Flag of Senegal

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Independent from France in 1960, Senegal was ruled by the Socialist Party for forty years until current President Abdoulaye WADE was elected in 2000. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982, but the envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. A southern separatist group sporadically has clashed with government forces since 1982, but Senegal remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping.


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

Geographic coordinates:

14 00 N, 14 00 W


total: 196,190 sq km
land: 192,000 sq km
water: 4,190 sq km

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 feature near Nepen Diakha 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)

Natural hazards:

lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts

Environment - current issues:

wildlife populations threatened by poaching; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; overfishing

Geography - note:

westernmost country on the African continent; The Gambia is almost an enclave within Senegal


11,987,121 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 40.8% (male 2,467,021/female 2,422,385)
15-64 years: 56.1% (male 3,346,756/female 3,378,518)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 174,399/female 198,042) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 19.1 years
male: 18.9 years
female: 19.3 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.34% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

32.78 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

9.42 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 52.94 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 56.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 49.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 59.25 years
male: 57.7 years
female: 60.85 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

4.38 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.8% (2003 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

44,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

3,500 (2003 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, and Rift Valley fever are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis (2005)


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: 40.2%
male: 50%
female: 30.7% (2003 est.)

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:

republic under multiparty democratic rule



Administrative divisions:

11 regions (regions, singular - region); Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaolack, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Tambacounda, Thies, Ziguinchor


4 April 1960 (from France); note - complete independence was achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960

National holiday:

Independence Day, 4 April (1960)


new constitution 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

Legislative branch:

unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (120 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms)
note: the former National Assembly, dissolved in the spring of 2001, had 140 seats
elections: last held 29 April 2001 (next to be held in February 2007) note - the National Assembly in December 2005 voted to postpone legislative elections originally scheduled for 2006, they will now coincide with presidential elections in 2007
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - SOPI Coalition 89, AFP 11, PS 10, other 10

Judicial branch:

Constitutional Court; Council of State; Court of Final Appeals or Cour de Cassation; Court of Appeals

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. 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 1995-2004. Annual inflation had been pushed down to the low 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. However, Senegal still relies heavily upon outside donor assistance. Under the IMF's Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief program, Senegal will benefit from eradication of two-thirds of its bilateral, multilateral, and private-sector debt.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$20.44 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$8.012 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

5.2% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,700 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 16.1%
industry: 21.4%
services: 62.5% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

4.82 million (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 77%
industry and services: 23% (1990 est.)

Unemployment rate:

48%; note - urban youth 40% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:

54% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 33.5% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

41.3 (1995)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.7% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

22.4% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $1.657 billion
expenditures: $1.926 billion; including capital expenditures of $357 million (2005 est.)

Public debt:

46.5% of GDP (2005 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, construction materials, ship construction and repair

Industrial production growth rate:

2% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production:

1.332 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

1.239 billion kWh (2003)

Oil - consumption:

31,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Natural gas - production:

50 million cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

50 million cu m (2003 est.)

Current account balance:

-$638 million (2005 est.)


$1.526 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

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

Exports - partners:

India 14.4%, Mali 13.1%, France 9.8%, Italy 7.3%, Spain 6.6%, Guinea-Bissau 5.6%, Gambia, The 4.8% (2004)


$2.405 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

food and beverages, capital goods, fuels

Imports - partners:

France 24.8%, Nigeria 11.9%, Thailand 6.1% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.324 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$3.61 billion (2003 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

$449.6 million (2003 est.)

Currency (code):

Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the West African States

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

244,900 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

1,121,300 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: good system
domestic: above-average urban system; microwave radio relay, coaxial cable and fiber-optic cable in trunk system
international: country code - 221; 4 submarine cables; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 8, FM 20, shortwave 1 (2001)

Television broadcast stations:

1 (1997)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

569 (2005)

Internet users:

482,000 (2005)


20 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 9
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2005)


gas 564 km (2004)


total: 906 km
narrow gauge: 906 km 1.000 meter gauge (2004)


total: 13,576 km
paved: 3,972 km (including 7 km of expressways)
unpaved: 9,604 km (2003)


1,000 km (primarily on Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance rivers) (2005)

Ports and terminals:


Military branches:

Army, Navy (Marine Senegalaise), Air Force (2005)

Disputes - international:

The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau attempt to stem Senegalese citizens from the Casamance region fleeing separatist violence, cross border raids, and arms smuggling

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 19,778 (Mauritania)
IDPs: 17,000 (clashes between government troops and separatists in Casamance region) (2005)

Illicit drugs:

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