The economy of The Gambia is basically agricultural, with groundnuts (nuts, oil and cattle cake) accounting for 50% of total exports. Tourism is a significant generator of foreign exchange. Forestry and fishing are also important and banking is a new growth area. Rice is one of the main staples; some is homegrown but most is imported. There are no viable mineral deposits. The small but fast-growing industrial sector is dominated by agro-industrial activities.
Government economic strategy aims both to stimulate agricultural productivity and position The Gambia as a regional hub for trade, finance and telecommunications.
Over the last decade, substantial infrastructural progress has been made although wide-reaching investment in roads, public transport and power generation has been sporadic.
Overall, the economy has performed fairly well, achieving annual growth since 2000, with 3.5% growth in 2009. However, despite having benefitted from recent IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank debt relief initatives, The Gambia has external debts of US$165 million (2008) and remains heavily dependent on international aid.