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(i) (i) (i) (i) (i)

Coordinates : 14°N 14°W / 14°N 14°W / 14; -14

Republic of Senegal République du Sénégal (French )

Flag Coat of arms

MOTTO: "Un Peuple, Un But, Une Foi" (French ) "One People, One Goal, One Faith"

ANTHEM: Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons
Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons
Everyone strum your koras , strike the balafons

Location of Senegal
Senegal
(dark blue)

in the African Union
African Union
(light blue)

Capital and largest city Dakar
Dakar
14°40′N 17°25′W / 14.667°N 17.417°W / 14.667; -17.417

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES French

NATIONAL LANGUAGES

* Balanta-Ganja * Hassaniya Arabic
Hassaniya Arabic
* Jola-Fonyi * Mandinka * Mandjak * Mankanya * Noon * Pulaar

* Serer * Soninke * Wolof

ETHNIC GROUPS ( )

* 43.3% Wolof * 23.8% Fula * 14.7% Serer * 3.7% Jola * 3.0% Mandinka * 1.1% Soninke * 1.0% European / Lebanese * 9.4% others

DEMONYM Senegalese

GOVERNMENT Semi-presidential republic

• PRESIDENT Macky Sall
Macky Sall

• PRIME MINISTER Mohammed Dionne
Mohammed Dionne

LEGISLATURE Parliament

• UPPER HOUSE Senate (disbanded)

• LOWER HOUSE National Assembly

INDEPENDENCE

• FROM FRANCE A 4 April 1960

• Withdrawal from the Mali Federation
Mali Federation
20 August 1960

AREA

• TOTAL 196,712 km2 (75,951 sq mi) (87th )

• WATER (%) 2.1

POPULATION

• 2016 ESTIMATE 15,589,485 (72nd )

• 2016 CENSUS 14,320,055 (73th )

• DENSITY 68.7/km2 (177.9/sq mi) (134th )

GDP (PPP ) 2017 estimate

• TOTAL $43.326 billion

• PER CAPITA $2,732

GDP (NOMINAL) 2017 estimate

• TOTAL $15.431 billion

• PER CAPITA $973

GINI (2011) 40.3 medium

HDI (2015) 0.494 low · 162nd

CURRENCY CFA franc (XOF )

TIME ZONE GMT (UTC +0)

DRIVES ON THE right

CALLING CODE +221
+221

ISO 3166 CODE SN

INTERNET TLD .sn

* With French Sudan
French Sudan
, as the Mali Federation
Mali Federation
.

SENEGAL (/ˌsɛnɪˈɡɔːl, -ˈɡɑːl/ ( listen ); French: Sénégal), officially the REPUBLIC OF SENEGAL (French: République du Sénégal ), is a country in West Africa
West Africa
. Senegal
Senegal
is bordered by Mauritania
Mauritania
in the north, Mali
Mali
to the east, Guinea
Guinea
to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau
to the southwest. Senegal
Senegal
also borders The Gambia
The Gambia
, a country occupying a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River , which separates Senegal's southern region of Casamance from the rest of the country. Senegal
Senegal
also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde
Cape Verde
. Senegal's economic and political capital is Dakar
Dakar
. It is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World
Old World
, or Afro-Eurasia
Afro-Eurasia
, and owes its name to the Senegal River
Senegal River
, which borders it to the east and north. The name "Senegal" comes from the Wolof "Sunuu Gaal", which means "Our Boat". Senegal
Senegal
covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about 15 million. The climate is Sahelian , but there is a rainy season .

CONTENTS

* 1 Cultures and influences * 2 Etymology

* 3 History

* 3.1 Early and pre-colonial eras * 3.2 Colonial era * 3.3 Independence (1960)

* 4 Politics

* 4.1 Political culture * 4.2 Administrative divisions * 4.3 Foreign relations * 4.4 Military * 4.5 Law

* 5 Geography

* 5.1 Climate

* 6 Economy

* 7 Demographics

* 7.1 Ethnic groups
Ethnic groups
* 7.2 Languages * 7.3 Largest cities * 7.4 Religion * 7.5 Health * 7.6 Education

* 8 Culture

* 8.1 Cuisine * 8.2 Music * 8.3 Media * 8.4 Hospitality

* 8.5 Sports

* 8.5.1 Wrestling * 8.5.2 Football * 8.5.3 Basketball
Basketball
* 8.5.4 Motorsport

* 9 See also * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links

CULTURES AND INFLUENCES

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The territory of modern Senegal
Senegal
has been inhabited by various ethnic groups since prehistory . Organized kingdoms emerged around the seventh century, and parts of the country were ruled by prominent regional empires such as the Jolof Empire
Jolof Empire
. The present state of Senegal
Senegal
has its roots in European colonialism, which began during the mid-15th century, when various European powers began competing for trade in the area. The establishment of coastal trading posts gradually led to control of the mainland, culminating in French rule of the area by the 19th century, albeit amid much local resistance. Senegal
Senegal
peacefully attained independence from France
France
in 1960, and has since been among the more politically stable countries in Africa.

