See also: Senegal (homonymy)
The Senegal is a country of West Africa pertaining to the sub-Saharan Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the Mauritania in north and is, the Mali in the east and the Guinea and the Guinea-Bissau in the south. The Gambia form an quasi-enclave in Senegal, penetrating with more than 300 km inside the grounds (and separating from the remainder of the country the natural area of Casamance). The islands of the Cape Verde are located at 560 km of the coast sénégalaise.
The country owes its name with the river which borders it in the east and north and which takes its source in the Fouta Djallon in Guinea. The climate is tropical and dry with two seasons: the dry season and the rain season.
For the colonial period, several counters belonging to various colonial empires are established along the coast. The town of Saint-Louis becomes capital French Western Africa then it will be the town of Dakar in 1902 which will become then the capital of the republic sénégalaise at the time of independence in 1960.
Since 2000, the current president is Abdoulaye Wade re-elected in 2007. Integrated into the principal authorities of the international community, Senegal also forms part of the African Union and the Communauté of the sahélo-Saharan States.
See also: Etymology of the name Senegal
The origin of the name Senegal remains discussed. As of 1850 the abbot David Boilat, in his Drafts sénégalaises , saw there a deformation of the expression wolof suñu gaal , i.e. “our dugout”. Very popular, it is the version most often relayed by the media. It is however disputed since the Années 1960 and several other etymologies were advanced, for example that which attaches the Toponyme to a tribe Berbère of the the Sahara, the Zenaga. But the debate is not closed today.
See also: History of Senegal
See also: Prehistory and protohistoire of Senegal
During prehistory, the presence of a rather old settlement is considered very former to the Christian era. The double-side ones out of almond of the lower Paléolithique were discovered in the peninsula of Cape Verde, as well as other more elaborate objects out of stone (hatchets, scrapers) in the area of Rufisque and at the edge of the rivers of Eastern Senegal.
Neolithic eraWith the Neolithic era, the tools diversify and ceramics made its appearance. The excavations carried out in the coastal regions put at the day of the remainders of kitchen which testify to an important population to fishermen and tradesmen (backwater of Khant in the delta, mouth of the Saloum).
The metallurgy develops at the time Protohistorique (first millenium before J. - C.), where one finds tombs in form of Tumulus. In the center of the country, overflowing on current the Gambia, one finds a whole of circles of Mégalithes on a sector of 100 km out of 250 km. One finds this type of alignment in north is Central African Republic.
The settlements were gradually consolidated to lead to the creation of the first kingdoms which are formed at the 7th century, in particular the Djolof with remote relationships with the Empire of Ghana, on the territory of current the Mali.
The Islam is introduced for the first time at the 11th century. Among the various kingdoms, most powerful at the 14th century was the empire of Djolof which gathered the Cayor, the Baol inter alia kingdoms.
The colonial conquest begins as of the discovery of these grounds in 1442 with the Venetian navigator Cada-Mosto on behalf of Portugal. The Portuguese then launch out quickly in the Traite Blacks, but will have to face the competition of the British, French and Dutch slave traders soon. The Dutchmen base a counter on l´île of Gorée, the France establishes in 1659 that of Saint-Louis which will become the first capital of Senegal. In 1677 the French occupy in their turn the island of Gorée.
The colonial order
The colonial order is essential with Faidherbe, governor of Senegal of 1854 with 1861 and of 1863 with 1865 which provides the foundations of future the French Western Africa (AOF). Respectful from the indigenous habits, it very extends the French influence beyond Senegal, works to develop the local economy and created the wearing of Dakar.
In January 1959, the French Sudan (current Mali) and Senegal amalgamate to form the Fédération of Mali, which becomes completely independent on June 20th, 1960. This independence is the consequence of the transfers of capacities agreed upon in the agreement signed in France on April 4th, 1960. Political difficulties cause the dismemberment of the federation on August 20th, 1960.
August 20th, 1960, Senegal withdraws federation of Mali and proclaims its independence.
