The Gambia is at a historical turning point, with the transition to a democratically elected government committed to the rule of law, freedom of speech and socio-economic development ending the 22-year reign of the autocratic regime of former President Jammeh. However, the new government has inherited a dire economic situation and the country is faced with an urgent balance of payments need and a precariously low level of usable international reserves. The Gambia has been hit by a bad agricultural season, the political turmoil following the elections in December 2016 is expected to reduce tourism receipts in the first quarter of 2017 by about one third, and higher fuel and commodity prices put further strain on the balance of payments
(BOP). The total BOP-impact of these shocks in 2017 is estimated at $31 million
(3 percent of GDP). Finally, the new government is uncovering massive theft and embezzlement of funds by the previous regime mainly from state-owned enterprises
(SOEs). International development partners have been quick to reengage and have indicated that substantive support is forthcoming.