Introduction    Senegal Top of Page
The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. The union broke up after only a few months. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982. The envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Senegal since the 1980s, and several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict. Nevertheless, Senegal remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Senegal was ruled by a Socialist Party for 40 years until current President Abdoulaye WADE was elected in 2000. He was reelected in February 2007 and has amended Senegal's constitution over a dozen times to increase executive power and to weaken the opposition, part of the President's increasingly autocratic governing style. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation.
   Geography    Senegal Top of Page
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania
Geographic coordinates:
14 00 N, 14 00 W
Map references:
total: 196,722 sq km
land: 192,530 sq km
water: 4,192 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than South Dakota
Land boundaries:
total: 2,640 km
border countries: The Gambia 740 km, Guinea 330 km, Guinea-Bissau 338 km, Mali 419 km, Mauritania 813 km
531 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind
generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation southwest of Kedougou 581 m
Natural resources:
fish, phosphates, iron ore
Land use:
arable land: 12.51%
permanent crops: 0.24%
other: 87.25% (2005)
Irrigated land:
1,200 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
39.4 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 2.22 cu km/yr (4%/3%/93%)
per capita: 190 cu m/yr (2002
Natural hazards:
lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
wildlife populations threatened by poaching; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; overfishing
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
westernmost country on the African continent; The Gambia is almost an enclave within Senegal
   People    Senegal Top of Page
12,323,252 (July 2010 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.2% (male 2,911,324/female 2,877,804)
15-64 years: 54.8% (male 3,728,664/female 3,786,000)
65 years and over: 3% (male 190,343/female 217,462) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.9 years
male: 17.1 years
female: 18.7 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.579% (2010 est.)
Birth rate:
37.27 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
Death rate:
9.49 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
Net migration rate:
-1.99 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
urban population: 42% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 57.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 64.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 59.38 years
male: 57.48 years
female: 61.34 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.86 children born/woman (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
67,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,800 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, malaria, Rift Valley fever, and yellow fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2009)
noun: Senegalese (singular and plural)
adjective: Senegalese
Ethnic groups:
Wolof 43.3%, Pular 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Jola 3.7%, Mandinka 3%, Soninke 1.1%, European and Lebanese 1%, other 9.4%
Muslim 94%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 1%
French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 39.3%
male: 51.1%
female: 29.2% (2002 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 8 years
male: 8 years
female: 7 years (2008)
Education expenditures:
5.1% of GDP (2008)
   Government    Senegal Top of Page
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Senegal
conventional short form: Senegal
local long form: Republique du Senegal
local short form: Senegal
former: Senegambia (along with The Gambia), Mali Federation
Government type:
name: Dakar
geographic coordinates: 14 40 N, 17 26 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
14 regions (regions, singular - region); Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kedougou, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda, Thies, Ziguinchor
4 April 1960 (from France); note - complete independence achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960
National holiday:
Independence Day, 4 April (1960)
adopted 7 January 2001
Legal system:
based on French civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court; the Council of State audits the government's accounting office; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Abdoulaye WADE (since 1 April 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Soulayemane Ndene NDIAYE (since 1 May 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term) under new constitution; election last held on 25 February 2007 (next to be held in 2012); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Abdoulaye WADE reelected president; percent of vote - Abdoulaye WADE 55.9%, Idrissa SECK 14.9%, Ousmane Tanor DIENG 13.6%, Moustapha NIASSE 5.9%, other 9.7%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consisting of the Senate, reinstituted in 2007, (100 seats; 35 members indirectly elected and 65 members appointed by the president) and the National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (150 seats; 90 members elected by direct popular vote and 60 elected by proportional representation from party lists to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 19 August 2007 (next to be held - NA); National Assembly - last held on 3 June 2007 (next to be held in 2012); note - the National Assembly in December 2005 voted to postpone legislative elections originally scheduled for 2006; legislative elections were first rescheduled to coincide with the 25 February 2007 presidential elections and later for 3 June 2007; the election was boycotted by 12 opposition parties, including the former ruling Socialist Party, which resulted in a record-low 35% voter turnout