See also: Sénégambie
Conflict in Casamance
See also: Conflict in Casamance
Confrontations take place since 1982 in an intermittent way between the separatists installed in the south of the Casamance and the governmental forces. After several unfruitful attempts, a new agreement was signed with Ziguinchor on December 30th, 2004 between the Minister of Interior Department Ousmane Ngom and the abbot Augustin Diamacoune Senghor, chief of the rebellion of the Mouvement of the democratic forces of Casamance (MFDC).
Another hearth of conflict between of Casamançais and the Guinea-Bissau developed in April 2007.
Relations with Mauritania
See also: Conflict sénégalo-Mauritanian
In 1989, Mauritania and Senegal rejected violently and respectively the communities of the adjoining countries whereas the majority had been born for a long time in their new country of adoption and had been well established in social and economic fabric. According to the HCR, refugees are always established along the Senegal river. In 2007, the president of Mauritania stated at the time of his countryside, being in favor of the return of his compatriots living to Senegal and Mali against their liking.
See also: Political of Senegal, Senegalese Right
It is one of the most democratic countries and most stable of Africa and, vis-a-vis a continent familiar of the coups d'etat, the “Senegalese model” was often proposed in the past, even if Amnesty International still denounces some arrests with political character.
The law on decentralization, application in January 1997, grants significant capacities to the regional assemblies.
See also: List of the presidents of Senegal, Prime Ministers of Senegal
The President of the Republic is the Head of the State, elected official to the Vote for all direct for one five years renewable duration once. He appoints the Prime Minister who chooses in his turn the ministers of his cabinet and proposes their nomination with the President of the Republic.
The first President was Léopold Sédar Senghor, charismatic leader and poet of reputation. In 1981 its Prime Minister Abdou Diouf takes its succession, but in 2000 the Senegalese Democratic party carries it with Abdoulaye Wade, re-elected in 2007. The current chief of the government is Sheik Hadjibou Soumaré.
A long time monocaméral, the Parlement of Senegal is again equipped with two rooms, since the Sénat, removed in 2001 following a constitutional referendum, was restored in May 2007.
Instituted on August 20th, 1960, the National Assembly accommodates 150 deputies, elected officials by the universal direct suffrage for one five years duration. The poll is majority with a turn on the level of the departments to the amount of 90 deputies and proportional on a national list to the amount of 60 deputies. The Parliament is today chaired by Macky Sall, old Prime Minister.
The legislative elections sénégalaises of 2007 showed a very broad victory of the presidential coalition, but nearly the two-thirds of the voters had not gone to the ballot boxes, in particular because of a watchword of Boycott on behalf of the opposition parties.
The senators will be 100. 35 were already elected by the indirect suffrage in the departments, the 65 others will be appointed by the Head of the State. Pape Diop, the mayor of Dakar is the President.
In 1992 the Supreme court of Senegal was removed and replaced by three specialized bodies, the Court of appeal, the Council of State and the Constitutional council, rather similar to their French counterparts. Their magistrates are named by the President. They are more the legal high authorities of the country. Senegal abolished the Capital punishment on December 10th, 2004.
Geography and climate
Senegal has an important maritime frontage in the west with the Atlantic Ocean. The Senegal river constitutes a border in north with the Mauritania and in the east with the Mali. To south-east, the border with the Guinea is crossed by the buttresses of the mountain of the Fouta-Djalon and with south-west with the Guinea-Bissau by a tropical forest. The Gambia form an enclave and separates the area from the Casamance with the remainder of the country.
The Senegalese territory lies between 12°8 and 16°41 northern latitude and 11°21 and 17°32 of Western longitude. Its western point (the Peninsula of Cape Verde, and particularly the site of the Club Med of Dakar) constitutes the most Western part of all continental Africa.
ClimateThe climate is of the type sahélien with:
- one rain season from June to October with a peak in August, September and variable according to the latitude (less precipitations in north compared to the south). It is the period of monsoons;
- one season dries from November to June with continental trade winds.
The temperatures follow the seasons:
- in summer, period of rain, the temperatures are with their maximum;
- but is at least in January.
On the littoral, the sea brings freshness, the temperatures are about 16°C with 30°C but the center and is of Senegal can have temperatures going until 41°C.
