Senegal Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public holidays

Introduction

In Senegal, the time between the first contact and the direct negotiation of the contract can take longer than we would expect. From this point of view, it is important to pay due attention to the first steps and to approach market partners and prepare well for them. A careful choice of the place for the first contact and, if possible, involvement in the first contacts of the company’s top management is also appropriate.

  • Programingplease: Yearbook 2010 of nation Senegal, including population, politics, and abbreviations.

Addressing

The most common way to enter the Senegalese market is to find a person interested in goods or services, or those interested in representation, distribution (exclusive/non-exclusive). To find a partner, you can use, for example, the Dakar Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce, d’Industrieet d’Agriculture de Dakar), which will provide basic information about a potential partner, but is no longer able to provide, for example, information about its solvency. The register of companies is available at https://seninfogreffe.sn. You can use, for example, the Pagesjaunes phone book.

Personal presence is essential for establishing or developing real business contacts and especially for the development of business projects. Due to the need to provide the necessary range of services on the spot, it is recommended to obtain a reliable business representative (natural or legal person) familiar with the local environment and conclude a detailed agreement with him according to Senegalese law. In many sectors, deals are often made based on traditional and personal ties. Nevertheless, it is necessary to expect great competition, especially from French, but also Chinese or Turkish companies.

In 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic launched the Export Client Center and prepared a catalog of export services that it provides to Czech companies in all areas of jurisdiction of Czech embassies. Individual Czech companies can therefore contact the embassy with questions regarding, for example, initial export consultation and preparation of negotiations in the given country, evaluation of the current economic situation in the given territory, assistance in mediating contacts, obtaining information from local state or regional authorities and institutions, and assistance in dealing with them.

Business meeting

Before the implementation of cooperation, in Senegalese conditions, personal contact is necessary within the framework of the visit, preferably reciprocal (ie at least one meeting in Senegal and one meeting in the Czech Republic). Senegalese representatives and distributors often seek to draw up an agreement on exclusive representation, but it is recommended to wait with this agreement until you have tried the partner, or sign it for a limited (trial) period.

The possibility of concluding an agreement at the very first meeting can be considered unlikely. Long-term personal contacts based on mutual trust substantially reduce the risk of improper practices. Respecting the hierarchy of the Senegalese counterparts contributes to a large extent to the successful course of negotiations. Good practice includes the exchange of gifts (especially during the first meeting with top company representatives). Their value and careful selection is, in the eyes of the partners, a sure proof of the effort to deepen the relationship. A gift should always be ready for the right occasion, and it should definitely not be just a company ballpoint pen or a lighter. E.g. high-quality Czech glass is suitable, etc. Senegal is 98% Muslim, so it is not recommended to give alcohol as a gift on the first meeting. Only after lunch/dinner together, where the Senegalese partner drinks alcohol, one learns

The somewhat more benevolent attitude of Senegalese people towards time is manifested not only in personal (ir)punctuality, but also in official situations, such as working hours, office hours or even timetables. In business negotiations, a certain delay is not an exception. Traffic problems are often the reason, and therefore it is necessary to allow sufficient time reserve.

European-style business dress code prevails in business relations. Senegalese put up with very clean and ironed clothes as well as polished shoes. It is a sign of respect for one’s counterpart. For women, it is recommended to cover the knees and shoulders.

Communication

The working language and the language of information materials is French. English is not enough in most cases, so it is important not to forget an interpreter.

It is advisable to have business cards in French. It is also a good idea to get a sim card with a local number. Visit Allunitconverters for more information about Senegal culture and traditions.

Senegalese use rather long and formal text in business correspondence, often even where an idea can be expressed concisely and clearly. In the same way, for the Senegalese, flowery expression is a sign of respect (for us lengthy) in oral speech.

LGBT rights and open criticism of the president and the government can be considered communication taboos.

Recommendation

The Senegalese partner expects you to be punctual, but he will keep you waiting for a long time, for example in the lobby of his office. Sometimes he uses it as an expression of the importance of his position, to let you know that he is the one who decides when the meeting will actually start. The solution is patience and readiness for such time management.

Public Holidays

Senegal has many public holidays, including national, Catholic (fixed date) and Muslim (floating date) holidays.

Public Holidays:

  • 1/1 – New Year
    · 4/4 – Independence Day
    · 1/5 – Labor Day

Movable Muslim Holidays:

  • Korité (also Aid El Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan) –
    02/05/2022 · Tamkharit (Mouharam, Muslim New Year) – 08/08/2022
    · Magal de Touba (the departure of the founder of the murid brotherhood into exile) – 09/14.2022

Catholic Holidays:

  • Easter – 18.4.2022
    · Ascension –
    26.5.2022 · Descent of the Holy Spirit, pilgrimage to Popenguine – 6.6.2022 · Ascension –
    15.8.2022
    · All Souls’ Day – 1.11.2022
    · Christmas – 26.12/2022

Senegal Culture of Business