The Gambia was plagued by political instability for a number of years, returning to democracy in 2016. The instability of the socio-political landscape left The Gambia behind many of its competitors. To bring the country back to a path of recovery, the National Development Plan 2018-2021 (NDP) was created. The NDP places great emphasis on poverty alleviation and recognises that, for real change to take place, new models needed to be adopted as past efforts to fight poverty were ineffective. Poverty levels remained virtually unchanged in the past decade. The percentage of households living below the poverty line of $1.90/day was 48.4% in 2010, 48.65% in 2015. In 2020, it was 48.4%.
The Government recognised the critical role that exports played in driving economic growth. The country operated with a trade deficit for many years. The heavy dependence on imports (which accounts for 80% of trade) did not bode well for the country. As such, the Government, through the technical support of the Commonwealth Secretariat, retained Tourism Intelligence International (Leve Global) to develop their National Export Strategy (2020-2025).