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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 and has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation. Senegal was ruled by a Socialist Party for 40 years until current President... See More



 Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania

Geographic Coordinates:

 14 00 N, 14 00 W


 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 (Rank: 104)

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 (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 39.4 cu km (1987)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 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

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 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%


 French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka


 Muslim 94%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 1%


 12,643,799 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 43.3% (male 2,748,457/female 2,722,633)
15-64 years: 53.9% (male 3,200,056/female 3,611,173)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 166,577/female 194,903) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 18 years
Male: 17.2 years
Female: 18.9 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.557% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 36.73 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 9.26 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 42% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 3.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 DAKAR (capital) 2.777 million (2009)

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 (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 410 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 56.42 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 62.94 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 49.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 59.78 years
Male: 57.85 years
Female: 61.77 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 4.78 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5.7% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.059 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density:

 0.34 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 92% of population
Rural: 52% of population
Total: 69% of population
Urban: 8% of population
Rural: 48% of population
Total: 31% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 69% of population
Rural: 38% of population
Total: 51% of population
Urban: 31% of population
Rural: 62% of population
Total: 49% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.9% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 59,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 2,600 (2009 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)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 14.5% (2005)

Education Expenditures:

 5.8% of GDP (2009)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 39.3%
Male: 51.1%
Female: 29.2% (2002 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 8 years
Male: 8 years
Female: 7 years (2008)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 14.8%
Male: 11.9%
Female: 20.1% (2006)

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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; amended many times

Legal System:

 Civil law system based on French law; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Court

International Law Organization Participation:

 Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 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

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]; Benno Siggil Senegal (a coalition of opposition parties); 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); Synergy for Ethics and Transparency [Aminata TALL]; 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 Lewis LUKENS
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

National Symbols:


National Anthem:

 Name: "Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons" (Pluck Your Koras, Strike the Balafons)
Lyrics/music: Leopold Sedar SENGHOR/Herbert PEPPER

Note: adopted 1960; the lyrics were written by Leopold Sedar SENGHOR, Senegal's first president; the anthem is sometimes played incorporating the Koras (harp-like stringed instruments) and Balafons (types of xylophones) mentioned in the title

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Economy - Overview:

 Senegal relies heavily on donor assistance. The country's key export industries are phosphate mining, fertilizer production, and commercial fishing. The country is also working on iron ore and oil exploration projects. In January 1994, Senegal undertook a bold and ambitious economic reform program with the support of the international donor community. 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 1995-2007. Annual inflation had been pushed down to the single digits. The country was adversely affected by the global economic downturn in 2009 and GDP growth fell below 2%. 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. Under the IMF's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief program, Senegal 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 which was completed in 2010. Senegal received its first disbursement from the $540 million Millennium Challenge Account compact it signed in September 2009 for infrastructure and agriculture development. In 2010, the Senegalese people protested against frequent power cuts. The government pledged to expand capacity by 2012 and to promote renewable energy but until Senegal has more capacity, more protests are likely and economic activity will be hindered. During the year, bakers protested government price controls on bread. Foreign investment in Senegal is constrained by Senegal's business environment, which has slipped in recent years, and by perceptions of corruption.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $23.88 billion (2010 est.)
$22.91 billion (2009 est.)
$22.42 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $12.88 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 4.2% (2010 est.)
2.2% (2009 est.)
3.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $1,900 (2010 est.)
$1,900 (2009 est.)
$1,900 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 15.9%
Industry: 21.7%
Services: 62.4% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 5.532 million (2010 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 / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 2.5%
Highest 10%: 30.1% (2005)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 41.3 (2001)
41.3 (1995)

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)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 25.3% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $2.829 billion
Expenditures: $3.5 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 22% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -5.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 33.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
31.7% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 1.2% (2010 est.)
-1.1% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 0.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
4.25% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 14.5% (31 December 2010 est.)
14.5% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $2.658 billion (31 December 2008)
$2.842 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $1.599 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.579 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $3.163 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.987 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $5.186 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$4.882 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $3.771 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.511 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

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:

 3.2% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 2.232 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 100%
Hydro: 0%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 1.763 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 65 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 41,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 4,550 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 36,290 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 50 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 50 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$1.209 billion (2010 est.)
-$1.261 billion (2009 est.)


 $2.053 billion (2010 est.)
$1.892 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton

Exports - Partners:

 Mali 21.6%, India 9.6%, France 4.5%, Gambia, The 4.2% (2010)


 $4.45 billion (2010 est.)
$4.543 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Food and beverages, capital goods, fuels

Imports - Partners:

 France 15.9%, UK 13.6%, China 8.6%, Nigeria 8.6%, Netherlands 5.2% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $2.048 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.123 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $3.858 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.503 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert CFA Franc (BCEAO) to Any Currency

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
495.28 (2010)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)
481.83 (2007)
522.89 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 341,900 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 8.344 million (2010)

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)

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)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 8, FM 20, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 7 (2008)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 241 (2010)

Internet Users:

 1.818 million (2009)

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 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 (2010)


 Total: 14,008 km
Paved: 4,099 km (includes 7 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 9,909 km (2006)


 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:


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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 voluntary military service; 20 years of age for selective conscript service; service obligation - 2 years; women have been accepted into military service since 2008 (2011)

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.)

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Disputes - International:

 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

Illicit Drugs:

 Transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine moving to Europe and North America; illicit cultivator of cannabis

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Last Updated: December 2011

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