Senegal is a West African country. Located in the westernmost part of the African continent, it covers an area of 196 190 km2. It is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, and borders Mauritania in the north and northeast, in Mali in the east, in Guinea and in Guinea-Bissau in the south, and in the Gambia, a landlocked country. within its territory and with a narrow coastal strip. The main cities are Dakar, the capital, with 2 613 700 residents (2004), Thiès (307 400 residents), Kaolack (275 500 residents), Ziguinchor (244 000 residents) And Saint-Louis (171 300 residents ). Most of the Senegalese territory consists of sandy plains.
The climate is relatively arid, especially in the North. It integrates the so-called Sahel, characterized by the great irregularity of the rains. Drought directly influences vegetation cover, which is made up of thin steppes in the North and savannah in the rainiest areas of the South.
The Senegalese economy was marked in time by the monoculture of peanuts, the country being one of the major producers of oil peanut butter. Vegetables and rice, together with millet, are the staple food of farmers. Senegal has a large deficit in cereals. Major hydraulic projects have been carried out, especially on the Senegal River, with the aim of increasing the irrigated area.
The main industries are linked to petroleum products, crushing peanuts, preparing fish for export (its main wealth), fertilizers, textiles and leather. The film industry headquartered in the capital is the center of film production in black Africa. Senegal’s main trading partners are France, Italy, Cameroon and Mali. Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide emissions, per capita (metric tons, 1999), is 0.4.
The population in 2006 was 11 987 121 residents. The population density is 56.71 residents/km2. The birth and death rates are respectively 32.78% and 9.42%. Average life expectancy is 59.25 years. The value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.430 and the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG) is 0.420 (2001). It is estimated that in 2025 the population will be 18 732 000 residents.
The most numerous ethnic group is the jalophos, which make up 43% of the population, followed by serer (15%), fulas (14%), tukulor (9%), diolas (5%) and mandingas (4%). The Azerbaijani Berbers from Mauritania invaded the region in the 11th century and converted the residents to Islam. The official language is French.
In the 15th century, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish commercial contacts with the territory, but only the arrival of the French, from the 17th century onwards, would strongly mark Senegalese culture. French colonial policy was made through an indirect administration, using the local chiefs as intermediaries and collaborators. In the main cities – Dakar, Gorée and Saint-Louis – direct administration was exercised by French citizens. It was the only colony where French citizenship was granted to Africans. The official language is still French today. For Senegal democracy and rights, please check getzipcodes.
After independence, in 1960, the Republic of Senegal experienced a political path inspired by the so-called Islamic socialism, disseminated by a group of associations, schools and newspapers, from which Léopold Sédar Senghor stood out, as the main theorist of the democratic system and President of the Republic. In 1982 Senegal joined the Gambia to form the Senegambia confederation, through a pact that united common institutions and an integration of the armed and security forces. Senegambia was dissolved in 1989, due to differences between the two countries.
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1UpTravel.com – Maps of Senegal
Check out the political and shaded relief maps of this Western African country, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Guinea-Bissau and Mauritania.
MSN Encarta Maps – Senegal
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Senegal – MapQuest
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Senegal – Maps.com
Find a map of this west African country. Click for a larger version or order a copy.
Senegal – National Geographic Map Machine
Check out a satellite created map of this African country with zooming ability. Plus, find cities, land features, and bordering countries.