Overview and information on Senegal

General Information on Senegal & Quick Overview

Independent from France in 1960, Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982. However, the envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. Despite peace talks, a southern separatist group sporadically has clashed with government forces since 1982. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping. Senegal gained independence from France in 1960 and together with The Gambia attempted to form Senegambia in 1982. By 1989 the union had dissolved. Intermittent fighting flares up occasionally in the south led by separatist groups. Senegal is recognised for its international peace-keeping activities.

Geographical statistics & Information on Senegal

Geographical Position: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania Located on the West Coast of the African continent, overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean and neighbouring Guinea Bissau and Mauritania. Map Ref Latitude & Longitude 15 degrees 00 North, 15 degrees 00 West Total Land & Sea Area: Total: 196,000 square kilometres land area: 191,000 square kilometres Sea Area 5,000 square kilometres Land boundaries: Total: 2,700 kilometres border countries: The Gambia 750 kilometres, Guinea 300 kilometres, Guinea-Bissau 350 kilometres, Mali 420 kilometres, Mauritania 800 kilometres Coastal Length: 500 kilometres exclusive fishing zone: 250 NM

Climatological Conditions & information on Senegal

tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind Rainy season from May to November is hot and humid with strong south-easterly winds. The hot and dry harmattan winds blow in the dry season from December to April.

Terrain Features

generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast Mostly lowland, gently rolling plains with hills in the south-eastern region. Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevation: Atlantic Ocean at sea level Highest elevation: unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha 585 metres Country’s natural resources: fish, phosphates, iron ore Marine resources, phosphates and iron ore deposits.

Land use

ploughable land area: 11 percent permanent crops: 1 percent other: 88 percent (1998 estimate) Irrigated land area: 700 square kilometres (1998 estimate) Hazardous Natural phenomena: lowlands seasonally flooded; periodic droughts The low-lying regions often flood in the rainy season, with occasional droughts in the dry season.

Geographical Point of Interest

Westernmost country on the African continent; The Gambia is almost an enclave of Senegal Senegal almost surrounds The Gambia, except for the coastal area on the west.

People Information on Senegal

Population: 10,580,000 (July 2003 estimate) Age structure: under 15 years: 43 percent 15 to 64 years: 53 percent Over 65: 4 percent Median age of population: Total: 18 years male: 17 years female: 19 years (2002) Population growth rate: 2 percent (2003 estimate) Birth rate: 36 births per thousand population (2003 estimate) mortality rate: 11 deaths per thousand population (2003 estimate) Net rate of migration: 0.2 migrant(s) per thousand population (2003 estimate)

Infant mortality rate: Total: 57 deaths per thousand live births female: 53 deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate) male: 61 deaths per thousand live births Life expectancy at birth: total population: 56 years male: 55 years female: 57 years (2003 estimate) Total fertility rate: 5 children born/woman (2003 estimate)

Nationality information on Senegal

Senegalese (singular and plural)

Ethnic groups

Wolof 43 percent, Pular 24 percent, Serer 15 percent, Jola 4 percent, Mandinka 3 percent, Soninke 1 percent, European and Lebanese 1 percent, other 9.5 percent Almost half of population are Wolof descent, one quarter are Pular, with other minority groups including Mandinka, Soninke, European, Lebanese and others.

Religious information on Senegal

Muslim/Islamic faith 92 percent, indigenous religious beliefs 2 percent, Christian 6 percent (mostly Roman Catholic) Most practise Muslim/Islamic religion, with less than ten percent holding indigenous beliefs including Christianity.

Languages & Linguistic Groupings

French is the offical language, and Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka languages are also spoken. Literacy: definition: People over the age of 15 years that are literate (can read & write): total population: 40 percent male: 50 percent female: 30 percent (2003 estimate)

Government information on Senegal

Country name: Republic of Senegal Government type: Republic Capital city: Dakar Independence: 4 April 1960 (from France); complete independence was achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960 Independence gained from France and Mali in 1960. National holiday: Independence Day: 4 April (1960) Constitution: 2001 Legal system: based on French civil law system

Electoral & Voting System information on Senegal

Universal vote from the age of 18. Executive branch: Head of State: President
Chief of Government:Prime Minister
) Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president Prime Minister appoints the Council of Ministers. Legislative branch: Unicameral Assemblee Nationale members voted for 5 year terms.

