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flag Senegal Senegal: Economic and Political Outline

In this page: Economic Indicators | Foreign Trade in Figures | Sources of General Economic Information | Political Outline


Economic Indicators

Senegal has, for a long time, experienced one of the highest growth rates of the UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union).  Structural reforms have created an important change in the economic environment of Senegal, notably thanks to the privatization of a number of public companies in the areas of agriculture and infrastructure. However, Senegal remains an LDC with almost 50% of the population living below the poverty threshold in 2014.

The informal sector still represents, in 2014, over 60% of GDP. The economy suffers from a faulty power grid, which slows down the growth of the country. Nevertheless, the economic growth went from 3.8% in 2012 to 4.0% in 2013. Investments are expected in 2014 to again improve the situation.

The country is poor in natural resources but it is one of the most industrialized in West Africa. Growth is driven in particular by the telecommunications sector, and should continue in 2014, helped by the government's strong investment in public transport. The IMF has predicted a growth rate of 4.6%.

Senegal has many bilateral partnerships and benefits from assistance of several international agencies (World Bank, IMF, EU, ADB). The World Bank in particular has provided a loan of $ 3.6 billion to fund over 160 programs currently developed in many areas.

Main Indicators 20112012201320142015 (e)
GDP (billions USD) 14.3714.0414.8015.88e16.85
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 1.7e3.4e3.5e4.54.6
GDP per Capita (USD) 1,078e1,023e1e1,0921,126
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 40.743.4e46.850.351.0
Inflation Rate (%) 3.4e1.4e0.7-0.51.5
Current Account (billions USD) -1.14e-1.52e-1.54e-1.56e-1.59
Current Account (in % of GDP) -7.9e-10.8-10.4-9.8e-9.4

Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database ; CIA - The world factbook , Last Available Data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Main Sectors of Industry

The primary sector employs 50% of the active population and contributes 18% to the GDP. The Senegalese agriculture is characterized by being highly vulnerable to climatic hazards and locust threats. Senegal's main crops are peanuts, black-eyed peas, cassava, watermelons, millet, rice and corn.  The country is relatively poor in natural resources. Fishing is also source of important revenues.

In 2013, the secondary sector has contributed to 24% to the GDP. It is based on the production of fertilizers and phosphoric acid to be sent to India and peanut processing (oil and cattle meal) and seafood processing (despite a growing depletion in the resource). Today, the secondary sector is in crisis due to lack of energy management.

The tertiary sector contributes 58% to the GDP. It benefits from the excellence of the telecommunications infrastructure, which favours investments in teleservices and the Internet.

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 33.7 14.8 36.1
Value Added (in % of GDP) 17.5 24.0 58.4
Value Added (Annual % Change) 2.5 -2.2 -5.8

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.

Monetary Indicators 20092010201120122013
CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 472.19495.28471.87510.53494.04

Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

Mostly Unfree
World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Distribution of Economic freedom in the world
Source: 2014 Index of Economic freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


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Foreign Trade in Figures

Foreign trade has accounted for around 70% of Senegal's GDP in 2013.

In 2013, imports again account for nearly half of the GDP. The country's main suppliers are France (representing 16% of imports), Nigeria, India and China. Senegal mainly imports mineral fuels, oil, cereals, machinery and vehicles.
Goods and services exports account for 25% of the GDP. Senegal's main clients are Mali, Switzerland, India and France. The main export commodities are mineral fuels, oil, sea products, inorganic chemical products, salt and vehicles.
Fishing is leading export, with its products benefiting for the past two years from ports modernization and a strong agribusiness industry.

For several years now, China has become an increasingly important partner of Senegal, as evidenced by the China-Africa summits. The country's trade balance improved in 2013 and this improvement should continue in 2014. However, the Senegalese foreign trade is characterized by a structural deficit of current account equivalent to several percentage points of GDP every year.

In 2014, the country remains under assistance from the international financial community, is not competitive enough and has difficulties to convince international investors.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20092010201120122013
Imports of Goods (million USD) 4,7134,7825,9096,4346,630
Exports of Goods (million USD) 2,0502,1612,5422,5322,530
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,2481,0781,193941-
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,0769401,013941-
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -4.0-5.9-
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5.72.6-
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 24.324.925.224.326.2
Trade Balance (million USD) -2,026-1,918-2,508--
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,157-1,989-2,633--
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 65.565.166.966.673.6

Source: WTO - World Trade Organization ; World Bank , Last Available Data


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
Mali 15.9%
Switzerland 8.8%
India 6.7%
Guinea 4.8%
United Arab Emirates 4.7%
See More Countries 59.0%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
France 15.4%
Nigeria 10.6%
Netherlands 8.4%
China 7.5%
India 6.2%
See More Countries 51.9%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data


Main Products

- bn USD of products exported in 2013
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 16.2%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 12.3%
Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not...Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not coloured 6.2%
Diphosphorus pentaoxide; phosphoric acid;...Diphosphorus pentaoxide; phosphoric acid; polyphosphoric acids, whether or not chemically defined 6.2%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish...Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 5.7%
See More Products 53.4%
- bn USD of products imported in 2013
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 16.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 10.5%
RiceRice 6.9%
Wheat and meslinWheat and meslin 2.9%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 2.6%
See More Products 61.0%

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

See More Products
More imports (Intracen Data)
More exports (Intracen Data)

Main Services

Source: Comtrade, Last Available Data

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Sources of General Economic Information

Ministry of Economy and Finance
Statistical Office
National Agency of Statistics and Demography
Central Bank
Central Bank of the States of West Africa
Stock Exchange
Regional Stock Exchange for Transferable Securities (in French)
Search Engines
Economic Portals
Web Senegal
Senegal Directory

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Political Outline

Executive Power
The President is the chief of state and is elected by a popular vote for a five-year term under the new constitution of 2001 (earlier it was seven years). The President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and enjoys immense executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs. He appoints the Prime Minister as Head of the government. The Council of Ministers (cabinet) is appointed by the Prime Minister in consultation with the President.
Legislative Power
The legislature in Senegal is unicameral. The parliament called National Assembly has 120 seats with its members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms. President has the right to dismiss the National Assembly. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the parliament. The people of Senegal have considerable political rights.
Main Political Parties
Senegal has presently a multi-party system. The major political parties in the country are:
- PDS (Senegalese Democratic Party) – a liberal democratic party;
- AFP (Alliance of Progress Forces) – a progressive liberal party, believes in social justice and development;
- PS (Socialist Party of Senegal) – a democratic socialist party, having strong base in trade unions;
- African Party for Democracy and Socialism – a revolutionary socialist party;
- URD (Union for Democratic Renewal) – a democratic liberal party.
Current Political Leaders
President: Macky SALL (since 2 April 2012) - APR
Prime Minister : Mohammed Boun Abdallah Dionne (since 6 July 2014)
Next Election Dates
Presidential: 2019
National Assembly: 2017

Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures the violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire sent to partner organizations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and activists of human rights, including the main criteria - 44 in total - to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
3 places down compared to 2013

Source: Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2014, Reporters Without Borders


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Partly Free
Political Freedom:

Map of freedom 2014
Source: Freedom House


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Last Updates: January 2015