Senegal's economy is centered mostly on commodities and natural resources. Major industries are fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, construction materials, and ship construction and repair. As in most African nations, agriculture is a major sector, with Senegal
Senegal
producing several important cash crops, including peanuts , sugarcane , cotton , green beans , tomatoes , melons , and mangoes . Owing to its relative stability, tourism and hospitality are also burgeoning sectors.

A multiethnic and secular nation, Senegal
Senegal
is predominantly Sunni Muslim
Muslim
with Sufi
Sufi
and animist influences. French is the official language , although many native languages are spoken and recognized. Since April 2012 Senegal's president has been Macky Sall
Macky Sall
. Senegal
Senegal
has been a member of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie since 1970.

ETYMOLOGY

Senegal
Senegal
is named after the Senegal River
Senegal River
, the etymology of which is contested. One popular theory (proposed by David Boilat in 1853) is that it stems from the Wolof phrase sunu gaal, which means "our canoe" (or pirogue ), resulting from a miscommunication between 15th-century Portuguese sailors and Wolof fishermen. The "our canoe" theory has been popularly embraced in modern Senegal
Senegal
for its charm. It is frequently used in appeals to national solidarity (e.g. "we're all in the same canoe"), frequently heard in the media.

Modern historians believe the name probably refers to the Sanhaja , Berbers
Berbers
who lived on the northern side of the river. A competing theory is that it derives from the medieval town of "Sanghana" (also spelled as Isenghan, Asengan, Singhanah), described by the Arab geographer al-Bakri in 1068 as located by the mouth of the river. Some Serer people from the south believe the river's name is derived from the compound of the Serer term Sene (from Roge Sene, Supreme Deity in Serer religion
Serer religion
) and O Gal (meaning "body of water").

HISTORY

Main article: History of Senegal
History of Senegal

EARLY AND PRE-COLONIAL ERAS

Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal
Senegal
was inhabited in prehistoric times and has been continuously occupied by various ethnic groups. Some kingdoms were created around the 7th century: Takrur
Takrur
in the 9th century, Namandiru (wo) and the Jolof Empire during the 13th and 14th centuries. Eastern Senegal
Senegal
was once part of the Ghana Empire
Ghana Empire
.

Islam
Islam
was introduced through Toucouleur and Soninke contact with the Almoravid dynasty
Almoravid dynasty
of the Maghreb
Maghreb
, who in turn propagated it. The Almoravids, with the help of Toucouleur allies, used military force for conversion. This movement faced resistance from ethnicities of traditional religions, the Serers in particular.

In the 13th and 14th centuries, the area came under the influence of the empires to the east; the Jolof Empire
Jolof Empire
of Senegal
Senegal
was also founded during this time. In the Senegambia
Senegambia
region, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved , typically as a result of captives taken in warfare.

In the 14th century the Jolof Empire
Jolof Empire
grew powerful, having united Cayor and the kingdoms of Baol , Sine , Saloum
Saloum
, Waalo , Futa Tooro and Bambouk . The empire was a voluntary confederacy of various states rather than an empire built on military conquest. The empire was founded by Ndiadiane Ndiaye, a part Serer and part Toucouleur , who was able to form a coalition with many ethnicities, but collapsed around 1549 with the defeat and killing of Lele Fouli Fak by Amari Ngone Sobel Fall (fr).

COLONIAL ERA

In the mid-15th century, the Portuguese landed on the Senegal coastline, followed by traders representing other countries, including the French. Various European powers—Portugal, the Netherlands, and Great Britain—competed for trade in the area from the 15th century onward. In 1677, France
France
gained control of what had become a minor departure point in the Atlantic slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
—the island of Gorée next to modern Dakar, used as a base to purchase slaves from the warring chiefdoms on the mainland. Slave traders in Gorée
Gorée
, 18th century.

European missionaries introduced Christianity
Christianity
to Senegal
Senegal
and the Casamance
Casamance
in the 19th century. It was only in the 1850s that the French began to expand onto the Senegalese mainland after they abolished slavery and began promoting an abolitionist doctrine, adding native kingdoms like the Waalo, Cayor, Baol, and Jolof Empire. French colonists progressively invaded and took over all the kingdoms except Sine and Saloum
Saloum
under Governor Louis Faidherbe . Senegalese resistance to the French expansion and curtailing of their lucrative slave trade was led in part by Lat-Dior , Damel of Cayor, and Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof , the Maad a Sinig of Sine, resulting in the Battle of Logandème .

INDEPENDENCE (1960)

On 4 April 1959 Senegal
Senegal
and the French Sudan
French Sudan
merged to form the Mali Federation , which became fully independent on 20 June 1960, as a result of the independence and the transfer of power agreement signed with France
France
on 4 April 1960. Due to internal political difficulties, the Federation broke up on 20 August, when Senegal
Senegal
and French Sudan (renamed the Republic of Mali
Mali
) each proclaimed independence.

Léopold Sédar Senghor
Léopold Sédar Senghor
was proclaimed Senegal's first president in September 1960. Senghor was a very well-read man, educated in France. He was a poet, a philosopher and personally drafted the Senegalese national anthem, "Pincez tous vos koras, frappez les balafons". Pro-African, he advocated a brand of African socialism. Colonial Saint Louis c. 1900. Europeans and Africans on the Rue Lebon.

