Senegal Facts

Senegal Facts and History


Senegal – The westernmost country in Africa

Senegal – The African country is named after the Senegal River, which forms its border in the north and northeast. Senegal flows into the Atlantic Ocean on the north-west African coast – just like the Gambia River, which gave the Gambia its name, the state that is an encclave in the middle of Senegal. In 1982 the two states merged to form the loose confederation “Senegambia”, but in 1989 they separated again.

The port city of Saint Louis, located on an island in the Senegal estuary, was founded by French immigrants and was the country’s administrative seat in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, its picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as is the island of Gorée, a small rocky island in the Atlantic off the capital Dakar and which, after the first Europeans landed, was successively in Portuguese, Dutch, English and finally French hands. It became known as the slave island because, together with Saint Louis, it was one of the most important centers of the West African slave trade.

Today Senegal is a presidential republic with a multi-party system. The situation of women, among other things, is still problematic, although their rights were strengthened in the 2001 constitution with regard to land ownership and marriage.

Female genital cutting was banned in 1998. A main goal of economic policy is independence from food imports.

Senegal’s most important export goods are fish and fish products, which, however, do not mainly come from the national river Senegal, but from the fish-rich waters off the Senegalese coast.

Name of the country République du Sénégal
Form of government Presidential Republic
Geographical location Senegal is located in northwestern Africa and is the westernmost country on the continent. It is located in the transition from the Sahel to the tropics.
National anthem Pincez tous vos koras, frappez les balafons,Le Lion rouge a rugi

(Take your Koras, hit the marimbas, the red lion has roared)

Population around 16 million (Credit: Countryaah: Senegal Population)
Ethnicities African peoples, approx. 40% Wolof, Serer, Diola, Malinke or Pular
Religions approx. 90% are Sunni Muslims, around 7% are Christians, the rest are various other religions, especially natural religions
Languages French as the official language, Wolof and others Africa. languages
Capital Dakar
Surface 196,712 km²
Highest mountain Nepen Diakha with a height of 581 m
Longest river Senegal, 1,635 km
Largest lake There are no larger lakes in Senegal.
International license plate SN
National currency CFA franc
Time difference to CET – 2 h
International phone code 00221
Mains voltage, frequency 220 volts and 50 hertz
Internet TDL (Top Level Domain) .sn

Senegal: history

Until the 19th century

Around 900 AD the Gana Empire expanded into what is now Senegal, where Wolof, Serer and Tukulor lived at the time. After the fall of the Gana Empire, the region fell to the Mali Empire, which existed until the 15th century. From the 15th century, Europeans were present in the coastal area; The Portuguese and Dutch established trading establishments, and the French settled the area at the mouth of Senegal from the 17th century. Until the beginning of the 19th century, the island of Gorée and the city of Saint-Louis, founded by the French, were the main centers of the slave trade in West Africa.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, by around 1890, France conquered the whole of what is now Senegal. In 1895 Dakar became the capital of French West Africa.

In the 20th century

In 1946, all Senegalese residents received French citizenship. On April 4, 1960, Senegal gained independence from France, after having received a certain political autonomy in 1956. In 1963 Senegal became a presidential republic.

In 1982 Senegal and Gambia merged to form the Senegambia Confederation, which was dissolved again in 1989 by mutual agreement.

Since 1990 there have been civil war-like unrest in Senegal as part of the conflict over the independence of the southern region of Casamance, which had been going on since the 1980s. A constitutional amendment passed on September 3, 1992 established the independence of the judiciary and a multi-party system. On March 31, 1998, US President Bill Clinton visited the country.

It was not until December 31, 1998 that female circumcision was officially banned. In the following years there were again bloody clashes between government troops and rebels.

In the 2000 presidential elections, President Diouf lost to long-time challenger Abdoulaye Wade. This formed a new government that included a broad alliance of left-wing social democratic and liberal parties, which, however, broke up after Prime Minister Niasses was dismissed in March 2001, shortly after a new constitution was passed in January, which among other things limited the term of office of the president fixed for a maximum of two mandates of 5 years each.

Senegal Facts