The Gambia rejoins the Commonwealth

Updated on Feb 13, 2018 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > The Gambia rejoins the Commonwealth

Last week, the welcome news came that The Gambia had rejoined the Commonwealth at a ceremony in London.

Under the country’s previous president, The Gambia unexpectedly left the Commonwealth back in 2013. In February 2017, Adama Barrow, the newly democratically elected president immediately started the process of re-admission.

The formal application submitted last month received unanimous support from member states. On Thursday 8th February 2018 The Gambia was re-admitted, with the country’s flag being raised in a ceremony at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s headquarters in London. This brings the number in the Commonwealth back to 53 member states.



By rejoining, The Gambia is expressing its commitment to the values of the Commonwealth Charter – democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the promotion of peace and improving the lives of all peoples of the Commonwealth.

The Gambia first became a member of the Commonwealth following its independence from Britain in 1965. It’s the fourth country to have left, later to rejoin together with South Africa, Fiji and Pakistan.

Francis Blain, The Gambia’s ambassador to the UK has now become its High Commissioner, signifying Commonwealth membership.

In April 2018, the UK will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), when leaders from all the member countries will gather to reaffirm common values and address the shared global challenges we face.

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