In 1980, President Senghor decided to retire from politics. The next year, he transferred power in 1981 to his hand-picked successor, Abdou Diouf . Former prime minister Mamadou Dia
Mamadou Dia
, who was Senghor's rival, ran for election in 1983 against Diouf, but lost. Senghor moved to France, where he died at the age of 96.

Senegal
Senegal
joined with the Gambia to form the nominal Senegambia Confederation on 1 February 1982. However, the union was dissolved in 1989. Despite peace talks, a southern separatist group (Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance
Casamance
or MFDC) in the Casamance
Casamance
region has clashed sporadically with government forces since 1982 in the Casamance
Casamance
conflict . In the early 21st century, violence has subsided and President Macky Sall
Macky Sall
held talks with rebels in Rome in December 2012.

Abdou Diouf
Abdou Diouf
was president between 1981 and 2000. He encouraged broader political participation, reduced government involvement in the economy, and widened Senegal's diplomatic engagements, particularly with other developing nations. Domestic politics on occasion spilled over into street violence, border tensions, and a violent separatist movement in the southern region of the Casamance. Nevertheless, Senegal's commitment to democracy and human rights strengthened. Abdou Diouf served four terms as president.

In the presidential election of 1999, opposition leader Abdoulaye Wade defeated Diouf in an election deemed free and fair by international observers. Senegal
Senegal
experienced its second peaceful transition of power, and its first from one political party to another. On 30 December 2004 President Wade announced that he would sign a peace treaty with the separatist group in the Casamance
Casamance
region. This, however, has yet to be implemented. There was a round of talks in 2005, but the results have not yet yielded a resolution.

POLITICS

Main article: Politics of Senegal
Politics of Senegal
Macky Sall
Macky Sall
, President of Senegal
Senegal
(2012–present) Abdoulaye Wade
Abdoulaye Wade
, President of Senegal (2000–2012)

Senegal
Senegal
is a republic with a presidency; the president is elected every five years as of 2001, previously being seven years, by adult voters. The first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor
Léopold Sédar Senghor
, was a poet and writer, and was the first African elected to the Académie française. Senegal's second president, Abdou Diouf
Abdou Diouf
, later served as general secretary of the Organisation de la Francophonie. The third president was Abdoulaye Wade
Abdoulaye Wade
, a lawyer. The current president is Macky Sall
Macky Sall
, elected in March 2012.

Senegal
Senegal
has more than 80 political parties. The unicameral parliament consists of the National Assembly , which has 150 seats (a Senate was in place from 1999 to 2001 and 2007 to 2012). An independent judiciary also exists in Senegal. The nation's highest courts that deal with business issues are the constitutional council and the court of justice, members of which are named by the president.

POLITICAL CULTURE

Currently, Senegal
Senegal
has a quasi-democratic political culture, one of the more successful post-colonial democratic transitions in Africa. Local administrators are appointed by, and responsible to, the president. Marabouts , religious leaders of the various Muslim brotherhoods of Senegal
Senegal
, have also exercised a strong political influence in the country especially during Wade's presidency. In 2009, Freedom House
Freedom House
downgraded Senegal's status from "Free" to "Partially Free", based on increased centralisation of power in the executive. However, it has since recovered its Free status by 2014.

In 2008, Senegal
Senegal
finished in 12th position on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance . The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African governance (limited to sub-Saharan Africa
Africa
until 2008), based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to their citizens. When the Northern African countries were added to the index in 2009, Senegal's 2008 position was retroactively downgraded to 15th place (with Tunisia, Egypt
Egypt
and Morocco
Morocco
placing themselves ahead of Senegal). As of 2012 , Senegal's rank in the Ibrahim Index has decreased another point to 16 out of 52 African countries.

On 22 February 2011, Senegal
Senegal
reportedly severed diplomatic ties with Iran
Iran
, saying it supplied rebels with weapons which killed Senegalese troops in the Casamance
Casamance
conflict .

The 2012 presidential election was controversial due to President Wade's candidacy, as the opposition argued he should not be considered eligible to run again. Several youth opposition movements, including M23 and Y\'en a Marre , emerged in June 2011. In the end, Macky Sall of the Alliance for the Republic won, and Wade conceded the election to Sall. This peaceful and democratic transition was hailed by many foreign observers, such as the EU as a show of "maturity".

On 19 September 2012, lawmakers voted to do away with the Senate to save an estimated $15 million.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

Regions of Senegal
Regions of Senegal
Main articles: Regions of Senegal
Regions of Senegal
, Departments of Senegal
Departments of Senegal
, Arrondissements of Senegal
Arrondissements of Senegal
, and Communes of Senegal
Senegal

Senegal
Senegal
is subdivided into 14 regions, each administered by a Conseil Régional (Regional Council) elected by population weight at the Arrondissement level. The country is further subdivided by 45 Départements, 113 Arrondissements (neither of which have administrative function) and by Collectivités Locales, which elect administrative officers.

