Senegal [Country Flag of Senegal]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Senegal]



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

Geographic coordinates: 14 00 N, 14 00 W

Map references: Africa

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

Coastline: 531 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind

Terrain: generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location in the Futa Jaldon foothills 581 m

Natural resources: fish, phosphates, iron ore

Land use:
arable land: 12%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 16%
forests and woodland: 54%
other: 18% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 710 sq km (1993 est.)

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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping

Geography—note: The Gambia is almost an enclave of Senegal


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Population: 9,723,149 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 48% (male 2,331,388; female 2,343,654)
15-64 years: 49% (male 2,273,200; female 2,504,063)
65 years and over: 3% (male 132,671; female 138,173) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.33% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 44.38 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 11.05 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 61.2 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 57.37 years
male: 54.55 years
female: 60.28 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.18 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Senegalese (singular and plural)
adjective: Senegalese

Ethnic groups: Wolof 36%, Fulani 17%, Serer 17%, Toucouleur 9%, Diola 9%, Mandingo 9%, European and Lebanese 1%, other 2%

Religions: Muslim 92%, indigenous beliefs 6%, Christian 2% (mostly Roman Catholic)

Languages: French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Diola, Mandingo

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 33.1%
male: 43%
female: 23.2% (1995 est.)


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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

Data code: SG

Government type: republic under multiparty democratic rule

National capital: Dakar

Administrative divisions: 10 regions (regions, singular—region); Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaolack, Kolda, Louga, Saint-Louis, Tambacounda, Thies, Ziguinchor

Independence: 4 April 1960 from France; complete independence was achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960 (The Gambia and Senegal signed an agreement on 12 December 1981 that called for the creation of a loose confederation to be known as Senegambia, but the agreement was dissolved on 30 September 1989)

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 April (1960)

Constitution: 3 March 1963, revised 1991

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; Senegal has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Abdou DIOUF (since 1 January 1981)
head of government: Prime Minister Habib THIAM (since 7 April 1991)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 21 February 1993 (next to be held NA February 2000); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Abdou DIOUF reelected president; percent of vote—Abdou DIOUF (PS) 58.4%, Abdoulaye WADE (PDS) 32.03%, other 9.57%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (140 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 24 May 1998 (next to be held NA May 2003)
election results: percent of vote by party—PS 50.19%, PDS 19%, UDS-R 13%, And/Jef-PADS 5%, LD/MPT 4%, CDP/Garab-Gi 2%, FSD 1%, PDS-R 1%, RND 1%, BCG 1%, and PIT 1% ; seats by party—PS 93, PDS 23, UDS-R 11, And-Jef/PADS 4, LD-MPT 3, CDP/Garab-Gi 1, FSD 1, PDS-R 1, RND 1, BCG 1, and PIT 1

Judicial branch: under the terms of a reform of the judicial system implemented in 1992, the principal organs of the judiciary are as follows; Constitutional Court; Council of State; Court of Final Appeals or Cour de Cassation; Court of Appeals

Political parties and leaders: African Party for Democracy and Socialism or And-Jef/PADS (also PADS/AJ) [Landing SAVANE, secretary-general]; Democratic League-Labor Party Movement or LD-MPT [Dr. Abdoulaye BATHILY]; Democratic and Patriotic Convention or CDP Garab-Gi [Dr. Iba Der THIAM]; Independent Labor Party or PIT [Amath DANSOKHO]; National Democratic Rally or RND [Madier DIOUF]; Senegalese Democratic Party or PDS [Abdoulaye WADE]; Senegalese Democratic Party-Renewal or PDS-R [Serigne Lamine DIOP, Secretary General]; Senegalese Democratic Union-Renewal or UDS-R [Mamadou Puritain FALL]; Socialist Party or PS [President Abdou DIOUF]; other small parties

Political pressure groups and leaders: students; teachers; labor; Muslim Brotherhoods


Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mamadou Mansour SECK
chancery: 2112 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-0540

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dane Farnsworth SMITH, Jr.
embassy: Avenue Jean XXIII at the corner of Avenue Kleber, Dakar
mailing address: B. P. 49, Dakar
telephone: [221] 23 42 96, 23 34 24
FAX: [221] 22 29 91

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; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia


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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 is 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 of 5.6% in 1996 and 4.7% in 1997. Annual inflation has been pushed below 3% and the fiscal deficit has been cut to less than 1.5% of GDP. Investment has been steadily rising from 13.8% of GDP in 1993 to 16.5% in 1997. As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), Senegal is working toward greater regional integration with a unified external tariff. Senegal also realized full Internet connectivity in 1996, creating a miniboom in information technology-based services. Private activity now accounts for 82% of GDP. On the negative side, Senegal faces deep-seated urban problems of chronic unemployment, juvenile delinquency, and drug addiction.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$15.6 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.7% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,850 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 19%
industry: 17%
services: 64% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 2.5% (1997 est.)

Labor force: NA
by occupation: agriculture 60%

Unemployment rate: NA%; urban youth 40%

revenues: $885 million
expenditures: $885 million, including capital expenditures of $125 million (1996 est.)

Industries: agricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, construction materials

Industrial production growth rate: 7.4% (1996 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 303,440 kW (1997)

Electricity—production: 1.027 billion kWh (1997 est.)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 109 kWh (1997 est.)

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

total value: $986 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: fish, ground nuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton
partners: France, other EU countries, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali

total value: $1.4 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: foods and beverages, consumer goods, capital goods, petroleum products
partners: France 30%, other EU countries, Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Algeria, China, Japan

Debt—external: $3.7 billion (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $439 million (1993)

Currency: 1 Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: CFA francs (CFAF) per US$1—608.36 (January 1998), 583.67 (1997), 511.55 (1966), 499.15 (1995), 555.20 (1994), 283.16 (1993)
note: beginning 12 January 1994, the CFA franc was devalued to CFAF 100 per French franc from CFAF 50 at which it had been fixed since 1948

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 81,988 (1995 est.)

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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 6, shortwave 1

Radios: 850,000 (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 1

Televisions: 61,000 (1993 est.)


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total: 904 km
narrow gauge: 904 km 1.000-meter gauge (70 km double track) (1995)

total: 14,576 km
paved: 4,271 km
unpaved: 10,305 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 897 km total; 785 km on the Senegal river, and 112 km on the Saloum river

Ports and harbors: Dakar, Kaolack, Matam, Podor, Richard-Toll, Saint-Louis, Ziguinchor

Merchant marine:
total: 1 bulk ship, 1,995 GRT/3,775 DWT (1997 est.)

Airports: 20 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie, National Police (Surete Nationale)

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 2,016,128 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 1,052,825 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 98,869 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $81 million (1996 est.)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 2.1% (1996 est.)

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: short section of boundary with The Gambia is indefinite

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin moving to Europe and North America; illicit cultivator of cannabis