About the country...


  • Population : 17 millions inhabitants (2022)
  • Surface area : 196 200 km²
  • Capital : Dakar (5 millions inhabitants)
  • Currency : Franc CFA (100F = 0.5 Euros)
  • Main languages : French (official), Wolof (spoken by 80 % of the population), Peuhl, Serer


Several ethnic groups live in Senegal: the Wolofs (40 %), Sérères (16 %), Peuhls (13 %, a once nomadic people, breeders of zebus), Toucouleurs (10%), Diolas (10 %), Mandingues, Bassaris. 55% of the population is under 20 years old. 58 % of the population of Senegal live in rural areas. 46 % of the children don’t go to school.


Senegal is located in an inter tropical zone with a warm and sunny climate. The dry season lasts from October to June, and the rain season from July to September. From North to South, the climate varies from Sahelian (up to 30 cm water per year) to Sudanese more than 1 m water per year).


  • 1100-1650 : prosperous Empire of Mali.
  • 1518 : beginning of slave trade first by the Portuguese, then by the French and the British (1600).
  • 1840 : invasion of Senegal by France.
  • 1848 : complete abolition of slavery in France.
  • 1960 : Senegal becomes independent. Leopold Sedar Sengor becomes president.
  • Senegal is a democratic republic. The president is elected by universal suffrage for 7 years.


The minimum wage is officially 58,900 FCFA per month (89.79 €); it is very difficult to live in an urban area with such a salary. It is very difficult to live in an urban area with such a salary. Comparing with France, it would be like living in Paris with 750 € per month. Moreover, the minimum wage is far from always being respected and many people are not declared. The GDP is distributed as follows: 20% for the primary and secondary sectors, 60% for the tertiary sector. Agriculture/livestock contributes 15% of GDP and employs 75% of the active population.

Senegal's main resources (excluding international aid) are bank transfers from Senegalese expatriates, fishing (approx. 500,000 tons), mass tourism (1,4 million in 2017), groundnuts and phosphate. It should be noted that the money from tourism benefits only a minority of the local population. Senegal is far from self-sufficient in food and must import two-thirds of its annual rice consumption. The main crop is still peanuts, but with strong fluctuations (depending on international prices), millet sometimes becomes the main production ahead of peanuts, rice, market gardening (tomatoes), sorghum, corn, cotton, sugar cane, etc. Senegal has about 3 million cattle and 8 million sheep and goats.

Its trade, mainly directed towards France and the European Union countries, is largely in deficit. Senegal's debt amounts to 12,890 billion € (2020). The growth (6% in 2021) benefits very little to the Senegalese, whose poverty is increasing.


Most of the population is Islamic (90 %), others are Catholic or animist. Religion is very important in Senegal. Some people even practise several religions simultaneously.