Regional capitals have the same name as their respective regions:

* Dakar
Dakar
* Diourbel * Fatick * Kaffrine * Kaolack
Kaolack
* Kédougou * Kolda * Louga * Matam * Saint-Louis * Sédhiou * Tambacounda * Thiès
Thiès
* Ziguinchor
Ziguinchor

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Further information: Foreign relations of Senegal
Foreign relations of Senegal

Senegal
Senegal
has a high profile in many international organizations and was a member of the UN Security Council
UN Security Council
in 1988–89 and 2015–2016. It was elected to the UN Commission on Human Rights
UN Commission on Human Rights
in 1997. Friendly to the West, especially to France
France
and to the United States
United States
, Senegal also is a vigorous proponent of more assistance from developed countries to the Third World
Third World
.

Senegal
Senegal
enjoys mostly cordial relations with its neighbors. In spite of clear progress on other fronts with Mauritania
Mauritania
(border security, resource management, economic integration, etc.), there remains the problem of an estimated 30,000 Afro-Mauritanian refugees living in Senegal.

Senegal
Senegal
is part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Integrated with the main bodies of the international community, Senegal
Senegal
is also a member of the African Union
African Union
(AU) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States .

MILITARY

Further information: Military of Senegal Land mines were widely used in the Casamance
Casamance
conflict between separatist rebels and the central government.

The Senegalese armed forces consist of about 19,000 well-trained and disciplined personnel in the army, air force , navy, and gendarmerie. The Senegalese military force receives most of its training, equipment, and support from France
France
and the United States. Germany also provides support but on a smaller scale.

Military noninterference in political affairs has contributed to Senegal's stability since independence. Senegal
Senegal
has participated in many international and regional peacekeeping missions. Most recently, in 2000, Senegal
Senegal
sent a battalion to the Democratic Republic of Congo to participate in MONUC
MONUC
, the United Nations
United Nations
peacekeeping mission, and agreed to deploy a United States-trained battalion to Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
to participate in UNAMSIL
UNAMSIL
, another UN peacekeeping mission.

In 2015, Senegal
Senegal
participated in the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen
Yemen
against the Shia Houthis
Houthis
.

LAW

Senegal
Senegal
is a secular state, as defined in its Constitution.

To fight corruption, the government has created the National Anti-Corruption Office (OFNAC) and the Commission of Restitution and Recovery of Illegally Acquired Assets. According to Business Anti-Corruption Portal, President Sall created the OFNAC to replace the Commission Nationale de Lutte Contre la non Transparence, la Corruption et la Concussion (CNLCC). It is said that the OFNAC represents a more effective tool for fighting corruption than the CNLCC established under former President Wade. The mission of OFNAC is to fight corruption, embezzlement of public funds and fraud. OFNAC has the power of self-referral (own initiative investigation). OFNAC is composed of twelve members appointed by decree.

Homosexuality is illegal in Senegal. According to 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
, 96% of Senegalese believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of Senegal Senegal
Senegal
map of Köppen climate classification. Landscape of Casamance
Casamance

Senegal
Senegal
is located on the west of the African continent. It lies between latitudes 12° and 17°N , and longitudes 11° and 18°W .

Senegal
Senegal
is externally bounded by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
to the west, Mauritania
Mauritania
to the north, Mali
Mali
to the east, and Guinea
Guinea
and Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau
to the south; internally it almost completely surrounds The Gambia
The Gambia
, namely on the north, east and south, except for Gambia's short Atlantic coastline.

The Senegalese landscape consists mainly of the rolling sandy plains of the western Sahel
Sahel
which rise to foothills in the southeast. Here is also found Senegal's highest point, an otherwise unnamed feature 2.7 km southeast of Nepen Diakha at 648 m (2,126 ft). The northern border is formed by the Senegal River
Senegal River
; other rivers include the Gambia and Casamance
Casamance
Rivers . The capital Dakar
Dakar
lies on the Cap-Vert
Cap-Vert
peninsula, the westernmost point of continental Africa.

The Cape Verde
Cape Verde
islands lie some 560 kilometres (350 mi) off the Senegalese coast, but Cap-Vert
Cap-Vert
("Cape Green") is a maritime placemark, set at the foot of "Les Mammelles", a 105-metre (344 ft) cliff resting at one end of the Cap-Vert
Cap-Vert
peninsula onto which is settled Senegal's capital Dakar, and 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) south of the "Pointe des Almadies", the westernmost point in Africa.

CLIMATE

Main article: Climate of Senegal Beach at N'Gor

Senegal
Senegal
has a tropical climate with pleasant heat throughout the year with well-defined dry and humid seasons that result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds. The dry season (December to April) is dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind. Dakar's annual rainfall of about 600 mm (24 in) occurs between June and October when maximum temperatures average 30 °C (86.0 °F) and minimums 24.2 °C (75.6 °F); December to February maximum temperatures average 25.7 °C (78.3 °F) and minimums 18 °C (64.4 °F).

Interior temperatures are higher than along the coast (for example, average daily temperatures in Kaolack
Kaolack
and Tambacounda for May are 30 °C (86.0 °F) and 32.7 °C (90.9 °F) respectively, compared to Dakar's 23.2 °C (73.8 °F) ), and rainfall increases substantially farther south, exceeding 1,500 mm (59.1 in) annually in some areas.

