Senegal Overview

Senegal Overview

Map of Senegal

Map of Senegal

As one of 16 countries located in Western Africa according to travelationary, Senegal has been one of the most politically and economically stable countries in West Africa for decades. Industry and tourism are developing, but the majority of the population still works in difficult conditions in the agricultural sector and in fishing.

Senegal Overview

Senegal Overview

Women and pelicans

Women and pelicans

Ebb off the island of Fadiouth

Ebb off the island of Fadiouth

Children in the Sine-Saloum Delta

Children in the Sine-Saloum Delta

Every space is used

Every space is used

Country impressions

Photos and travel reports from Senegal with photos, such as picture pages, tourism pages or thematically categorized as well as videos on the country document the multifaceted Senegal, with the capital Dakar, Saint-Louis and Gorée, the Casamance as the southernmost part of the country and the Senegal river.

Topography of Senegal

Topography of Senegal

Bridge near St. Louis over the Senegal River

Bridge near St. Louis over the Senegal River

National symbols

Flag of Senegal

Flag of Senegal

State coat of arms of Senegal

State coat of arms of Senegal

The Senegalese flag has 3 vertical stripes in the colors green, yellow and red, in the middle of the middle stripe there is a small green star as a symbol of hope and freedom.

The Senegalese coat of arms shows a lion on the left as a symbol of power and strength, on the right the typical baobab tree.

The national motto is: “Un Peuple – Un But – Une Foi” – “One people – one goal – one belief”.

More detailed explanations of the national symbolism can be found on the homepage of the Senegalese government. The text for the national anthem was written by the “poet president” Léopold Sédar Senghor.

Senegal State Overview

Senegal History

Independence Day: April 4, 1960

Head of state: Macky Sall

Head of government: Abolished in May 2019

Political system: Presidential Republic

Democracy Status Index (BTI): Rank 36 of 137 (2020)

Corruption Index (CPI): Rank 66 of 180 (2019)

Ibrahim Index of African Governance: Rank 10 of 54 (2018)

Human Rights Overview

Not all girls are lucky enough to be able to attend school

Not all girls are lucky enough to be able to attend school

Senegal is a largely democratic and stable country in which basic human rights are respected. In the course of the civil war-like clashes in Casamance, serious incidents have occurred and continue to occur since the 1980’s.

In recent years, Amnesty International has focused on the Casamance conflict, the excessive use of force by the police in demonstrations, violations of freedom of expression and the persecution of homosexuals (the criminal prosecution of homosexuals has increased dramatically in the last two years and has gained a lot of media coverage). Starting in 2010, Amnesty International took part in 2016 and again in 2017/18In addition, the torture practices of the military (Casamance region) and police, which are circulated again and again, and the lack of prosecution by the Senegalese judiciary are targeted.

The human rights organization RADDHO (Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme) and a number of other organizations that have formed a network defend the protection of human rights in the country.

The genital mutilation of girls has been prohibited by law since 1999. Nevertheless, it is still practiced today among some ethnic groups. The NGO Tostan is very successful in the fight against the phenomenon with its grassroots approach, international organizations such as UNICEF are involved.

Senegal has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but much remains to be desired in this area. Child labor is still widespread in the poorest sections of the population and school enrollment rates leave much to be desired.

A particularly sensitive problem are the so-called Talibés, Koran students who are handed over by their parents to the care of an Islamic teacher and who have been sent to beg on the street from early childhood will. Again and again pictures of beaten children come to the public. However, due to its proximity to religion and religious brotherhoods, the topic is highly sensitive and is taken up in the Senegalese public more as a problem of individual failed Koran teachers than as a fundamental social problem. In April 2010, a report by Human Rights Watch denouncing the grievances affecting some 50,000 children attracted widespread national and international media coverage.

Children sell on the street

Children sell on the street

For a long time, a critical point in the international human rights debate was the case of the former President of Chad, Hissene Habré, who was charged with massive human rights crimes during his presidency. Nevertheless, he was able to live undisturbed in Senegal for many years. After a long dispute over a potential extradition to Belgium and the jurisdiction itself, the African Union ultimately gave Senegal the mandate to initiate legal proceedings against Habré on behalf of Africa. After years of back and forth about who was responsible, the International Court of Justice in The Hague decided that Habré must be brought to justice. In February 2013, a specially created court for the Habré case took placein Dakar on its activities and the beginning of July 2014, the former dictator was in custody taken. The trial began on July 20, 2015, but was postponed until September due to Habré’s unwillingness to appear in court. The closing arguments were held at the beginning of 2016, and at the end of May 2016, Habré was finally found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Senegal refused to extradite the ex-dictator to Chad. Human Rights Watch followed the development of the Habré process.

Senegal Economy Overview

Senegal Economy

Estimated GDP: $ 37.04 billion (2020, IMF)

Per capita income (PPP): US $ 3,394 (2019, World Bank)

Human Development Rank (HDI): 168 of 189 (2019)

Proportion of poverty (national poverty line): 46.7% (2010)

Distribution of income (Gini coefficient): 40.3% (2011)

Economic Transformation (BTI): Rank 79 of 137 (2020)

Economic structure and economic situation

The Senegalese economy is characterized by a strong dependency on imports, a small home market and a limited export range. The majority of the population works in agriculture and fishing, and the labor market is strongly dominated by the informal sector. The country’s industrial production is relatively weak and tourism has declined in recent years.

The economic development in Senegal had a positive development in the years before 2008 with average growth rates of 4.7%, the GDP grew steadily and the inflation rate remained constant below 3%. In the crisis years 2008 and 2009 the growth rate fell to a little more than 2%. In the following years, too, economic growth remained rather modest by African standards. It was not until 2016 that GDP growth returned to dynamic levels. After the crisis year 2020 with the drop in oil prices and a pandemic, Senegal is forecast to continue to experience high growth in 2021. Current data are available from the National Statistics Agency.

The strengths of Senegal’s economic development lie in its attractiveness as an investment location due to its political stability, the non-existent currency risk with the controversial peg of the CFA franc to the euro and a comparatively highly diversified economy.

In the past, growth was primarily driven by the strong construction and telecommunications industries, especially in the greater Dakar area. However, the current, trade and services accounts remain consistently in deficit.

One of the biggest problems for the state budget is the energy sector, which is dependent on crude oil imports and which is a heavy burden on the state budget due to the state subsidy policy. Here one hopes for relief in the future through oil discoveries off the Senegalese coast. The widespread corruption, the relatively small domestic market and the low purchasing power of the population have a negative impact.