Senegal Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Dakar
Population 16.74 million
Language French, Wolof, other local languages
Religion Islam (96%), Christianity (3.8%), Indigenous and other religions (0.2%)
State system Democratic Republic
Head of State Macky Sall
Head of government The position of prime minister has been canceled since 2019
Currency name West African CFA Franc (XOF)

Senegal Basic Information

Travel
Time shift -1 hour (in summer -2 hours)
Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 64.3
Economic growth (%) 6
Inflation (%) 2.2
Unemployment (%) ON

Senegal is a democratic developing country in the West African region. It was a French colony for over 300 years, it gained independence on 4/4/1960. A presidential-type republic operates in a pluralistic system. The head of state is President Macky Sall (1st mandate from 2012, 2nd mandate from 2019 to the present). The security situation is good in most areas.

The coronavirus crisis has significantly changed the economic situation in the country. Between 2014-2019, Senegal achieved one of the strongest economic growth in Africa exceeding 6% per year. For 2020, GDP growth fell by 0.4%, but the robust economy grew again at a 6% pace in 2021.

The priorities of the long-term government development plan include, among others, the development of infrastructure, health care, modernization of agriculture, digitalization, electrification, housing construction, waste treatment and development of services. In the Covid-era revised plan, development focuses on three strategic poles: 1) structural transformation of the economy and economic growth, 2) human capital, social protection and sustainable development, and 3) good governance, institutions and security. The development of industry is identified as an important prerequisite for sustainable economic growth, job creation and provision of the basic needs of the population. Czech products, technologies and solutions are gradually gaining a good name in Senegal, and mutual cooperation is developing not only in the field of infrastructure.

In order to establish or develop functional business contacts and especially for the development of business projects, a personal presence is necessary to gain personal acquaintances and connections. The official language is French, English is not sufficient in the vast majority of cases. To succeed in this Muslim country, it is necessary to respect different cultural customs.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the country : Republic of Senegal (République du Sénégal)

System of government : Senegal is a republic with a presidential system, where the president, as head of state, also serves as prime minister. Executive power rests with the president, while legislative power is shared between the government and the parliament (165 deputies). The judiciary is independent of the first two. Senegal is one of the few African countries that has never experienced a coup.

Political tendencies : President Sall is serving his second term (first elected 2012, second 2019). The next presidential election will be held in 2024 (the presidential mandate was shortened to 5 years after the constitutional change). There are discussions about a possible third candidacy of M. Salla. The debate became even more heated after the elections in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, where both presidents ran for a third term with the help of a constitutional amendment. Although Macky Sall condemned their third mandate, he has not yet commented on his candidacy. Check cancermatters to learn more about Senegal political system.

Composition of the government as of 31/05/2022 : https://sec.gouv.sn/le-gouvernement

Foreign policy of the country

The dominant influence of France is still visible in the foreign orientation of the country, which provides Senegal with significant political support and financial and technical assistance. Senegal falls under the French sphere of influence and relations between the two countries are above standard. Another strategic partner is the USA. As in many African countries, China plays an increasingly important role, and the influence of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Japan is also growing. Check prozipcodes for Senegal defense and foreign policy.

Senegal is known as the engine of integration efforts in West Africa. Senegal is part of the Community of West African Countries CEDEAO/ECOWAS and the monetary union UEMOA, in which payment is made in the West African franc firmly linked to the euro exchange rate. Relations with the EU are governed by the framework of the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) countries, which was officially due to expire at the end of 2020, but negotiations are currently ongoing for a new agreement (so-called Post-Cotonou) and the existing agreement was extended until the end of November 2021.

Senegal currently has good relations with its neighbours.

Senegal conducts an active diplomatic activity:

  • One of the 5 founders of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD);
  • Organization of summits (Global Partnership Funding Conference for Education (February 2018), La Francophonie in November 2014, Organization of Islamic Cooperation in 2008) and events (7th Dakar Forum for Peace and Security in Africa in December 2021, 9th World Forum on water, held in Diamniadio in March 2022);
  • Non-permanent member of the Security Council (2015-2017) and the UNESCO Executive Board (2015-2019), President of the Assembly of States that have signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Member of the UN Human Rights Council (elected in October 2017 with 188 votes from 193 voting countries);
  • 11th country participating in UN peacekeeping operations in terms of the number of soldiers and police (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Central African Republic, Darfur, Haiti, South Sudan);
  • A major role in the resolution of regional crises (military presence under the mandate of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in The Gambia);
  • Co-Chair of FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation);
  • In 2022, Macky Sall chairs the African Union.

Population

Senegal is characterized by the young age of its population. The median age value shows that half of the population is under 18 years of age. As for the average age, it was 19 years in 2019.

Population: 16.74 million (IMF, 2020)

Demographic composition (ANSD, 2020) – population under 14: 41.6%, population 15-64: 54.7%, population over 65: 3.6%

Population growth (2020): 2.8%

Average age: 19 years

Fertility: 4.93 children/woman

Illiteracy: 54%

Population density: 87 inhabitants/km²

Approximately 25% of the total population lives in the agglomeration of the capital, Dakar. About 50% of the population is rural.

Ethnic composition: Wolof (43.3%), Pular (23.8%), Serer (14.7%), Jol (3.7%), Mandinka (3%), Soninko (1.1%), European and Lebanese (1%), other (9%)

Religion: Islam (96%), Christianity (3.8% – mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous and other religions (0.2%)