Bilateral relations Switzerland–the Gambia

Switzerland and the Republic of The Gambia enjoy good relations, focusing mainly on cooperation on migration and air transport. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs is also engaged in this non-priority country through its global cooperation programmes in West Africa.

In March 2018, The Gambia opened a permanent mission in Geneva with dual accreditation. It did so with the support of Switzerland, which encourages the establishment of new embassies on its territory.

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

Although The Gambia is not an SDC priority country, a number of SDC projects are currently under way which are benefiting the country's population.

The Gambia is one of the beneficiary countries of the Global Programme Migration and Development, which promotes the contributions made by diaspora communities to sustainable development and the protection of migrant children through the West Africa Network for the Protection of Children. With SDC support, The Gambia adopted the Gambian Diaspora Strategy in 2018.  Switzerland also supports, through its multilateral cooperation programmes (Geneva Water Hub, Blue Peace Initiative), innovative regional initiatives in neighbouring countries focused on the joint management of river and groundwater reserves. Furthermore, The Gambia will be eligible for SDC flexible funding for the period 2021–24.

Between 2017 and 2018, Switzerland funded a project led by the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) to promote security sector reform in the country. This reform is still under way with the DCAF's support.

Based on a long-standing partnership between the State Secretariat for Migration and The Gambia, the two countries concluded a migration agreement on 12 January 2021 to institutionalise collaboration in this area and to facilitate Swiss-funded projects in the country.

The Swiss embassy in Dakar (Senegal) is accredited to the Republic of The Gambia.

Swiss nationals in The Gambia

At the end of 2019, 38 Swiss nationals were living in The Gambia and 586 Gambian nationals were living in Switzerland.

History of bilateral relations

Switzerland recognised The Gambia's independence in 1965 and has had diplomatic relations with this West African republic since 1966. Between 1988 and 1995, Switzerland was one of The Gambia's main donor countries. A bilateral agreement relating to Swiss aid for The Gambia expired at the end of 1995 and was not renewed. As noted above, new forms of support and collaboration are currently under way.