During the winter in Europe, Senegal becomes an appreciated destination making it possible to develop a tourist activity.
See also: Subdivisions of Senegal
Defined by a decree of 1996, current administrative cutting however underwent some final improvements in the interval, for example the creation of the area of Matam in 2001 or that of the Département of Koungheul in 2006.
The principal cities are:
- Dakar, 1.009.256 hab. (2004);
- Saint-Louis, 154.496 hab. (2001);
- Ziguinchor, 158.370 hab. (2007);
- Thiès, 311.324 hab. (2005);
- Kaolack, 185.976 hab. (2007).
Reserves and national parks
See also: List of the national parks and reserves of Senegal
Parks and natural reserves account for 8% of the national territory. They play an important role in the safeguarding of the environment and contribute significantly to tourist rise.
In these protected areas one on the whole counts 169 species of mammals and 540 species of birds.
Senegal counts six national parks: the National park of Niokolo-Koba in the east of the country; the National park of the birds of Djoudj; the National park of the Language of Cruelty in the area of Saint-Louis; the National park of the islands of the Madeleine off Dakar; the National park of the delta of Saloum in the south, as well as the National park of Low-Casamance the, closed since a few years because of the disorders in the area.
The country also counts about thirty natural reserves moreover small size, such as the forest and zoological Parc of Hann in Dakar, the Réserve of Guembeul, the Réserve of Bandia, the Natural reserve of Popenguine or the marine Aire protected from Bamboung.
General indicatorsThe majority of the demographic studies carried out in Senegal are based on the three censuses carried out in 1976, 1988 and especially 2002. In 2004, the Management of the Forecast and Statistics published moreover “Projections of populations of Senegal resulting from the census of 2002” anticipating the probable evolution of the population of the country until in 2015.
According to these sources, the population of Senegal - which counted approximately 1 million inhabitants in 1900 and 2,8 million at the time of independence in 1960 - would rise today with 11.343.328 people (estimate to the 31/12/2007) and could reach 13.709.845 at the end of 2015.
This population thus grows very quickly, with a Fertility rate higher than 4 children per woman.
For a long time the population was rather concentrated on the Atlantic facade, but the rural migration increased the inequality of this distribution. From now on a Senegalese on four lives in the Presqu'île of Cape Verde and the capital is at the edge of asphyxiation.
In addition to that of Dakar, the most urbanized areas are Ziguinchor, Thiès and Saint-Louis. The least urbanized are those of Kolda, Matam and Fatick. It is in the area of Tambacounda that one finds more the weak density (11 inhabitants with the km ²).
ExileIf Senegal accommodates moreover migrants, seasonal workers or not, countries bordering or distance, a strong community sénégalaise saw outside. This Diaspora represents an essential resource for the country, at the same time economic and identity. NTIC support the maintenance of the family ties and the traditional networks.
They are mainly young men who settle in Europe, mainly in France, or North America, in particular with the Quebec with a project of return towards the country at the end of a few years. The increase in Clandestine immigration under the worst conditions in particular towards the Canary islands is a major concern for Senegal and the host countries.
Most desperate want to be unaware of the risks, sensitive to the success of some, and in particular of personalities of the diaspora - born in Senegal or Senegalese parents - particularly in the artistic mediums or sportsmen.
See also: Ethnicities of Senegal
A great ethnic diversity is observed: Wolof S (43,3%), Peuls (23,8%), Sérères (14,7%), Diolas (3,7%), Malinkés (3,0%), Soninkés (1,1%) Mandjacks (2%) and some other ethnos groups fewer and more localized, without counting the European and the Lebanese rather present in urban environment.
Economy and development
At the origin, the colonies were only to produce raw material and a free labor. It was interdict to develop an industrial activity. “Not even a nail” according to Colbert. - Senegal has the third economy of the West African under-area after the Nigeria and the Ivory Coast. Taking into account its geographical location and of its political stability, Senegal belongs to the African countries most industrialized with the presence of multinationals which are mainly of origin French and to a lesser extent American.
