Politics and Economy of Senegal

State structure and political system of Senegal

Senegal, according to the Constitution of 2001, is a republic. The head of state and commander-in-chief of the national armed forces is the president. He is elected by universal direct and secret suffrage for 5 years and can be re-elected again. Legislative power is exercised by the National Assembly consisting of 120 deputies (65 are elected by territorial districts, 55 by party lists), elected on the basis of universal and direct suffrage by secret ballot for 5 years. Parliament can be dissolved by the president of the country 3 years after the parliamentary elections. Executive power is exercised by the government headed by the prime minister. The Government is responsible to the President and the National Assembly. The party or bloc of parties that won the majority of seats in parliament. Check cancermatters for political system of Senegal.

Administratively, Senegal is divided into 11 regions, 67 communes and 320 rural districts. The largest cities (thousand people): Dakar, Thies (216.4), Kaolak (193), Ziguinchor (162), Saint-Louis (133). In 1960–76, a one-party system existed in Senegal. The only ruling party was the Socialist Party of Senegal. Since 1976, the Constitution allowed the activity of three, and since 1978 – four political parties. Since 1981 these restrictions have been lifted. There was a legalization of multi-party system. By 2003, 65 political parties and associations were registered in the country. The most influential are the Democratic Party of Senegal, the Socialist Party of Senegal, the African Party for Democracy and Socialism (APDS) – Ande Zhen, the Democratic League – the Movement for the Establishment of the Labor Party (DL-DSPT), the Independence and Labor Party of Senegal (PNTS).

The real force in the country is represented by trade unions: the National Confederation of Workers of Senegal, which unites in its ranks approx. 120 thousand members, and the National Union of Independent Trade Unions of Senegal.

The armed forces of Senegal number 11 thousand people. (mostly conscripts), Navy – 600, Air Force – 400, Gendarmerie – 5800.

Senegal has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on June 14, 1962).

Economy of Senegal

Senegal is one of the most economically developing countries in West Africa. In 2000-02, the average annual GDP growth rate was 2.65%, however, despite stable economic growth, according to data for 2001, Senegal belongs to the group of least developed countries and occupies 145th place among 162 countries of the world in terms of socio-economic development. GDP per capita $470 (2001). The country has an external debt of 2.4 billion US dollars (13.3% of export earnings go towards its repayment) and receives long-term loans under the international Poverty Reduction Program. The economically active population is 4 million people. Inflation 3.3% (2001).

From the beginning 1990s the country is liberalizing the economy. In con. 1990s within the framework of structural adjustment programs (SAP), privatization processes have intensified. Many large state-owned companies that hold monopoly positions in various sectors of the economy are being privatized or reorganized into joint ventures.

Agriculture is the leading branch of the economy, 18.5% of GDP is formed here (2001), 70% of the economically active population is employed. The main and only export-oriented crop is peanuts, under which 2/3 of all cultivated areas in the country are occupied. In 2000, 764 thousand tons of peanuts were harvested. As a result of the policy of diversifying agricultural production and weakening one-sided dependence on peanuts, the production of cotton increased (annual harvest on average in 2000-02 – 698 thousand tons), rice (239.8 thousand tons), sugar cane (85 thousand tons), colors. Food grains – millet and sorghum (653 thousand tons), corn and rice are fully sold on the domestic market, but they do not meet the needs of the population in these crops. Fisheries are growing rapidly it accounts for 4% of GDP and over 25% of Senegalese exports. The annual catch of fish averages 400 thousand tons, the bulk of the catch – up to 70% – falls on small and handicraft fisheries.

Livestock occupies an important role in the traditional sector of the economy. It’s occupied here. 20% of the country’s population and creates 6-8% of GDP. Animal husbandry is carried out by extensive methods and does not meet the needs of the population in meat and dairy products.

In the beginning. 2000 in the mining industry (extraction of phosphates, iron ore, gold – up to 100 kg, diamonds, gas, peat) Senegal formed less than 1% of GDP, however, including the primary processing of raw materials, the industry becomes the country’s second most important source of export earnings. Phosphate mining dominates: Senegal accounts for 1.5% of world production and 3% of world exports of phosphates.

Electricity is generated at 6 TPPs with a total capacity of 231 MW. In 2000, 1.32 billion kWh were produced. The level of electrification of the country is 30.4%, incl. 4% is in rural areas.

There are more than 300 industrial enterprises in Senegal operating in the light, food, chemical, mining and construction fields. 20% of GDP is formed here and 10% of the economically active population is employed. Light industry is based on the processing of local raw materials and import-substituting production – textile and leather. The food industry is represented by the processing of peanuts, the production of peanut butter, refined sugar, carbonated drinks, dairy products, flour milling and fish canning; chemical industry – production of sulfuric acid (625 thousand tons), phosphoric acid (475 thousand tons), ammonium phosphate (250 thousand tons) and granular fertilizers – triple superphosphate (250 thousand tons), export-oriented, soap, paints, means of insect control, plastics, oil refining (up to 1.4 million tons); production of building materials – cement production (1 million tons). In the future, it is planned to develop gold and explore uranium ores.

The service sector is the fastest growing sector of the economy, providing more than 60% of GDP. It is primarily represented by transport services. The length of railways is 906 km, roads 14,576 km (including 4,271 km with hard surface). Waterways 897 km. Ports – Dakar, Kaolak, Saint-Louis, Zigin-Shor. Dakar is the largest transport hub where sea, rail, air and road routes of the whole region converge, the 2nd largest port in West Africa, serving the transportation of Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania and Mali. There are 200 airports (including 9 modern ones).

Tourism, one of the main sources of foreign exchange earnings, plays a special role in the development of Senegal. This industry employs 15.5% of the economically active population of the country and forms 3% of GDP.

State budget (2002, billion US dollars): revenues – 1.373, expenses – 1.373.

Unemployment 48% (2001), 40% among urban youth.

Foreign trade turnover (2001, billion US dollars) 2.3, incl. export – 1, import – 1.3. Senegal’s foreign trade is characterized by a chronic trade deficit. The main Senegalese exports are fish, peanuts, peanut butter, cotton, phosphates, sulfuric and phosphoric acids. The structure of imports is dominated by machinery, equipment, vehicles, food products, consumer goods. The main foreign trade partners are France and other EU countries.

During the years of independence, Senegal was a regular recipient of aid from Western donors. Active cooperation with international financial institutions, primarily the IMF and the World Bank, intensified after the adoption of structural adjustment programs tied to foreign sources of financing. In 2001 alone, the IMF allocated $55 million to Senegal for the implementation of structural adjustment programs.

The country introduced compulsory primary six-year education for children from the age of 6 years. Primary education covered approx. 70% of children of the appropriate age. The University of Cheikh Anta Diop operates in Dakar, and the University of Gaston Berger was opened in Saint Louis in 1990.

Politics of Senegal