election results: Senate results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDS 34, AJ/PADS 1, 65 appointed by the president; National Assembly results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SOPI Coalition 131, other 19
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Council of State; Court of Final Appeals or Cour de Cassation; Court of Appeals
Political parties and leaders:
African Party of Independence [Majhemout DIOP]; Alliance for the Republic-Yakaar [Macky Sall]; Alliance of Forces of Progress or AFP [Moustapha NIASSE]; And-Jef/African Party for Democracy and Socialism or AJ/PADS [Landing SAVANE]; Democratic League-Labor Party Movement or LD-MPT [Dr. Abdoulaye BATHILY]; Front for Socialism and Democracy/Benno Jubel or FSD/BJ [Cheikh Abdoulaye Bamba DIEYE]; Gainde Centrist Bloc or BGC [Jean-Paul DIAS]; Independence and Labor Party or PIT [Amath DANSOKHO]; Jef-Jel [Talla SYLLA]; National Democratic Rally or RND [Madior DIOUF]; People's Labor Party or PTP [El Hadji DIOUF]; Reform Party or PR [Abdourahim AGNE]; Rewmi Party [Idrissa Seck]; Senegalese Democratic Party or PDS [Abdoulaye WADE]; Socialist Party or PS [Ousmane Tanor DIENG]; SOPI Coalition [Abdoulaye WADE] (a coalition led by the PDS); Union for Democratic Renewal or URD [Djibo Leyti KA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:

other: labor; students; Sufi brotherhoods, including the Mourides and Tidjanes; teachers
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Fatou Danielle DIAGNE
chancery: 2112 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-0540
FAX: [1] (202) 332-6315
consulate(s) general: Houston, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marcia S. BERNICAT
embassy: Avenue Jean XXIII at the corner of Rue Kleber, Dakar
mailing address: B. P. 49, Dakar
telephone: [221] 33-829-2100
FAX: [221] 33-822-2991
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), yellow, and red with a small green five-pointed star centered in the yellow band; green represents Islam, progress, and hope; yellow signifies natural wealth and progress; red symbolizes sacrifice and determination; the star denotes unity and hope
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia; the colors from left to right are the same as those of neighboring Mali and the reverse of those on the flag of neighboring Guinea
   Economy    Senegal Top of Page
Economy - overview:
In January 1994, Senegal undertook a bold and ambitious economic reform program with the support of the international donor community. This reform began with a 50% devaluation of Senegal's currency, the CFA franc, which was linked at a fixed rate to the French franc, and now to the euro. Government price controls and subsidies have been steadily dismantled. After seeing its economy contract by 2.1% in 1993, Senegal made an important turnaround, thanks to the reform program, with real growth in GDP averaging over 5% annually during 1995-2008. Annual inflation had been pushed down to the single digits. As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Senegal is working toward greater regional integration with a unified external tariff and a more stable monetary policy. High unemployment, however, continues to prompt illegal migrants to flee Senegal in search of better job opportunities in Europe. Senegal was also beset by an energy crisis that caused widespread blackouts in 2006 and 2007. The phosphate industry has struggled for two years to secure capital. Reduced output has directly impacted GDP. In 2007, Senegal signed agreements for major new mining concessions for iron, zircon, and gold with foreign companies. Firms from Dubai have agreed to manage and modernize Dakar's maritime port and create a new special economic zone. Senegal still relies heavily upon outside donor assistance. Under the IMF's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief program, Senegal has benefited from eradication of two-thirds of its bilateral, multilateral, and private-sector debt. In 2007, Senegal and the IMF agreed to a new, non-disbursing, Policy Support Initiative program. In September 2009, Senegal signed a Compact with the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation, which will provide $540 million in infrastructure development, primarily in road construction along Senegal's northern and southern borders in conjunction with adjacent irrigation and agriculture projects.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$22.37 billion (2009 est.)
$21.99 billion (2008 est.)
$21.48 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$12.74 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.7% (2009 est.)
2.4% (2008 est.)
4.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,600 (2009 est.)
$1,600 (2008 est.)
$1,700 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 13.8%
industry: 23.3%
services: 62.9% (2009 est.)
Labor force:
5.58 million (2009 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 77.5%
industry and services: 22.5% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate:
48% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
54% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 30.1% (2005)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
41.3 (2001) 41.3 (1995)
Investment (gross fixed):
33.1% of GDP (2009 est.)
revenues: $2.812 billion
expenditures: $3.383 billion (2009 est.)