Economic partnershipsIts economy is mainly turned towards Europe and the India. Its principal economic partners are the France, the India, the Italy. However, for several years, the China has been a partner more and more growing as testifies the China-Africa tops to them.
Senegal is member of the economic Union and monetarist West African
Commercial productsCompared with the other countries of the African continent, Senegal is very low in natural resources, its principal receipts coming from fishing and tourism:
- fishing constitutes the independent source of currencies in Senegal. Since the reduction of the tax of customs, that doped export with the detriment of the ecosystem of sea-beds;
- tourism is developed primarily on the littoral with great international hotel complexes and local hotels of great quality.
Economic difficultiesThe weight of the foreign debt of this heavily in debt poor country (PPTE) and the agricultural sector which employs about 70% of the population sénégalaise leave little margin for an economic takeoff. Moreover, agriculture sénégalaise is very sensitive to the climatic risks and the invasions acridiennes.
In 1994, the currency is devaluated and a policy of liberalization is actively followed. Senegal tries to return under the requirements by the Fonds international currency (the IMF) in order to profit from a lightening of the debt for the development of the country. Since 2006, Senegal is in the list of the eligible countries.
See also: Transport in Senegal
InfrastructuresThe International airport of Dakar-Léopold Sédar Senghor is the principal air entrance point towards Senegal. May 25th, 1971, the supersonic aircraft Concorde makes a first flight of Paris-Dakar demonstration in 2:52 mn (of which 2:07 in supersonic flight) and on January 21st, 1976 opens for the first time its commercial line Paris-Dakar Rio. President Senghor attends his arrival with the airport of Dakar as well as the first supersonic passengers of the history of aviation. April 1st, 1982, it is the end of the Paris-Rio connection.
Since February 23rd, 2001, the airline company Air International Senegal, subsidiary of the group Royal Air Maroc, proposes destinations towards Europe and Africa. She was crowned better African airline company in 2003. She is member of IATA since May 28th, 2002.
The highway network is good in the west, but is degraded while going more and more deeply in the country. The grid system is well developed in the big cities with the taxis, the buses or the “bus rapids” more or less in good state (in the secondary suburbs and cities, they are collective taxi drivers clandos or carts). Inside the country, they are large bus white Ndiaga Ndiaye and taxi-bush.
The Gare of Dakar is oldest of Senegal. It offers nothing any more but only one destination for the travellers, Bamako in Mali - the connection with Saint-Louis from now on being reserved for goods transport.
The maritime transport is made up either of launches to join the island of Gorée starting from Dakar, or of boats for cruisings on the Senegal river, or of large boats of goods transport which profit from the one of the 3 deep water ports of Africa and a terminal for the containers.
LimitsThe networks are denser in the West of the country along the littoral but the movement of the goods and the people is particularly difficult towards Dakar and the peninsula of Cape Verde. The infrastructures are rarer in Eastern Senegal and the opening-up of these areas also constitutes a challenge because the means of transport remain often traditional inside the country.
Large efforts are carried out on the level of the equipment. Thus of many projects are in hand:
- construction of a turnpike between Dakar and Diamniadio;
- new International airport Blaise Diagne;
- installation of Saint-Louis to make a coasting port of it;
- installation of the port of Ziguinchor to receive containers.
See also: Culture of Senegal
See also: Languages of Senegal
The Constitution of 2001 recognized with the French the statute of official language and with six languages that of national languages, the wolof - spoken language by the greatest number of people even pertaining to other ethnos groups - the sérère, the Peul, the mandingue, the Soninké and the Diola. Five other vernacular languages were promoted shortly after (Hassaniya, swinging, mancagne, noon and Manjaque), and other additions of codified languages are in hand. On the whole it is nearly a score of languages which could profit from the statute of national language in Senegal.
