44 Facts About Senegal


Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa.

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Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest.

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Senegal covers a land area of almost 197, 000 square kilometres and has a population of around 17 million.

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Senegal is classified as a heavily indebted poor country, with a relatively low Human Development Index.

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Senegal is a member state of the African Union, the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States.

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Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times and has been continuously occupied by various ethnic groups.

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On 25 November 1958, Senegal became an autonomous republic within the French Community.

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Senegal adopted a new constitution that consolidated the President's power.

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Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal Senegambia Confederation on 1 February 1982.

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Senegal encouraged broader political participation, reduced government involvement in the economy, and widened Senegal's diplomatic engagements, particularly with other developing nations.

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Senegal experienced its second peaceful transition of power, and its first from one political party to another.

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Senegal is a republic with a presidency; the president is elected every five years as of 2016, previously being seven years from independence to 2001, five years from 2001 to 2008, and seven years again from 2008 to 2016, by adult voters.

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Currently, Senegal has a quasi-democratic political culture, one of the more successful post-colonial democratic transitions in Africa.

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Marabouts, religious leaders of the various Muslim brotherhoods of Senegal, have exercised a strong political influence in the country especially during Wade's presidency.

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In 2008, Senegal finished in 12th position on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.

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Senegal is subdivided into 14 regions, each administered by a Conseil Regional elected by population weight at the Arrondissement level.

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Friendly to the West, especially to France and the United States, Senegal has vigoursly advocated more assistance from developed countries to the Third World.

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Senegal is well integrated with the main bodies of the international community, including the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union (AU), and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States.

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Armed Forces of Senegal consist of about 17, 000 personnel in the army, air force, navy, and gendarmerie.

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Senegal has participated in many international and regional peacekeeping missions.

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In 2015, Senegal participated in the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis.

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Senegal is a secular state, as defined in its Constitution.

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Senegal is externally bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south; internally it almost completely surrounds The Gambia, namely on the north, east and south, except for Gambia's short Atlantic coastline.

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Senegal contains four terrestrial ecoregions: Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, Sahelian Acacia savanna, West Sudanian savanna, and Guinean mangroves.

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Senegal has a tropical climate with pleasant heat throughout the year with well-defined dry and humid seasons that result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds.

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Climate change in Senegal will have wide reaching impacts on many aspects of life in Senegal.

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Economy of Senegal is driven by mining, construction, tourism, fishing and agriculture, which are the main sources of employment in rural areas, despite abundant natural resources in iron, zircon, gas, gold, phosphates, and numerous oil discoveries recently.

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Senegal has one of the best developed tourist industries in Africa.

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Senegal is a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa.

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Senegal achieved full Internet connectivity in 1996, creating a mini-boom in information technology-based services.

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The Casamance region, isolated from the rest of Senegal by Gambia, is an important agriculture producing area, but without the infrastructure or transportation links to improve its capacity.

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Senegal has a 12-nautical-mile exclusive fishing zone that has been regularly breached in recent years (as of 2014).

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Senegal ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, as well as the additional protocol.

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Senegal is a signatory of the African Charter of Human and People's Rights, which was adopted during the 2003 African Union Summit.

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Senegal has a wide variety of ethnic groups and, as in most West African countries, several languages are widely spoken.

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Senegal is a secular state, although Islam is the predominant religion in the country, practiced by 97.

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The Mahayana branch of Buddhism in Senegal is followed by a very tiny portion of the ex-pat Vietnamese community.

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The Baha'i Faith in Senegal was established after 'Abdu'l-Baha, the son of the founder of the religion, mentioned Africa as a place that should be more broadly visited by Baha'is.

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In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began in Senegal, which led to the imposition of a curfew in the country.

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In July 2021, Senegal experienced a significant increase in cases of coronavirus disease.

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Senegal aims to make Senegal's health care system effective and sustainable.

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Senegal was ranked 105th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, down from 96th in 2019.

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Senegal is well known for the West African tradition of storytelling, which is done by griots, who have kept West African history alive for thousands of years through words and music.

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Senegal was one of the continent's pioneers in basketball as it established one of Africa's first competitive leagues.

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