In Tambacounda in the far interior, particularly on the border of Mali
Mali
where desert begins, temperatures can reach as high as 54 °C (129.2 °F). The northernmost part of the country has a near hot desert climate , the central part has a hot semi-arid climate and the southernmost part has a tropical wet and dry climate . Senegal
Senegal
is mainly a sunny and dry country.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy of Senegal A proportional representation of Senegal's exports.

After its economy contracted by 2.1% in 1993 Senegal
Senegal
instituted a major economic reform program with the support of international donors. This reform began with a 50 percent devaluation of the country's currency (the CFA franc ). Government price controls and subsidies were also dismantled. As a result, Senegal's inflation went down, investment went up, and the gross domestic product rose approximately 5% a year between 1995 and 2001.

The main industries include food processing , mining , cement, artificial fertilizer , chemicals , textiles , refining imported petroleum, and tourism . Exports include fish, chemicals, cotton, fabrics, groundnuts , and calcium phosphate . The principal foreign market is India
India
with 26.7% of exports (as of 1998). Other foreign markets include the United States, Italy
Italy
and the United Kingdom. Fishing boats in Dakar
Dakar

Senegal
Senegal
has a 12-nautical-mile (22 km; 14 mi) exclusive fishing zone that has been regularly breached in recent years (as of 2014 ). It has been estimated that the country's fishermen lose 300,000 tonnes of fish each year to illegal fishing . The Senegalese government have tried to control the illegal fishing which is conducted by fishing trawlers , some of which are registered in Russia
Russia
, Mauritania
Mauritania
, Belize
Belize
and Ukraine
Ukraine
. In January 2014 a Russian trawler, Oleg Naydenov, was seized by Senegalese authorities close to the maritime border with Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau
.

As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union
West African Economic and Monetary Union
(WAEMU), Senegal
Senegal
is working toward greater regional integration with a unified external tariff . Senegal
Senegal
is also a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa
Africa
.

Senegal
Senegal
realized full Internet connectivity in 1996, creating a mini-boom in information technology-based services. Private activity now accounts for 82 percent of its GDP. On the negative side, Senegal faces deep-seated urban problems of chronic high unemployment, socioeconomic disparity , juvenile delinquency , and drug addiction.

Senegal
Senegal
is a major recipient of international development assistance. Donors include the United States
United States
Agency for International Development (USAID), Japan, France
France
and China. Over 3000 Peace Corps
Peace Corps
Volunteers have served in Senegal
Senegal
since 1963.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Senegal's population from 1962 to 2004. Main article: Demographics of Senegal

Senegal
Senegal
has a population of over 13.5 million, about 42 percent of whom live in rural areas. Density in these areas varies from about 77 inhabitants per square kilometre (200/sq mi) in the west-central region to 2 per square kilometre (5.2/sq mi) in the arid eastern section.

ETHNIC GROUPS

Main article: Ethnic groups
Ethnic groups
in Senegal
Senegal

Senegal
Senegal
has a wide variety of ethnic groups and, as in most West African countries, several languages are widely spoken. The Wolof are the largest single ethnic group in Senegal
Senegal
at 43 percent; the Fula and Toucouleur (also known as Halpulaar 'en, literally "Pulaar -speakers") (24%) are the second biggest group, followed by the Serer (14.7%), then others such as Jola (4%), Mandinka (3%), Maures or (Naarkajors), Soninke , Bassari and many smaller communities (9%). (See also the Bedick ethnic group.)

About 50,000 Europeans (mostly French) and Lebanese as well as smaller numbers of Mauritanians and Moroccans reside in Senegal, mainly in the cities and some retirees who reside in the resort towns around Mbour. The majority of Lebanese work in commerce. Also located primarily in urban settings are small Vietnamese communities as well as a growing number of Chinese immigrant traders , each numbering perhaps a few hundred people. There are also tens of thousands of Mauritanian refugees in Senegal
Senegal
, primarily in the country's north.

According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees
Refugees
and Immigrants
Immigrants
, Senegal
Senegal
has a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 23,800 in 2007. The majority of this population (20,200) is from Mauritania
Mauritania
. Refugees live in N'dioum, Dodel, and small settlements along the Senegal
Senegal
River valley.

LANGUAGES

Main article: Languages of Senegal
Languages of Senegal
A street market in Malem-Hodar .

French is the official language , spoken at least by all those who enjoyed several years in the educational system that is of French origin (Koranic schools are even more popular, but Arabic is not widely spoken outside of the context of recitation). Most people also speak their own ethnic language while, especially in Dakar, Wolof is the lingua franca . Pulaar is spoken by the Fulas and Toucouleur. The Serer language is widely spoken by both Serers and non-Serers (including President Sall, whose wife is Serer); so are the Cangin languages , whose speakers are ethnically Serers. Jola languages are widely spoken in the Casamance
Casamance
.

Several of the Senegalese languages have the legal status of "national languages ": Balanta-Ganja , Hassaniya Arabic
Hassaniya Arabic
, Jola-Fonyi , Mandinka , Mandjak , Mankanya , Noon (Serer-Noon), Pulaar , Serer , Soninke , and Wolof .

