The Gambia

  • Total Population

    2,348,000 (2019 Ethnologue)

  • Deaf Population


  • Nation's Official Language(s)


  • Other Languages

    The number of established languages listed in Ethnologue is 11. These are:

    • Bambara
    • Guinea-Bissau Creole
    • Karon
    • Krio
    • Mandinka
    • Mandjak
    • Mansoanka
    • Pulaar
    • Serahule
    • Wolof
    • Sasonga
  • Name of Sign Language

    Gambian Sign Language

  • Overview Of Deaf Community And Education

    The first, and so far only, deaf school in Gambia, St. John’s School for the Deaf, was established in 1984. In more recent times the number of pupils at St John's School for the Deaf has risen from about 150 in 2004 to nearer 250 by 2012. There are no special provisions made for deaf people wanting to receive a university education. For an ethnographic study of deaf education at the St John’s School for the Deaf.

  • Sign Language Overview

    Gambian Sign Language is used in deaf education.  There are no reports of sign language research at the university level.  According to the WFD survey of 2008, there were then four sign language interpreters in Gambia.

  • Deaf Organizations In Country

    • The Gambian Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOH) (founded in 1992)

  • Overview of Interpreting Services

    Sign language interpreters are providing translations at mainstream meetings, official meetings with Government officials and NGOs, education and training activities, religious activities, legal matters, public information services, medical treatment and health services, as well as recreational events. Gambia has a National Association of Sign Language Interpreters and a Code of Ethics.

  • Resources

    Brandstetter, C. (2009). Schulische Bildung Gehörloser an der St. John’s School for the Deaf in Gambia – eine ethnografische Schulforschung. Unpublished MPhil thesis of the Universität Wien.  

    Four Gambian Sign Language booklets  (

    World Federation of the Deaf and Swedish National Association of the Deaf. (2008) Global Survey Report. WFD Regional Secretariat for Southern and Eastern Africa (WFD RSESA)  

  • List of Contributors

    Victoria Nyst

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Africa Map - Gambia