governance has been cited as the main driver of economic recovery in recent years ‚Äď growth increased from a contraction of 0.4 percent in 2016 to 6.6 percent in 2018 and six percent in 2019. Even after the contraction on the cards this year, GDP is expected to rebound back to over six percent in 2021 ‚Äď although this is largely dependent on how quickly tourism recovers. However, the oversized debt remains a significant risk to this trajectory. According to the IMF, the public debt-to-GDP ratio projected under the ECF-supported programme was set to decline from 82.5 percent in 2019 to 76.8 percent in 2020 but is now expected to decline to 80.3 percent given current shocks. Nevertheless, while the Gambia is classified as high risk of debt distress, its debt is assessed as sustainable over the medium term.
CUMULATIVE AND DAILY COVID-19 INFECTIONS AND DEATH RATE
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND | DATAMAPPER
Risk Perils
Political Instability
5.0
Expropriation, Nationalisation, Confiscation & Deprivation
3.0
Contract Frustration & Breach
3.5
Taxation
3.5
Bribery & Corruption
4.0
Regulatory Burden
4.0
Strikes, Riots & Civil Commotion
5.0
Security
2.5
Sovereign Default
5.0
Economic Volatiliy
5.8

Risk Rating Scale (small)

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