West Africa

Senegal Economy

Senegal’s gross domestic product (according to World Bank estimates for 2006) was $ 9,186 million, which was equivalent to a per capita income of $ 760.90. Although the predominant activity in the country is still agriculture, the industrial sector is experiencing growth that places it among the first in West Africa. However, the economy continues to be overly dependent on peanut or groundnut crops. France, the European Union and the World Bank have provided technical and financial assistance to Senegal. In the late 1980s, the country’s annual budget included an aid line of US $ 1.6 billion.

Farming

77% of the active population works in the agricultural sector and the cultivated area constitutes 13% of the total area of the country. As a country located in Africa according to COMPUTERANNALS, Senegal is among the world’s leading peanut producers. He dedicates most of the farmland to the cultivation of this product, especially the sandy soils of the northwest of the country.

Peanuts and peanut oil are the two products on which the annual export trade revolves. Lately, attempts are being made to diversify agricultural production with the expansion of other crops such as rice and tomatoes. The annual production (in t) in 2006 was: 460,481 of peanuts, 494,345 of millet, 121,003 of sorghum and 190,493 of rice. With regard to livestock, there were 3.14 million heads of cattle, 5 million sheep, 4.26 million goats, 317,814 pigs and 415,463 donkeys and 4,105 camels.

Forestry and fishing

The production derived from logging was 6.10 million m³ of wood. The fishing is an activity that is of considerable importance due to the richness of its coastal waters and modern fleet available in the country. Annual catches in 2005 were around 355,105 t of sea fish (mainly sardines), compared to total catches of 405,264 tonnes.

Industry and mining

Phosphates are Senegal’s quintessential mineral product. In 2004, the production was 576,000 tons. It also has a refinery of oil that has capacity to 900,000 t of imported crude. The rest of the manufacturing activity revolves around sectors such as food (peanut oil, refined sugar, canned fish and flour), cement, footwear, textiles, fertilizers, chemicals and tobacco.

Energy, Transport and communications

In 2003, the country generated 1,332 million KWh of electrical energy. All this energy is generated in thermal power plants.

Senegal has a good road network with 13,576 km, of which 29% are paved. The railway lines consist of 906 km of tracks that connect the coastal cities with each other and penetrate into the interior lands as far as Mali.

The country’s television and radio are state-owned. In 2000 there were 1,240,000 radio sets and 380,000 television sets. Le Soleil, the most important of the country’s newspapers, based in Dakar, had a circulation of 45,000 copies in 1996.

Currency and foreign trade

Senegal is part of the Franc Zone. Its monetary unit is the CFA franc, divisible into 100 cents (522.90 CFA francs were equal to US $ 1 in 2006). Central bank functions correspond to the Central Bank of West African States, based in Dakar, which acts on behalf of the states that make up the free zone. In January of 1994, the CFA franc was devalued by 50% of its exchange value with respect to the French franc. The Senegalese economy is always in deficit.

In 2003, exports were 1,151 million dollars, while imports reached 2,392 million dollars. The export trade developed around products such as peanuts, peanut oil, and other products related to peanuts, phosphates, petroleum, fish, and textiles. Imports were focused on crude oil, manufactured staples, and grains. Senegal carries out its commercial activity mainly with France, Nigeria, Italy, India and the United States.

Sightseeing

The government has given a great boost to tourism with the expansion of tourist facilities during the 1970s. Senegal’s magnificent beaches and natural parks, where there are hunting reserves for wild animals, constitute the largest attractions of the country.

Senegal Economy