See also: Literature sénégalaise
The literature of Senegal was known a long time in the world especially through the exceptional personality of Léopold Sédar Senghor, at the same time poet and statesman, cantor of the Négritude and emblematic figure of the Francophonie. Among the other traditional authors from now on appear in particular the novelists Sheik-Hamidou Kane, Birago Diop, Boubacar Boris Diop, but also Ousmane Sembène which will carry to the screen some of its own novels. On their side the women are particularly active, even incisors. In 1980, Mariama Bâ describes with a great sensitivity the polygamous company in a so long letter . Aminata Sow Fall, in the Strike of Bàttu (1986), watch that the small people were not deprived of resources. More recently, Fatou Diome meets success with the Belly of the Atlantic (2004), a novel which puts in scene, often with humor, the dreams of escape from the young Senegaleses.
StructureColonization left its marks on the architecture of the country, as in Gorée or Saint-Louis, and these sites are reproduced today on the Liste of the world heritage of UNESCO.
Sober and functional, but more transitory, the traditional habitat uses local materials (stone, ground, wood, straw), as for the boxes peules or the boxes with Impluvium casamançaises.
It is precisely of Casamance that is originating the architect diola today most productive in his country and abroad, Pierre Goudiaby Atepa. It conceived several great contemporary achievements, the such Porte of the Third millennium in Dakar.
Visual artsOusmane Sow, sculptor
ModeOumou Sy, costumière and designer
See also: Senegalese Cinema, List of films made to Senegal
The Senegalese cinema is one of oldest of Africa. Its most known representatives are the scenario writers Ousmane Sembène - also novelist - and Djibril Diop Mambéty, for which it is necessary to add Safi Faye, film producer documentary.
These productions are appreciated often better abroad than in Senegal where many rooms closed, competed with by the more flourishing market of the video.
It is also noticed that many films of various origins were turned in this country with the favorable climate and the landscapes of photogéniques.
See also: Music sénégalaise
Djembé, Sabar, will kora, Xalam and Balafon belongs to the traditional instruments always very popular. The great names of the contemporary music sénégalaise are: Youssou Dour, composer-songwriter, musician and interprets; NGueweul Rate/rhythm, griot group; Omar Bolt, composer-songwriter, musician and interprets; Didier Awadi, better African rappor in 2004; Sheik Lô, composer-songwriter, musician and interprets; Baba Maal composer-songwriter; Ismael Lô composer-songwriter; Thione Seck, song writer and performer of Mbalax; Ndongo Lô author-compisiteur-interprets mbalax deceased on January 16th, 2005; Foumalade, better tube of the years 2003,2004 and 2005 in Senegal; Viviane Ndour, better artist sénégalaise 2006 and queen of the mbalax.
See also: Kitchen sénégalaise
See also: Education in Senegal
Senegal is one of the countries of the continent which can be prided to have a teaching of quality with equivalences of diplomas with the foreign universities most prestigious both in France and in the United States.
This also allows exchanges with students who come to study in Senegal within the framework of specific studies on the country or of the Senegalese students who leave abroad in order to diversify their knowledge within the framework of research.
The population being very young, the demand for formation is very strong without counting the youth of the other poorer countries African which tries to finish their studies on Dakar.
See also: Sport in Senegal
Paris-DakarThe Rallye Dakar (or “Dakar”, in the past Paris-Dakar rally) is a professional rally-raid, which disputes each year in January, mainly on the African continent with arrival in suburbs of Dakar on a beautiful sand beach vis-a-vis the Atlantic Ocean. But following deaths of children of villager, the dispute became international thanks to the CAVAD, Collectif for the anonymous Victims of Dakar which joins together French associations, African, Portuguese, Spanish, Moroccan, Malians, Guinean and sénégalaises.
See also: Team of Senegal of football
Football is a very appreciated sport of the Senegaleses. The national team of Football, the very adulated Lions of Téranga, is affiliated with the Fédération sénégalaise of football and with FIFA since 1962. In 2002, in Mali, it missed little the cut of Africa vis-a-vis Cameroun finally and half finalist of the following edition. The same year (2002) was also qualified for the final stage of the world cup of the FIFA organized in Korea and in Japan. The team of Senegal beats France (world champion and of Europe in title) in match of opening of the world cup. Among the large Senegalese footballers, one can quote El-Hadji Diouf, Henri Camara, Khalilou Fadiga, Habib Beye, Tony Sylva, Mamadou Niang or, in the past, Jules Bocandé, but also the manager Pape Diouf, today president of OM.
