OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Senegal
CAPITAL: Dakar
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 196,840 Sq Km (76,000 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 9,398,500


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Senegal is located on the west coast of Africa. It is bound by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south, and it encloses the enclave of Gambia in the southwest. The country can be divided into six geographical regions. (1.) The Senegal River Valley. (2.) The coastal belt which contains small swamps, oases, creeks, channels and mud flats. (3.) The western plains which consist of dry and barren land. (4.) The Ferlo which is an inland continuation of the western plains and is semidesert. (5.) Casamance which is separated by Gambia and has better vegetation. (6.) The eastern plains which consists of poor pastureland. The principal rivers are the Senegal, Casamance, Sine and Saloum. Major Cities (pop. est.); Dakar 1,729,800, Thies 201,400, Kaolack 179,900, Ziguinchor 143,800, St. Louis 125,700 (1992). Land Use; forested 54%, pastures 16%, agricultural-cultivated 12%, other 18% (1993).


CLIMATE: Senegal has a tropical climate with a wet season from June to September and high humidity along the coast. Rainfall decreases from the south with the wet season extending to October and an average precipitation varying from 1,500 mm (60 inches) to 1,000 mm (40 inches) in the north, to 510 mm (20 inches) in the east. The prevailing winds are the Harmattan in the dry season, which is a dust-laden wind from the Sahara Desert while gale force squalls or tornadoes occur at the beginning and end of the rainy season. Average temperature ranges in Dakar are from 18 to 26 degrees Celsius (64 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 24 to 32 degrees Celsius (75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) in September.


PEOPLE: The ethnic composition of Senegal is diverse with the principal ethnic group the Wolof who account for 44% of the population. Others include the Fulani who account for 17.5% of the population while the Serer account for 14.8%, the Toucouleur for 9%, the Diola for 9%, the Mandingo for 6.5%, and other Africans for 4.5%. The White minority accounts for 1% of the population and consists of French and Lebanese.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 38.2 persons per sq km (99.0 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 38.6% urban, 61.4% rural (1988). Sex Distribution; 48.7% male, 51.3% female (1988). Life Expectancy at Birth; 46.3 years male, 48.3 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 47% under 15, 26% 15 to 29, 14% 30 to 44, 8% 45 to 59, 5% 60 and over (1988). Birth Rate; 45.5 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 17.7 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 27.8 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 110.0 per 1,000 live births (1986).


RELIGIONS: Around 94% of the population are Sunni Muslims while 5% are Christians predominantly Roman Catholic and around 1% follow local native tribal beliefs.


LANGUAGES: The official language is French, although only about 12% of the population can speak it. Other minority languages include Serer, Pulaar, Diola, Manding and Sarakole while Wolof is the national language.