Public debt:
29.8% of GDP (2009 est.) 24.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-1% (2009 est.) 5.8% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2009) 4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
NA% (31 December 2009 ) NA% (31 December 2008 )
Stock of narrow money:
$3.002 billion (31 December 2009) $2.658 billion (31 December 2008)
Stock of broad money:
$4.907 billion (31 December 2009 est.) $4.256 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$3.529 billion (31 December 2009) $3.114 billion (31 December 2008)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Agriculture - products:
peanuts, millet, corn, sorghum, rice, cotton, tomatoes, green vegetables; cattle, poultry, pigs; fish
agricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining; iron ore, zircon, and gold mining, construction materials, ship construction and repair
Industrial production growth rate:
1.5% (2009 est.)
Electricity - production:
1.88 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
1.384 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption:
39,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil - exports:
5,653 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports:
42,850 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
Natural gas - production:
50 million cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
50 million cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
NA cu m
Current account balance:
-$1.356 billion (2009 est.) -$1.873 billion (2008 est.)
$1.902 billion (2009 est.) $2.003 billion (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton
Exports - partners:
Mali 20.12%, India 9.84%, Gambia 5.58%, France 5.02%, Italy 4.23% (2009)
$4.549 billion (2009 est.) $5.679 billion (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food and beverages, capital goods, fuels
Imports - partners:
France 19.58%, UK 9.64%, China 8.08%, Netherlands 5.64%, Thailand 4.75%, US 3.97% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.123 billion (31 December 2009 est.) $1.602 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$2.763 billion (31 December 2009 est.) $2.627 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar - 481.35 (2009), 447.81 (2008), 481.83 (2007), 522.89 (2006), 527.47 (2005)
note: since 1 January 1999, the West African CFA franc (XOF) has been pegged to the euro at a rate of 655.957 CFA francs per euro; West African CFA franc (XOF) coins and banknotes are not accepted in countries using Central African CFA francs (XAF), and vice versa, even though the two currencies trade at par
   Communications    Senegal Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
237,800 (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
5.389 million (2008)
Telephone system:
general assessment: good system with microwave radio relay, coaxial cable and fiber-optic cable in trunk system
domestic: above-average urban system with a fiber-optic network; nearly two-thirds of all fixed-line connections are in Dakar where a call-center industry is emerging; expansion of fixed-line services in rural areas needed; mobile-cellular service is expanding rapidly
international: country code - 221; the SAT-3/WASC fiber optic cable provides connectivity to Europe and Asia while Atlantis-2 provides connectivity to South America; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 8, FM 20, shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (2007)
Broadcast media:
state-run Radiodiffusion Television Senegalaise (RTS) operates 2 TV stations; a few private TV subscription channels rebroadcast foreign channels without providing any local news or programs; RTS operates a national radio network and a number of regional FM stations; a large number of community and private-broadcast radio stations are available; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible on FM in Dakar (2007)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
241 (2010)
Internet users:
1.818 million (2009)
   Transportation    Senegal Top of Page
20 (2010)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
gas 43 km; refined products 8 km (2010)
total: 906 km
narrow gauge: 906 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
total: 13,576 km
paved: 3,972 km (includes 7 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,604 km (2003)
1,000 km (primarily on the Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance rivers) (2010)
Merchant marine:
total: 1
by type: passenger/cargo 1 (2010)
Ports and terminals:
   Military    Senegal Top of Page
Military branches:
Senegalese Armed Forces: Army, Senegalese Navy (Marine Senegalaise), Senegalese Air Force (Armee de l'Air du Senegal) (2009)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,699,196
females age 16-49: 3,018,565 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,788,493
females age 16-49: 2,133,370 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 145,509
female: 145,064 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Senegal Top of Page
The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau attempt to stem separatist violence, cross border raids, and arms smuggling into their countries from Senegal's Casamance region, and in 2006, respectively accepted 6,000 and 10,000 Casamance residents fleeing the conflict; 2,500 Guinea-Bissau residents fled into Senegal in 2006 to escape armed confrontations along the border
Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 19,630 (Mauritania)
IDPs: 22,400 (approximately 65% of the IDP population returned in 2005, but new displacement is occurring due to clashes between government troops and separatists in Casamance region) (2007)
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine moving to Europe and North America; illicit cultivator of cannabis

This page was last updated on 14 May 2009


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