According to itypeusa, the Republic of Senegal is a West African state. In the past, it was one of the most important colonies in French West Africa, of which Dakar was the capital. Also thanks to major French investments in the colony and Senegal’s place in the geography of decolonization, the country is one of the most advanced in West Africa, despite encountering various obstacles on the way to development. Having achieved independence from France in 1960, Senegal created a confederation with the Gambia in 1982, a sort of enclave in Senegalese territory, then dissolved seven years later by President Abdou Diouf. Relations between the two countries have since deteriorated and the execution of two Senegalese citizens in August 2012 has further exacerbated them. Also since 1989 relations with Mauritania have cracked, following some border incidents that have sparked protests in both countries, causing hundreds of victims. In the region, Senegal also has controversial relations with Guinea Bissau, as the latter forms a base for the secessionist movement of Casamance, which has been fighting with Dakar for 30 years.
Internationally, Senegal is historically close to Western positions, especially the former motherland France and the United States, as revealed by Barack Obama’s invitation to Senegalese President Macky Sall for an official visit to the White House in March 2013., along with just three other African leaders. In 2005, after having disowned Taiwan, the country officially established diplomatic relations with China: Beijing, together with the Arab countries of the Gulf, represents an important economic partner for Dakar.
Senegal is a presidential republic with a multi-party political system. In fact, however, the most influential forces are reduced to two: the Parti Démocratique Sénégalais (P ds) and the Parti Socialiste du Sénégal (Ps). The latter was in power continuously from 1960 to 2000, the year in which the PDS took over, thanks to the election of Abdoulaye Wade, subsequently confirmed in 2007. From the elections of March 2012, the opposition candidate Macky Sall was the winner. President Wade had tried in vain to secure a further term, although the Constitution only admits two consecutive ones. Four years into his presidency, Sall still faces major challenges: restoring citizens’ trust in the state, eroded by the controversial previous administration; seek to reduce unemployment, contain the cost of living and address the chronic shortage of electricity and water.
The new president attempted to initiate a reform of the institutions with a view to greater transparency, having some former ministers tried for corruption. Among these is Karim Wade, son of the former president and a leading exponent of the PDS, arrested in April 2013. The sentence of Wade, confirmed in 2015 by the Supreme Court, will prevent him from running for the presidential elections in 2017.
Dictionary of History
Senegal, Republic of the West African State with its capital in Dakar, it is bordered to the East and N by the course of the Senegal river and completely encloses the Gambia river basin and the homonymous state. The population is overwhelmingly Muslim, Wolof being the most widespread language, along with French. Seat of the Tekrur kingdom already before the 10th century, area of influence of the kingdom of Ghana, saw towards the 11th century. the start of the Islamization of the Fulani communities, by the Zenaga Berbers of Mauritania and the northern Senegal Around 1040 they created a ribat (fortified religious center), the basis of the subsequent Almoravid expansion. Founded by the legendary bourba (“King”) Njajan Njay, between the 11th and 14th centuries. the Wolof or Jolof kingdom was consolidated, which in the 16th century. it split into rival states, but left a strong linguistic and cultural heritage. At the end of the 17th century. the Senegal was affected by a wave of Islamic fervor and in 1776 the tekrur (or toucouleur), under the leadership of Abdul Kader Kan, founded in Futa Toro a theocratic confederation. The Portuguese arrived in the mid-15th century. they created several commercial bases along the coast, which were then joined by those of the Dutch and French who in the 17th century. they ousted the hegemony of Portugal. Built their own outpost on an island at the mouth of the Senegal River, the future Saint-Louis, in 1677 the French conquered the market island of Gorée, formerly a Dutch base. The two localities – the main ports of exchange for slaves, gold and rubber in the region – were repeatedly occupied by the British, who, however, kept in the area only the bases on the Gambia River, around which the small British possession of the Gambia. Returning to France in 1816, the Senegalese possessions were entrusted to the governor L.-L.-C. Faidherbe which, secured the coastal bases and founded Dakar in 1857, led the French penetration inland, occupying Futa Toro and Futa Djallon, blocking the expansion of al-Hajj Umar Tall and using the Senegalese bridgehead as a rear for the French conquests in West Africa. The last twenty years of the nineteenth century saw the emergence of the religious brotherhood of the Mouridiyya, founded by Ahmadu Bamba, which quickly gained wide acceptance. France, committed to undermining the power of local leaders, initially exiled Ahmadu Bamba, but later recalled him, using his influence to stabilize the country and promote the development of the peanut crop, which became the main export product of the country. Country. In 1895 the Senegal became part of French West Africa (AOF) and, at the end of the 19th century, Paris conferred municipal status on the coastal cities of Gorée, Rufisque, Saint-Louis and Dakar (Senegalese ➔ communes) , whose residents obtained French citizenship and parliamentary representation in Paris. In 1902 the capital of the AOF and the Senegal was moved from Saint-Louis to Dakar. In 1914 B. Diagne he was the first African deputy elected to the National Assembly, as well as founder in Senegal del Parti républicain-socialiste (1919). Controlled by the Vichy regime between 1940 and 1942, the strategic port of Dakar was then taken over by free France. The anti-colonial movement was dominated by the figure of LS Senghor and his Bloc démocratique sénégalais (BDS), which in 1958 merged into the Union progressiste sénégalaise. Socialist and progressive Catholic, moderate and substantially pro-Western in terms of choices of international alignment, Senghor forged an effective power pact with the Senegalese Islamic establishment and the rural notabilato. In 1958 the Senegal joined the Franco-African Community and in 1959, having failed the attempts to create a confederation between the territories of the former AOF (➔ Houphouët-Boigny, Félix), it joined the French Sudan (od. Mali) giving life to the Confederation of Mali, which in June 1960 proclaimed their independence. In August of the same year, however, the Senegal broke away from the confederation. The presidency of the Republic was assumed by Senghor, who in 1963, after disagreements with Prime Minister M. Dia and an attempted coup, launched a one-party regime. Having prepared a succession in terms of stability and democratic openness, in 1980 Senghor withdrew from politics. He was succeeded by Abdou Diouf, who carried out the process of gradual liberalization of the political system. In 1982 he approved the union between Senegal and Gambia in the Confederation of Senegambia, an experience which ended in 1989. In 2000 the elections were won by Abdoulaye Wade of the Parti démocratique sénégalais, who in 2004 managed to put an end to the secessionist struggle in the Casamance region, started in the 1980s. Wade was re-elected in 2007.