Displayed with permission from dpa German Press Agency

Banjul (dpa) – President-elect Adama Barrow is a political newcomer, who was little known inside and outside Gambia before announcing his candidacy.

Up until now, the quiet and soft-spoken 51-year-old was the treasurer of opposition party United Democratic Party (UDP).

During the 2007 parliamentary elections, he was nominated as the UDP candidate for the Jimara constituency, but didn’t win a seat.

Earlier this year, however, Barrow suddenly gained in popularity, when he promised to restore democracy and the rule of law and to free all political prisoners if elected president.

He also pledged to heavily invest in agriculture in the poverty-stricken West African nation of 1.9 million people, whose main export is peanuts.

Barrow managed to garner the support of seven political parties and is extremely popular with the country’s largely unemployed youth.

Barrow, a football fan, is an astute businessman. He studied real estate management for several years in the early 2000s in London, financing his studies by working as a security guard.

After graduating, he returned to Gambia to launch his own real estate firm in 2006.

Born in a small village in the east of the Islamic Republic, Barrow, a Muslim, is married to two wives and has five children.