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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Senegal

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The French colonies of Senegal and the French Sudan were merged in 1959 and granted their independence as the Mali Federation in 1960. The union broke up after only a few months. Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982, but the envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Senegal since the 1980s, and several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict. Nevertheless, Senegal remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Senegal was ruled by a Socialist Party for 40 years until current President Abdoulaye WADE was elected in 2000. He was reelected in February 2007, but complaints of fraud led opposition parties to boycott June 2007 legislative polls. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

In january 1994, senegal undertook a bold and ambitious economic reform program with the support of the international donor community. this reform began with a 50% devaluation of senegal's currency, the cfa franc, which was linked at a fixed rate to the french franc. government price controls and subsidies have been steadily dismantled. after seeing its economy contract by 2.1% in 1993, senegal made an important turnaround, thanks to the reform program, with real growth in gdp averaging over 5% annually during 1995-2007. annual inflation had been pushed down to the low single digits. as a member of the west african economic and monetary union (waemu), senegal is working toward greater regional integration with a unified external tariff and a more stable monetary policy. high unemployment, however, continues to prompt illegal migrants to flee senegal in search of better job opportunities in europe. senegal was also beset by an energy crisis that caused widespread blackouts in 2006 and 2007. the phosphate industry has struggled for two years to secure capital, and reduced output has directly impacted gdp. in 2007, senegal signed agreements for major new mining concessions for iron, zircon, and gold with foreign companies. firms from dubai have agreed to manage and modernize dakar's maritime port, and create a new special economic zone. senegal still relies heavily upon outside donor assistance. under the imf's highly indebted poor countries (hipc) debt relief program, senegal has benefited from eradication of two-thirds of its bilateral, multilateral, and private-sector debt. in 2007, senegal and the imf agreed to a new, non-disbursing, policy support initiative program.

Environmental Issues

Wildlife populations threatened by poaching; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; overfishing

Government Type



12,853,259 (july 2008 est.)


Western africa, bordering the north atlantic ocean, between guinea-bissau and mauritania


Total: 196,190 sq km land: 192,000 sq km water: 4,190 sq km

Slightly smaller than south dakota

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: republic of senegal conventional short form: senegal local long form: republique du senegal local short form: senegal former: senegambia (along with the gambia), mali federation


Name: dakar geographic coordinates: 14 40 n, 17 26 w time difference: utc 0 (5 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years (2004)

International Disputes

The gambia and guinea-bissau attempt to stem separatist violence, cross border raids, and arms smuggling into their countries from senegal's casamance region, and in 2006, respectively accepted 6,000 and 10,000 casamance residents fleeing the conflict; 2,500 guinea-bissau residents fled into senegal in 2006 to escape armed confrontations along the border

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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