See also: Fight sénégalaise
The fight sénégalaise is a practice anchored in the tradition. The Lutte sénégalaise did not lose anything of its popularity, through combat as short as spectacular. This sport is incarnated by impressive champions such as Yékini, which, in 2005, carried it on Tyson, a frightening adversary which had known to preserve the title during nearly 5 years, but will be beaten twice by another Senegalese heavy truck, Sérigne Dia, will be said Bombardier. Important economic issues are from now on related to this sport. And the concerned seals can reach nowadays nearly 350.000.000 FCFA, that is to say 45.000 dollars.
Boxing knew its letters of glory with Battling Siki (1897-1925), world champion at 25 years and first African to gain a world title of Boxe, remains in all the memories. More close to us, Free-Senegalese Souleymane Mbaye became champion of France WBC thelight ones.
The basketball is snuffed less than football, it is however a very practiced sport, stimulated by successes of its national team of Basket-ball, the Lions of Senegal and the players such as DeSagana Diop, Boniface Dong, El Kabir Pene or Maleye Doye.
The other sports are also well represented: the sénégalaise team of sporting Pêche (Foamed Mbengue, Abdoulaye Kébé, Cyril Calendini, Dominique Dussaut) became world champion in 2002 and 2003. Allured by often lenient weather conditions and the coastal resources, the visitors come many to practice the Water sports such as the Plongée underwater or the Surf, and the reputation of the Almadies or the vagueness of Ouakam is not any more to make. On its side, the Aviation of leisure - in particular ULM - allows a new approach of the landscapes, in a region deprived of true mountains. Cape Skirring and the Sine-Saloum constitutes destinations of choice then.
See also: Religions and beliefs in Senegal
The population sénégalaise is very mainly Musulman E (88 to 94% according to the sources), but the Chrétiens (especially the Catholique S) are also present (4 to 12%), and the Animisme is practiced mainly in the south-east of the country, but often cohabits with the other religions.
Senegal is famous for its religious tolerance. It is not rare to find members of the same family having different religions. The interreligieux marriages are numerous. Muslim holidays and Christian women are also celebrated and respected by different the Moslem brotherhoods and the other communities.
Company and daily life
Media as well private as public are well represented and have a relative freedom. The press sénégalaise represents especially the political opinions of the various parties. There are very few specialized magazines at the national level (ex: women's magazines).
See also: Trade unionism in Senegal
The trade unionism was in its beginnings a force of opposition to colonialism but now these are various political factions which support the trade-union organizations. These trade unions have the capacity to organize a strike in two neighboring states or to take part in meetings on NEPAD.
See also: Female condition in Senegal
The female condition is one of best of Africa because the women can work, to inform themselves, become ministers… On the other hand, there remain still fights to be gained for the condition of the housewife and the disappearance of the sexual mutilations, mainly in the countryside.
See also: Health in Senegal
Health always was with the point in Senegal thanks to partnerships between France and Senegal which began as of the colonial period by the opening from the first medical schools.
The Senegaleses go better and live longer - the Life expectancy with the birth is 55,34 years for the men, 58,09 years for the women and 56,69 years for the global population - and the rate of Prévalence of the AIDS is one of weakest of Africa (0,9%).
However some Endémie S remains alarming, like the Paludisme or the Bilharziose S, and of great disparities remain in the country, if one thinks for example that 70% of the doctors and 80% of the pharmacists and the dentists are installésdans the capital.
Traditional medicine with tradipraticians remains often the cheapest solution for the most stripped.
See also: Personalities of Senegal
Many personalities of international repute or having had a historical, cultural influence are of origin sénégalaise or quite simply born in Senegal. One can quote in policy the former French deputy then president of Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor which will become member of the French Academy, the historian and anthropologist Sheik Anta Diop or, the singer Youssou Dour.
|Random links:||François II of Tournon | Rock-and-roll | Mazerulles | Canton of Villeneuve-the-Garenne | Yuka Yoshida | Jean Daninos|