Gambian Dalasi (GMD)

What Is the Gambian Dalasi (GMD)?

GMD is the abbreviation for the Gambian system of currency known as the Gambian dalasi. The Gambian dalasi is the official currency of the country of The Republic of Gambia, located along the coast of Western Africa. One delasi is composed of 100 butut. The word dalasi derives from the West African French dala 5-franc coin, which originates from the English "dollar".

As of Aug. 2020, 1 GMD is worth roughly U.S. $0.02.

Key Takeaways

  • The Gambian dalasi (GMD) is the official currency of the Republic of Gambia.
  • The dalasi replaced the Gambian and West African pound in 1971, at a rate of 5:1 at time of conversion.
  • The GMD is issued by the Bank of Gambia and floats freely against other world currencies.

Understanding the Gambian Dalasi

Introduced in 1971, the GMD replaced the former currency of the Gambian pound. At the time, one pound was equal to five dalasi. The currency comes in coin form, also known as bututs, and were minted by the Royal Mint. The denomination of bututs are 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50; as well as 1 dalasi coins.

There are also banknotes, which were printed by Bradbury Wilkinson and Company, LTD. The banknotes were originally issued in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 dalasi. Over the years The Gambia has updated the appearance of the currency and issued additional denominations of D20 and D200. “D" is the symbol of the GMD.

The committee that oversees the currency of The Gambia is called The Gambia Currency Board. It was established in 1966 and it replaced the West African Currency Board. The Central Bank of The Gambia is the current issuing bank of the GMD.

For 2019, Gambia saw GDP growth of 5.4% with an inflation rate of 7.1%.

About The Republic of The Gambia

The Gambia is located on the western coast of Africa, along the Atlantic Ocean. The country is long and narrow, running on either side of the Gambia River. The Gambia is a multiparty republic and is currently lead by an elected president.

Although the Gambia River is a prominent part of the country's landscape, approximately one-third of Gambians lack access to clean drinking water. The country suffers from poor sanitation systems. As such, residents in the region are at an increased risk of contracting a parasitic infection, tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Education in the country is free at a primary level, but not required. The first college was not established in the region until 1999. The University of The Gambia became the first college available to students living in The Gambia. Before 1999, students looking to pursue higher education were forced to travel outside of the country to obtain it.

The country was originally colonized by Great Britain in the 19th century. France had colonized the adjacent country of Senegal and for a bit the two nations were in talks to unite both countries. This lead to The Gambia being part of the Senegambia confederation from 1982-89. The official language of The Gambia is English.

Article Sources
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  1. University of The Gambia. "Our History." Accessed Dec. 31, 2020.

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