Economy information on Senegal

In January 1994, Senegal undertook a bold and ambitious economic reform programwith the support of the international donor community.

This reform began with a 50 percent 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 percent in 1993, Senegal made an important turnaround, thanks to the reform program, with real growth in GDP averaging 5 percent annually during 1995-2002. Annual inflation had been pushed down to less than 1 percent, but rose to an estimated 3.3 percent in 2001 and 3.0 percent in 2002. Investment rose steadily from 13.8 percent of GDP in 1993 to 16.5 percent in 1997.

As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Senegal is working toward greater regional integration with a unified external tariff. Private activity now accounts for 82 percent of GDP. In 2003, GDP will probably again grow at about 5 percent. On the negative side, Senegal faces deep-seated urban problems of chronic unemployment, trade union militancy, juvenile delinquency, and drug addiction.

A program of economic reforms, assisted by international aid, began in 1994 which has helped to achieve growth in real terms and also attract foreign investment.

Private businesses account for more than 4/5ths or GDP. However, problems in urban areas include high unemployment, left-wing radicals, crime and drug problems amongst young people.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

$USD16 billion (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - actual growth rate: 2 percent (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - per head of population: Purchasing power parity - $USD1,000 (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - composition by sector: agriculture: 20 percent industry: 24 percent services: 56 percent (2001 estimate) Population below poverty line: 50 percent (2001 estimate)

Rate of inflation: 5 percent (2002 estimate) Labour force: NA Labour force - by occupation: agriculture 75 percent Rate of unemployment: 50 percent (2001 estimate)

Budget information on Senegal

Incomes: $USD1.3 billion spending : $USD1.3 billion, Industries: Agricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, construction materials Industrial production growth rate: 8 percent (2002 estimate)

Agriculture - products: Peanuts, millet, corn, sorghum, rice, cotton, tomatoes, green vegetables; cattle, poultry, pigs; fish


$USD1 billion Exports - commodities: Fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton Exports - partners: India 21 percent, France 12 percent, Mali 9 percent, Greece 8 percent, Italy 4 percent (2002)


$USD1.5 billion Imports - commodities: foods and beverages, capital goods, fuels Imports -most important trading partners: France 26 percent, Nigeria 8 percent, Thailand 7 percent, United States 5 percent, Germany 5 percent, Italy 4 percent, Spain 4 percent (2002)

Foreign Indebtedness

$USD3 billion (2002 estimate) National Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); Currency Abbreviation: XOF

Communications information on Senegal

Telephones landlines: 235,000 (2001)

Radio broadcast stations: Amplitude Modulation 9, Frequency Modulation 21, shortwave 2 (2001) Television broadcast stations: 2 (1997) Internet country code: .sn

Transportation in & travel information on Senegal

Railroad networks: Total: 900kilometres Roading System: Total: 15,000 kilometres Pipelines: gas 500 kilometres (2003) Ports and harbors: Dakar, Kaolack, Matam, Podor, Richard Toll, Saint-Louis, Ziguinchor Airports & airfields: 25 (2002)

Military information on Senegal

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Police (Surete Nationale) Military spending : - $USD70 million (Fiscal Year02) Military spending : percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 2 percent (Fiscal Year02)

International Issues Senegal Disputes - international: Separatist war in Casamance region results in refugees and cross-border raids, arms smuggling, other illegal activities, and political instability in Guinea-Bissau Cross-border conflicts, smuggling and illegal activites continue to create political instability and refugees on the southern border with Guinea-Bissau .

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History of French speaking countries | Flag of Senegal | Map of Senegal | Learn French in Senegal |
Facts on Senegal
Source: All info sourced and adapted from CIA Factbook
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