EDUCATION: Aged 6 or over and having attained: no formal schooling 95.3%, primary 3.9%, secondary 0.7%, higher 0.1% (1970). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 38.3% (1990).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1956 Senegal gained internal self-government from France and in 1959 the country joined the Federation of Mali which also included Mali, Upper Volta and Dahomey (Benin). On Aug. 20, 1960 Senegal withdrew from the federation and became the independent Republic of Senegal with Leopold Senghor as President. In Mar. 1963 Senegal adopted a new constitution that eliminated the office of Prime Minister Mamadou Dia, who was ousted in 1962. By 1966 no opposition parties were legally recognized while severe droughts during the late 1960's and 1970's seriously damaged the economy and caused widespread famine. In 1970 Pres. Senghor appointed Abdou Diouf as Prime Minister and in 1976 a new constitution was introduced which committed the country to a multiparty system of government but also limited the number of parties to three. In Jan. 1981 Senghor retired and Diouf was appointed President. In 1981 troops from Senegal helped put down a coup attempt in Gambia and in 1982 Senegal and Gambia formed the Confederation of Senegambia. The Confederation strengthened the economic ties between the two countries and united their armed forces. In 1983 Diouf was re-elected President and abolished the office of Prime Minister again. In 1988 Diouf was again re-elected, although a dispute broke out which led to the imposition of a State of Emergency for 3 months. In Sept. 1989 the Senegambia confederation collapsed when Gambia sought greater powers within the confederation. In May 1990 a dispute with Guinea-Bissau erupted over territorial fishing rights which resulted in Senegalese troops crossing the border and exchanging fire before both sides agreed to a withdrawal. In 1991 the government and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) separatists signed a cease-fire agreement following negotiations which also resulted in a general amnesty for the movement's members. On Jan. 8, 1991 Gambia and Senegal signed a Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation which replaced the confederation agreement. In Apr. 1991 Habib Thiam was appointed Prime Minister and Pres. Diouf enlarged the Cabinet. On Sept. 20, 1991 a new constitution law was passed by the National Assembly that limited the President's office to two consecutive seven-year terms and lower the voting age to 18. Also during the same year relations with Guinea-Bissau and Gambia improved, and Senegal signed an accord with Mauritania that anticipated the re-opening of their common border and repatriation of refugees. In 1992 Senegal hosted meetings of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In Jan. 1992 the government and MFDC established a peace conference, although numerous clashes occurred throughout the year between security forces and the separatists. In April 1992 Senegal resumed full diplomatic relations with Mauritania. In Aug. 1992 Pres. Diouf together with the President's of Gabon, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso visited Pres. Mitterand of France in an attempt to dispel fears that the CFA Franc would be devalued and to re-attract fleeing capital. On Sept. 1, 1992 the army attacked rebels in the village of Kaguitt killing some 50 separatists. Also in 1992 Senegal sent some 3,000 peacekeeping troops to Liberia to serve with an ECOWAS monitoring group. In Jan. 1993 Senegal withdrew its troops from the ECOWAS peacekeeping operation in Liberia in preparation for its planned Presidential elections. In Feb. 1993 Pres. Diouf was reelected President. On April 18, 1993 some 300 MFDC rebels were killed in army operations near the Guinea-Bissau border. In May 1993 legislative elections were won by Pres. Diouf's Socialist Party and on May 15, 1993 the vice president of the Constitutional Council, Babacar Seye was assassinated by six gunmen. Following the incident the leader of the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), Abdoulaye Wade and several associates were arrested, although Wade was released soon after. In June 1993 another 20 MFDC separatists were killed as a result of further army operations. On July 27, 1993 the PDS led a mass demonstration calling for the release of the other detainees alleging that police were torturing them. On Oct. 1, 1993 Wade and other were rearrested for complicity in the murder of Seye. Also in the same month negotiations between the government and Confederation of Senegalese Workers broke down following the government's refusal to lower basic food items. Also in 1993 the government introduce an austerity program that included new taxes and a 15% reduction in civil servant's wages.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the CFA Franc (Communaute Financiere Africaine-CFAF) divided into 100 Centimes.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $5,867,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $3,011,000,000 (1993). Imports; CFAF 330,900,000,000 (1992). Exports; CFAF 178,100,000,000 (1992). Tourism Receipts; USD $173,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; CFAF -152,800,000,000 (1992). Economically Active Population; 2,620,000 or 34.0% of total population (1992). Unemployed; 24.4% (1992).


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the USA, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mauritania and Nigeria.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Fish, Ground Nuts, Maize, Millet, Phosphates, Rice, Sorghum, Timber.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Beverages, Cement, Fertilizer Production, Fishing, Food Processing, Forestry, Mining, Petroleum Products, Phosphates, Textiles.

MAIN EXPORTS: Cotton, Fabrics, Fish, Fertilizers, Ground Nuts, Oil, Petroleum, Phosphates.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 1,147 km (713 mi) (1988), passenger-km 40,043,000 (24,882,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 403,289,000 (276,213,000 short ton-mi) (1988). Roads; length 14,117 km (8,772 mi) (1988). Vehicles; cars 90,000 (1989), trucks and buses 37,000 (1989). Merchant Marine; vessels 162 (1990), deadweight tonnage 37,811 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 208,567,000 (129,597,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 35,223,000 (24,124,000 short ton-mi) (1988).


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 1 with a circulation of 50,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 850,000 (1994). Television; receivers 61,000 (1994). Telephones; units 64,100 (1993).


MILITARY: 13,350 (1995) total active duty personnel with 89.9% army, 5.2% navy and 4.9% air force while military expenditure accounts for 2.4% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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