Senegal. In January, Senegal contributed to a change of power in neighboring Gambia. There, Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the country more and more authoritatively since 1994, lost the election in December 2016 but refused to hand over power to the election’s winner, Adama Barrow. He applied to Senegal, where he chose to swear the presidential order at the Gambian embassy in Dakar the day after Jammeh’s term of office formally expired. According to Countryaah.com, the regional cooperation organization ECOWAS had threatened to intervene militarily, and troops from mainly Senegal also crossed the border into Gambia. The pressure on Jammeh became so great that he chose to step down and Adama Barrow could take over as president. In March, Barrow visited Senegalese President Macky Sall, marking the clearly improved relationship that emerged between the countries after Jammeh’s fall. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for frequently used acronyms and abbreviations related to as well as country profile of Senegal.
In January, the National Assembly approved a proposal to increase the number of seats from 150 to 165. The idea is that the 15 new members will represent the approximately 500,000 Senegalese living abroad. The opposition opposed the reform, claiming it was a waste of money. Parliamentary elections were held at the end of July following a messy election campaign measured by Senegalese measures. Several times the police used tear gas to stop the violence and dozens of people were arrested. The election itself became a new great success for the alliance led by President Sall, Benno Bokk Yakaar, who received close to half the votes and 125 of the 165 seats. Former President Abdoulaye Wade’s Alliance Winning Coalition Wattu Senegaal got 19 seats and Mankoo Taxawu Senegaal, led by Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall, got seven seats in parliament. In addition, eleven parties with individual mandates entered the National Assembly. In September, 91-year-old Wade announced that he was leaving his seat in Parliament, explaining that he was only running for election to attract votes for his party.
In April, the life sentence against Chad’s former dictator, Hissène Habré, was confirmed by a specially established court in Dakar. Thus, the president did not have a higher instance to appeal against. Habré was found guilty in 2016 of war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture.
Population. – The 5.1 million Senegalese are spread over an area of 196,192 km 2. The density (26 residents / km 2) varies considerably from region to region with a very significant maximum in Cape Verde (over 1000) and with minimum values within; the annual rate of population growth is 2.4%, similar to that of many other African countries. Although the percentage of urban population is relatively high in the Senegal (around 25%) and there are various important cities, so as to make urban development more advanced than that of neighboring countries, the primacy of the capital is very clear: Dakar, about half million residents, as well as being the first industrial and commercial center, is also a cultural and intellectual center whose influence extends far beyond the borders of the country.
Economy. – Agriculture in the Senegal is dominated by peanuts of which the country is the fifth largest producer in the world. Large investments are dedicated to this production, but the quantities obtained follow a fluctuating trend depending on the year: in particular, the drop in production due to the drought that hit this area of Africa in the early 1970s was significant. The other market crops (cotton and oil palm) take on a completely secondary importance in this context. Among the most important subsistence crops are millet and rice whose production is increasing (over one million q), but still insufficient. Livestock farming is of considerable importance in the country: cattle are almost 2.4 million compared to less than 2 in 1963, and the sheep herd is also significantly increasing. Fishing is very developed: many units for Atlantic fishing, mainly tuna, from various countries, rely on Dakar where there are important refrigeration systems. In total, almost 365,000 tonnes of fish landed were reached in 1976 (118,000 in 1963).
Phosphates are the main mineral resource of the country which ranks fifth in the list of producers with almost 1.6 million tons in 1976 (about 600,000 in 1963). Titanium minerals are also extracted at the mouth of the Saloum. Oil exploration on the continental shelf off the southern coast is at a very advanced stage.
The industry in the Senegal is of much greater importance than in other West African countries, possibly excluding Ghana. Alongside the traditional sector that processes raw materials for large exports (peanuts, phosphates) there is a strong sector that is dedicated to the internal market and exports to neighboring countries. In Rufisque there is a large cement factory and the Bata shoe factory. In Dakar, in the region – Cape Verde – almost 90% of the country’s industry is concentrated, a plant for the transformation of phosphates into fertilizers went into operation, an important fact as it could mean the beginning of the valorisation process. of local raw materials. Also in the capital, where there are also oil mills, breweries, textile factories, etc., there is a refinery that processes oil, imported from Algeria and Gabon, for internal consumption and for export to Mali and Mauritania. The communication routes are highly developed, but are concentrated above all in the northwestern part of the country. The port of Dakar, one of the largest in West Africa, has an annual movement of about 5 million tonnes of goods, one third of which are hydrocarbons.
The trade balance is passive with fluctuating trends in the deficit; the most important exchanges are held with France.
The average per capita income is just over US $ 350 per year. During the third four-year plan (1969-72), production increased more than expected (30%); the fourth plan foresees a strong development of fishing, an improvement in the yield of the peanut cultivated areas and an increase in irrigation which would also benefit rice cultivation, a significant increase in tourist numbers and the creation of an industrial free zone in Dakar.