Historically, the relationships of European and African countries were extremely complicated. Often Europeans excessively exploited the entire African continent and, as a rule, the relationships between European and African countries were profitable for the former and quite disadvantageous for the latter. To a significant extent, such a situation was determined by economic and technological advancement of Europe compared to Africa. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the history of Gambia.
Firstly, it should be said that since the arrival of first Europeans Gambian people suffered a severe oppression and exploitation. In fact, Portuguese that arrived to the area in the late 1400s amply used the local economic potential. In this respect, trade was particularly important and was one of the major sources of income for the Portuguese.
However, within a century they were replaced by other Europeans, especially English and French, and others. Such an attention to Gambia could be explained by the numerous economic advantages Europeans could benefit from in the result of the control over the area.
At the same time, such an attractive position of Gambia also became a source of serious conflicts between European colonizers. In this respect, it should be said that the 18th century was the epoch of practically uninterruptible conflicts between France and Great Britain as the major powers in the area. The control over the area shifted from Britain, which controlled the area between 1763 and 1783, to France. However, both the British and French were constantly involved in the trade within the area. It should be said that slave trade was a part of the local trade though by 1906 it was totally forbidden in Gambia.
The following epoch was basically characterized as a peaceful period and, what was more important, by the mid of the century Gambia gained independence from Britain in February 1965.
In such a way, it is possible to conclude that European presence in Gambia resulted in the exploitation of the area by Europeans in their own interests regardless the interests of the local population, numerous conflicts and it is only with independence the country got an opportunity for the stable development.