Portuguese Creole , locally known as Portuguese, is a prominent minority language in Ziguinchor
Ziguinchor
, regional capital of the Casamance
Casamance
, spoken by local Portuguese creoles and immigrants from Guinea-Bissau. The local Cape Verdean community speak a similar Portuguese creole, Cape Verdean Creole
Cape Verdean Creole
, and standard Portuguese. Portuguese was introduced in Senegal's secondary education in 1961 in Dakar
Dakar
by the country's first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor
Léopold Sédar Senghor
, it is currently available in most of Senegal
Senegal
and in higher education. It is especially prevalent in Casamance
Casamance
as it relates with the local cultural identity. Aerial view of Yoff Commune, Dakar
Dakar

French is the only official language in the country, but a backlash in the form of a rising Senegalese linguistic nationalist movement supports the integration of Wolof, the common vernacular language of the country, into the national constitution.

Senegalese regions of Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kedougou, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda, Thies and Ziguinchor
Ziguinchor
are members of the International Association of Francophone regions

LARGEST CITIES

See also: List of cities in Senegal

Senegal's capital of Dakar
Dakar
is by far the largest city in Senegal, with over two million residents. The second most populous city is Touba , a de jure communaute rurale (rural community), with half a million.

* v * t * e

Largest cities or towns in Senegal Senegal
Senegal
- Largest Cities

RANK NAME REGION POP.

Dakar
Dakar
1 Dakar
Dakar
Dakar
Dakar
2 476 400

Pikine
Pikine

2 Grand Dakar
Dakar
Dakar
Dakar
2 352 057

3 Pikine
Pikine
Dakar
Dakar
874 062

4 Thiès
Thiès
Thiès
Thiès
252 320

5 Saint-Louis Saint-Louis 176 000

6 Kaolack
Kaolack
Kaolack
Kaolack
172 305

7 Ziguinchor
Ziguinchor
Ziguinchor
Ziguinchor
159 778

8 Tiébo Diourbel 100 289

9 Tambacounda Tambacounda 78 800

10 Mbaké Diourbel 74 100

RELIGION

Religion in Senegal (2013) Islam
Islam
(92%) Christianity
Christianity
(mostly Roman Catholicism) (7%) Traditional African religion
Traditional African religion
and others (1%) Main article: Religion in Senegal

Senegal
Senegal
is a secular state. Islam
Islam
is the predominant religion in the country, practiced by approximately 94% of the country's population; the Christian community, at 5% of the population, are mostly Roman Catholics but there are still diverse Protestant
Protestant
denominations. One percent have animist beliefs, particularly in the southeastern region of the country. Some Serer people follow the Serer religion
Serer religion
. The Great Mosque of Touba
Great Mosque of Touba
, home of the Mouride
Mouride
Sufi
Sufi
brotherhood, it is also one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture
in Africa. The Dakar
Dakar
Cathedral.

Majority of the Muslims in Senegal
Senegal
are Sunni with Sufi
Sufi
influences. Islamic communities in Senegal
Senegal
are generally organized around one of several Islamic Sufi
Sufi
orders or brotherhoods, headed by a khalif (xaliifa in Wolof , from Arabic khalīfa), who is usually a direct descendant of the group's founder. The two largest and most prominent Sufi
Sufi
orders in Senegal
Senegal
are the Tijaniyya
Tijaniyya
, whose largest sub-groups are based in the cities of Tivaouane and Kaolack
Kaolack
, and the Murīdiyya (Murid) , based in the city of Touba . 27% are nondenominational Muslims .

The Halpulaar ( Pulaar -speakers), composed of Fula people
Fula people
, a widespread group found along the Sahel
Sahel
from Chad
Chad
to Senegal, and Toucouleurs , represent 23.8 percent of the population. Historically, they were the first to become Muslim. Many of the Toucouleurs, or sedentary Halpulaar of the Senegal River
Senegal River
Valley in the north, converted to Islam
Islam
around a millennium ago and later contributed to Islam's propagation throughout Senegal. Success was gained among the Wolofs, but repulsed by the Serers.

Most communities south of the Senegal River
Senegal River
Valley, however, were not thoroughly Islamized . The Serer people stood out as one of this group, who spent over one thousand years resisting Islamization
Islamization
(see Serer history ). Although many Serers are Christians or Muslim, their conversion to Islam
Islam
in particular is very recent, who converted on their own free will rather than by force, although force had been tried centuries earlier unsuccessfully (see the Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune ).

The spread of formal Quranic school (called daara in Wolof) during the colonial period increased largely through the effort of the Tidjâniyya. In Murid communities, which place more emphasis on the work ethic than on literary Quranic studies, the term daara often applies to work groups devoted to working for a religious leader. Other Islamic groups include the much older Qādiriyya order and the Senegalese Laayeen order, which is prominent among the coastal Lebu. Today, most Senegalese children study at daaras for several years, memorizing as much of the Qur'an as they can. Some of them continue their religious studies at councils (majlis) or at the growing number of private Arabic schools and publicly funded Franco-Arabic schools. A modern messianic sect in Islam, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
is also present in the country which represents approximately 1% of the Muslim population.

