Located on the extreme west of Africa, Senegal has a long democratic tradition and is politically stable. Since the country's independence in 1960 it has enjoyed uninterrupted civilian rule and has a constitution enshrining the rule of law.




Offical Language



196,772 km²


approx. 15.85 Million

Population growth

2.42 %

Rural Population

53 % of the overall population

Gross Domestic Product

23.5 Billion US Dollars

Annual Income per Capita

Approx.  1441 Dollars

Agriculture as a share of GDP

16.56 % (as of 2018)

Severity of hunger according to the World Hunger Index

moderate (WHI: 17.9)

Human Development Index

Index: 0,514 / Rank: 166 of 189

A Factor of Stability in the Region and on the Continent

Senegal has had a stabilising influence so far, both in the region and, as a result of its pan-African engagement, throughout the continent of Africa. Despite these favourable circumstances, Senegal does have problems: power shortages, food crises, strong population growth and high unemployment are constraining the country's development.
Senegal is divided by its neighbour Gambia into a northern part and a smaller southern part. In the southern region, Casamance, the high degree of political and economic isolation from the rest of the country has led to the emergence of an independence movement. Since 1982, repeated episodes of violence have hampered the region's development. The situation has eased in recent years and a ceasefire has been in place since 2012, which has largely been respected.


The challenge posed by the climate


Senegal possesses only few natural resources, and industrialisation is minimal. There are recurrent periods of drought as well as incidents of severe rainfall with devastating floods. According to scientific forecasts, Senegal must expect an increase in such extreme weather events in the future as a result of global climate change. Senegal is thus one the first countries in the world to have taken out climate risk insurance in order to be better able to cope with the effects of natural events of this kind.
The country also faces problems caused by the overexploitation of natural resources. Logging and overgrazing are leading to serious environmental degradation. Many people are moving from rural areas to the cities in hopes of finding better living conditions there. Nearly half the Senegalese population of approximately 15.8 million now lives in urban areas, with more than 20 per cent of all Senegalese living in and around the capital, Dakar.


Development cooperation


A long history of development cooperation links Germany and Senegal, which is one of the countries that Germany supports through thematic and regional programmes.
The focus of development cooperation is on renewable energies and energy efficiency. Projects and programmes in the former priority areas of sustainable economic development and decentralisation were completed in 2015.



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