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Overview

Located in the western most part of the African continent, Senegal is bordered by Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau. Senegal enjoys a dry tropical climate and has a population of 16.7 million people, a quarter of whom live in the Dakar area (0.3% of the territory).

Political Context

Senegal is one of the most stable countries in Africa, with three peaceful political transitions since independence in 1960.  President Macky Sall has been in power since 2012 and won a second five-year term in February 2019.

In 2017, the ruling coalition, Benno Bokk Yakaar (United in Hope) won 125 of the 165 seats in the National Assembly. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, local elections are now scheduled for January 23, 2022.

Senegal has so far been spared the violence engulfing the region, but terrorist groups activities in neighboring countries and cross-border trafficking risk fueling instability.

Economic Overview

Senegal’s GDP stood at $24.9 billion in 2020 in current terms. Its per capita Gross National Income (GNI) was $1,430 in 2020, which makes it a lower-middle-income country (LMIC). The economy grew by more than 6% per year between 2014 and 2018. Real GDP growth stood at 0.87% in 2020, down from 4.4% in 2019, and 6.2% in 2018.

The pandemic has significantly changed the country’s economic outlook, setting back services like tourism and transport, and exports. Government has responded with containment measures and has implemented an Economic and Social Resilience Program (Programme de Résilience Économique et Sociale, PRES). Nevertheless, limited fiscal buffers and safety nets, a vulnerable health care system, and a large informal sector pose challenges.

Economic recovery will likely be gradual. Reforms envisaged under the Emerging Senegal Plan (Plan Sénégal Émergent, PSE) need to be deepened for growth to resume its pre-pandemic trajectory. Services remain the main contributor to GDP, and the primary sector, agriculture, being the most dynamic engine of growth. Oil and gas extraction has been delayed due to the health crisis and are not expected to contribute to revenues and exports before 2035.

Development Challenges 

Senegal’s new development challenge is to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic while enabling sustainable and inclusive growth. This will require: 

  • Improving resilience to macro-fiscal, environmental, climate change, and social risks to safeguard investments in human capital and household livelihoods;
  • Boosting and protecting human capital for productivity growth.
  • Enhancing competitiveness and job creation by improving digital and physical connectivity at the national and regional levels and increasing the efficiency of labor markets.
  • Lowering energy costs, reducing the carbon footprint, and optimizing the energy mix. 
  • Promoting the services economy and boosting the productivity and competitiveness of agriculture and related value chains. 

Social Context

The COVID-19 pandemic risks jeopardizing the socioeconomic gains achieved through improved access to key services. This could generate severe losses for households through shortfalls in labor and non-labor income, domestic price inflation, and disruptions in basic services.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2021

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LENDING

Senegal: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments
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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
Corniche Ouest X
Rue Léon Gontran Damas
Dakar, Senegal
+221-33-859-41-00
For general information and inquiries
Mademba Ndiaye
Sr. External Affairs Officer
+221-33-859-41-00
For project-related issues and complaints