Small Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
communities are mainly found in coastal Serer, Jola , Mankanya and Balant populations, and in eastern Senegal
Senegal
among the Bassari and Coniagui. The Protestant
Protestant
churches are mainly attended by immigrants but during the second half of the 20th century Protestant
Protestant
churches led by Senegalese leaders from different ethnic groups have evolved. In Dakar
Dakar
Catholic and Protestant
Protestant
rites are practiced by the Lebanese, Cape Verdean, European, and American immigrant populations, and among certain Africans of other countries as well as by the Senegalese themselves. Although Islam
Islam
is Senegal's majority religion, Senegal's first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor , was a Catholic Serer. Boys studying Quran, Touba

Serer religion
Serer religion
encompasses a belief in a supreme deity called Roog ( Koox
Koox
among the Cangin ), Serer cosmogony , cosmology and divination ceremonies such as the annual Xoy (or Khoye) ceremony precided over by the Serer Saltigues (high priests and priestesses). Senegambian (both Senegal
Senegal
and the Gambia ) Muslim
Muslim
festivals such as Tobaski, Gamo, Koriteh, Weri Kor, etc., are all borrowed words from the Serer religion . They were ancient Serer festivals rooted in Serer religion, not Islam.

The Boukout is one of the Jola's religious ceremonies.

There are small numbers of adherents of Judaism
Judaism
and Buddhism
Buddhism
. Judaism
Judaism
is followed by members of several ethnic groups, while Buddhism
Buddhism
is followed by a number of Vietnamese. The Bahá\'í Faith in Senegal
Senegal
was established after \'Abdu\'l-Bahá , the son of the founder of the religion, mentioned Africa
Africa
as a place that should be more broadly visited by Bahá'ís. The first Bahá'is to set foot in the territory of French West Africa
West Africa
that would become Senegal
Senegal
arrived in 1953. The first Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assembly of Senegal
Senegal
was elected in 1966 in Dakar
Dakar
. In 1975 the Bahá'í community elected the first National Spiritual Assembly of Senegal. The most recent estimate, by the Association of Religion Data Archives in a 2005 report details the population of Senegalese Bahá'ís at 22,000.

HEALTH

Main article: Health in Senegal

Life expectancy by birth is estimated to 57.5 years. Public expenditure on health was at 2.4 percent of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure was at 3.5 percent. Health expenditure was at US$72 (PPP) per capita in 2004. The fertility rate ranged 5 to 5.3 between 2005 and 2013, with 4.1 in urban areas and 6.3 in rural areas, as official survey (6.4 in 1986 and 5.7 in 1997) point out. There were six physicians per 100,000 persons in the early 2000s (decade). Infant mortality
Infant mortality
was at 77 per 1,000 live births in 2005, but in 2013 this figure had dropped to 47 within the first 12 months after birth. In the past 5 years infant mortality rates of malaria have dropped. According to a 2013 UNICEF report, 26% of women in Senegal
Senegal
have undergone female genital mutilation .

EDUCATION

Students in Senegal
Senegal
Main article: Education in Senegal

Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution adopted in January 2001 guarantee access to education for all children. Education is compulsory and free up to the age of 16. The Ministry of Labor has indicated that the public school system is unable to cope with the number of children that must enroll each year.

Illiteracy is high, particularly among women. The net primary enrollment rate was 69 percent in 2005. Public expenditure on education was 5.4 percent of the 2002–2005 GDP.

CULTURE

The African Renaissance Monument
African Renaissance Monument
built in 2010 in Dakar
Dakar
is the tallest statue in Africa
Africa
.

Senegal
Senegal
is well known for the West African tradition of storytelling, which is done by griots , who have kept West African history alive for thousands of years through words and music. The griot profession is passed down generation to generation and requires years of training and apprenticeship in genealogy, history and music. Griots give voice to generations of West African society.

The African Renaissance Monument
African Renaissance Monument
built in 2010 in Dakar
Dakar
is the tallest statue in Africa
Africa
. Dakar
Dakar
also hosts a film festival, Recidak.

CUISINE

Further information: Senegalese cuisine

Because Senegal
Senegal
borders the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
, fish is very important. Chicken , lamb , peas , eggs , and beef are also used in Senegalese cooking, but not pork , due to the nation's largely Muslim
Muslim
population. Peanuts , the primary crop of Senegal, as well as couscous , white rice , sweet potatoes , lentils , black-eyed peas and various vegetables, are also incorporated into many recipes. Meats and vegetables are typically stewed or marinated in herbs and spices, and then poured over rice or couscous, or eaten with bread.

Popular fresh juices are made from bissap , ginger , buy (pronounced 'buoy', which is the fruit of the baobab tree, also known as "monkey bread fruit"), mango , or other fruit or wild trees (most famously soursop , which is called corossol in French). Desserts are very rich and sweet, combining native ingredients with the extravagance and style characteristic of the French impact on Senegal's culinary methods. They are often served with fresh fruit and are traditionally followed by coffee or tea .

MUSIC

Further information: Music of Senegal
Music of Senegal
Kora player from Senegal
Senegal

Senegal
Senegal
is known across Africa
Africa
for its musical heritage, due to the popularity of mbalax , which originated from the Serer percussive tradition especially the Njuup , it has been popularized by Youssou N\'Dour , Omar Pene and others. Sabar
Sabar
drumming is especially popular. The sabar is mostly used in special celebrations like weddings. Another instrument, the tama , is used in more ethnic groups. Other popular international renowned Senegalese musicians are Ismael Lô , Cheikh Lô , Orchestra Baobab , Baaba Maal
Baaba Maal
, Akon
Akon
Thione Seck , Viviane, Titi and Pape Diouf .

