Facts about Senegal
|Population||12,853,259 (July 2008 est|
|Time zone||UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania
General info about Senegal
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, but 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, but complaints of fraud led opposition parties to boycott June 2007 legislative polls. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping.
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepat
French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
What about drugs?
transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine moving to Europe and North America; illicit cultivator of cannabis
Wolof 43.3%, Pular 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Jola 3.7%, Mandinka 3%, Soninke 1.1%, European and Lebanese 1%, other 9.4%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
0.8% (2003 est.)
tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind
fish, phosphates, iron ore
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 1995-2008. 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, and 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.
wildlife populations threatened by poaching; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; overfishing
Cities in Senegalbakel bambey bignona dagana dahra dakar diofior diourbel fatick foundiougne gandiaye gollere gossas goudomp guinguineo kaffrine kahone kanel kaolack kebemer kedougou khombole kolda koungheul linguere louga marsassoum matam mbacke mbour mekhe ndioum nioro ourossogui oussouye passi podor pout richard toll saint-louis sedhiou semme sokone tambacounda thiadiaye thies thilogne tivaouane velingara waounde ziguinchor