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Overview

  • Located in the westernmost part of the African continent, Senegal is bordered by Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. It surrounds The Gambia, a small Anglophone country. Senegal enjoys a tropical dry climate and has a population of 16.7 million inhabitants, a quarter of whom live in the Dakar region (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.  In power since 2012, President Macky Sall was elected to a second five-year term in office in February 2019. The five-year term has been in effect since the referendum of March 2016.  

    In 2017, the ruling coalition, Benno Bokk Yakaar (United in Hope) won 125 of the 165 seats in the National Assembly. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, local and legislative elections could be twinned in 2022.

    Senegal has so far been spared the violence convulsing the region, but activism by terrorist groups in neighboring countries and cross-border trafficking are factors that risk fueling instability.

    Economic Overview

    Senegal’s economy grew by more than 6% per year between 2014 and 2018. Real GDP growth stood at 4.4% in 2019, down from 6.2% in 2017. The services sector is the main engine of GDP growth, while on the demand side, investment and exports are the main drivers of growth. 

    The pandemic has significantly changed the country’s economic outlook. It is estimated that growth fell by -0.7% in 2020, setting back services (tourism and transport) and exports. Senegal has responded with a number of 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, driven by a return of private consumption and investment. Reforms envisaged under the Emerging Senegal Plan (Plan Sénégal Émergent, PSE) need to be deepened for growth to resume its pre-pandemic trajectory. The significant crowding in of private investment is central to increasing Senegal’s productive capacity and supporting export growth. Services remain the main contributor to GDP, and the primary sector (agriculture, in particular) the most dynamic engine of growth. Oil and gas developments have been delayed due to the health crisis and are not expected to contribute to revenues and exports before 2035.

    Development Challenges 

    Senegal’s key 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, and social risks in order 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 (particularly private money transfers), domestic price inflation, and disruptions in basic services.

    Last Updated: May 03, 2021

  • World Bank Group Engagement in Senegal

    Since March 5, 2020, a Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Senegal lays out the World Bank Group program for fiscal years 2020 to 2024.  Guided by the second Priority Action Plan (2019–2023) of the government’s Emerging Senegal Plan and the World Bank’s recent Systematic Country Diagnostic, the CPF supports three areas:  

    • Building human capital to enhance productivity and ignite the demographic dividend; 
    • Boosting competitiveness and job creation through private sector-led growth;
    • Increasing resilience and sustainability in the context of growing risks.

    The World Bank’s portfolio in Senegal comprises 20 national investment projects totaling $2.13 billion and nine regional operations totaling $336 million, all financed by the International Development Association (IDA). IFC commitments in Senegal total $160 million, while MIGA’s gross portfolio is $305 million. 

    COVID-19 immediate response

    The World Bank Group has employed various mechanisms to provide immediate support to Senegal.

    Health: The World Bank is supporting the country’s coronavirus response plan through three initiatives:  

    1. The Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) project, through which the Bank is supporting the purchase of equipment to protect health workers and meet other critical needs;
    2. $20 million in Fast Track Covid-19 Facility (FTCF) financing, approved on April 2, 2020;
    3. The new Investing in Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Project approved for $140 million (including $10 million under the Global Financing Facility), which has been identified for possible restructuring, as needed.

    Social Protection: The existing Social Safety Net project can be used immediately to enhance support to vulnerable populations. A total of $20 million of undisbursed funds can be used to support transfers to the 560,000 households in the Unique National Registry (Registre National Unique, RNU).  

    Public Finances: The Board of Directors approved Development Policy Operation financing of $100 million to help close the financing gap and respond to urgent liquidity needs.  This is in addition to IMF support of about $220 million.   

    Last Updated: May 03, 2021

  • The World Bank Group has contributed to Senegal’s development performance in various development  sectors: Here are a few examples: 

    Adaptation to climate change, livestock and food security

    With financing of $248 million from the World Bank, through the International Development Association (IDA) and coordinated by the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the Regional Sahel Pastoralism Support Project (PRAPS) aims at preserving pastoral systems, by mitigating conflicts, improving natural resource management and animal health, facilitating access to markets, and promoting income diversification among pastoral households. Between 2015 and 2020, PRAPS helped develop and improve the management of more than five million hectares of pastoral areas, 181 water points and 66 livestock markets, and mark out 1,414 kilometers of transhumance corridors. It has also supported the economic activities of 20,700 persons, of whom 88% are women.

    Education

    Quality Improvement and Equity of Basic Education Project

    • More than 2.5 million persons have benefited directly;
    • Two High Schools of Excellence for Integration, Equity and Quality (Lycée d’Excellence pour l’Intégration, Equité, et la Qualité, LINEQ) have been built and 600 students enrolled, with absolute gender parity;
    • Grade-level reading comprehension among primary school students has improved;  
    • The percentage of students enrolled in math and science tracks (S1, S2) at the secondary level increased from 32% to 37%, with a target of 45% by end-2021.

    Transport 

    Transport and Urban Mobility Project

    • 726,000 persons have benefited directly;
    • 6,650 jobs were created through labor-intensive investments;
    • Travel time between Rufisque and Lompoul has been reduced  from 211 to 153 minutes;
    • Travel time between Lompoul and Gandiol has been reduced from 202 to 100 minutes;
    • 600 young people were trained during road works;
    • 27 kilometers of urban roads were paved;
    • 1,307 minibuses were brought into operation as part of the fleet renewal process.

    Water and sanitation

    Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project

    • 180,000 urban residents were provided with access to improved water sources; 
    • 80,000 persons were provided with access to improved sanitation facilities;
    • 321,000 persons were provided with access to improved water services; 
    • 820,000 persons benefited directly.

    Social Safety Net Project 

    Under the Social Safety Net Project, the government of Senegal has registered 442,000 households in the Unique National Registry (about 30% of the population), and the National Cash Transfer Program (Programme National de Bourses de Sécurité Familiale) has reached its final target of 300,000 beneficiary households (about 20% of the population).

    Last Updated: May 03, 2021

  • Most bilateral and multilateral development agencies have an active presence in Senegal. Progress has been made to streamline development assistance, in keeping with the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda. 

    Last Updated: May 03, 2021

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LENDING

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

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


PHOTO GALLERY

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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
mademba@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
senegalalert@worldbank.org