MEDIA

Main article: Media of Senegal

HOSPITALITY

Hospitality, in theory, is given such importance in Senegalese culture that it is widely considered to be part of the national identity. The Wolof word for hospitality is "teranga" and it is so identified with the pride of Senegal
Senegal
that the national football team is known as the Lions of Teranga .

SPORTS

Wrestling

See also: Senegalese wrestling
Senegalese wrestling

Wrestling is Senegal's most popular sport and has become a national obsession. It traditionally serves many young men to escape poverty and it is the only sport recognized as developed independently of Western culture.

Football

Painting of footballer El-Hadji Diouf in Dakar
Dakar

Football is a popular sport in Senegal. In 2002, the team finished as runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations
Africa Cup of Nations
and became one of only three African teams to ever reach the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup
, defeating holders France
France
in their first game. Popular players of this team included Sadio Mané , El Hadji Diouf , Papa Bouba Diop , Khalilou Fadiga and Henri Camara , all of whom played in Europe.

Basketball

Basketball
Basketball
is also a popular sport in Senegal. The country has traditionally been one of Africa's dominant basketball powers. The men\'s team performed better than any other African nation at the 2014 FIBA World Cup , where they reached the playoffs for the first time. The women\'s team won 19 medals at 20 African Championships , more than twice as many medals as any competitor.

In 2016, the national basketball association in the US, known as the NBA
NBA
announced the launch of an Elite's Academy in Africa, and more precisely in Senegal.

Motorsport

The country hosted the Paris– Dakar
Dakar
rally from 1979 until 2007 . The Dakar
Dakar
Rally rally was an off-road endurance motorsport race which followed a course from Paris, France
France
to Dakar, Senegal. The competitors used off-road vehicles to cross the difficult geography. The last race was held in 2007, before the 2008 rally was canceled a day before the event due to security concerns in Mauritania
Mauritania
.

SEE ALSO

* Book: Senegal
Senegal

* Outline of Senegal
Outline of Senegal
* Index of Senegal-related articles * List of Senegalese people
Senegalese people
* Agriculture in Senegal * Telecommunications in Senegal * Transport in Senegal * Water supply and sanitation in Senegal

* Africa
Africa
portal * Geography portal * Senegal
Senegal
portal

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Senegal
in 1848" by Bruce Vandervort. * ^ Klein, Martin A. Islam
Islam
and Imperialism in Senegal: Sine-Saloum, 1847–1914, Edinburgh University Press (1968). p. X ISBN 0-8047-0621-2 * ^ A Critical bibliography of French literature: in three parts. The Twentieth. Edited by David Clark Cabeen, Richard A. Brooks, Douglas W. Alden * ^ " Uppsala Conflict Data Program
Uppsala Conflict Data Program
: Senegal: Casamance, In-depth Developments since 2005", Conflict Encyclopedia * ^ " Senegal
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- Country report - Freedom in the World - 2014". Freedomhouse.org. Retrieved 23 August 2017. * ^ "The Ibrahim Index » Mo Ibrahim Foundation". Moibrahimfoundation.org. Archived from the original on 29 December 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012. * ^ " Senegal
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says factory ship was seized on Greenpeace's orders; Trawler held by Senegal
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* ^ " The World Factbook
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FURTHER READING

* Babou, Cheikh Anta, Fighting the Greater Jihad: Amadu Bamba and the Founding of the Muridiyya of Senegal, 1853–1913, (Ohio University Press, 2007) * Behrman, Lucy C, Muslim
Muslim
Brotherhood and Politics in Senegal, (iUniverse.com, 1999) * Buggenhage, Beth A, Muslim
Muslim
Families in Global Senegal: Money Takes Care of Shame, (Indiana University Press, 2012) * Bugul, Ken, The Abandoned Baobab: The Autobiography of a Senegalese Woman, (University of Virginia Press, 2008) * Foley, Ellen E, Your Pocket is What Cures You: The Politics of Health in Senegal, (Rutgers University Press, 2010) * Gellar, Sheldon, Democracy in Senegal: Tocquevillian Analytics in Africa, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) * Glover, John, Sufism
Sufism
and Jihad in Modern Senegal: The Murid Order, (University of Rochester Press, 2007) * Kane, Katharina, Lonely Planet Guide: The Gambia
The Gambia
and Senegal, (Lonely Planet Publications, 2009) * Kueniza, Michelle, Education and Democracy in Senegal, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) * Mbacké, Khadim, Sufism
Sufism
and Religious Brotherhoods in Senegal, (Markus Wiener Publishing Inc., 2005) * Streissguth, Thomas, Senegal
Senegal
in Pictures, (Twentyfirst Century Books, 2009) * Various, Insight Guide: Gambia and Senegal, (APA Publications Pte Ltd., 2009) * Various, New Perspectives on Islam
Islam
in Senegal: Conversion, Migration, Wealth, Power, and Femininity, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) * Various, Senegal: Essays in Statecraft, (Codesria, 2003) * Various, Street Children in Senegal, (GYAN France, 2006)

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