phil for senagal

CATCHING UP WITH SENEGAL : POLITICAL CONTEXT, ECONOMIC OVERVIEW, INVESTMENT ENVIRONMENT & TOURISM DEVELOPMENT BY EXECUTIVE EDITOR PHIL H. LATIMIER, Ph.D.

 

 

 

  • Country Overview

 

Senegal is located in the western most part of Africa’s Sahel region and has a national territory that spans 196,722 km².

Senegal is a country on Africa’s west coast known for its French colonial heritage and natural attractions.Dakar, the capital, features the ancient Médina district and esteemed Musée Théodore Monod, displaying
African art.
Dakar is also known for its nightlife and native mbalax music.
Saint-Louis, formerly the capital of French West Africa, is known for the colonial architecture in its old
town.
Senegal’s population is estimated at 14.3 million, 40.3% of which live in urban zones according the latest
2013 population census.
  • Political Context

Long considered one of Africa’s model democracies, the western African nation of Senegal has a tradition

of stable governments and civilian rule.

Hundreds of Senegalese were killed in a local separatist conflict in the southern region of Casamance.

But violence has waned since a 2014 ceasefire.

The country’s stability has allowed it to send peacekeeping troops to DR Congo, Liberia and Kosovo.

 

Senegal is one of the most stable countries in Africa, and has considerably strengthened its democratic

institutions since its independence from France in 1960.

Senegal has had three peaceful political transitions with four presidents: Leopold Sedar Senghor

(1960-1980), Abdou Diouf (1981- 2000), Abdoulaye Wade (2000- 2012), and since March 2012, Macky

Sall.

 

  • Time line

Some key dates in Senegal’s history:

  • 8th century – Present-day Senegal is part of the Kingdom of Ghana.
  • 1677 - French take over island of Goree from the Dutch, the start of nearly 300 years of French oversight.
  • 1756-63 – Seven Years’ War: Britain takes over French posts in Senegal, forms colony of Senegambia. France regains its holdings during American Revolutionary War of 1775-83.
  • 1960 - Senegal becomes an independent country.
  • 2000 - Opposition leader Abdoulaye Wade wins second round of presidential elections, ending 40 years of Socialist Party rule.
  • 2004 - Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC) and government sign pact aimed at ending secessionist struggle in the southern province of Casamance. Violence continues, however until rebel leader Salif Sadio declares a unilateral ceasefire in 2014.
  • 2012 - Macky Sall wins presidential elections and his coalition wins the parliamentary elections.MPs abolish the upper house, the Senate, and the post of vice president in an effort to save money for flood relief. Critics say the aim is to weaken the opposition.

 

On March 20th, 2016, Senegal held a referendum to vote on changes to its constitution.

The proposed changes aimed at strengthening the political system by reducing the length of the

presidential term from seven to five years, creating a new consultative assembly, allowing an

independent candidate status for all elections, establishing an official status for the opposition

leader, and establishing the intangibility of some articles of the constitution (Republican form of the

State, mode of elections, term of the presidential mandate, consecutive number of mandates).

The “yes” vote won the referendum and passed the changes.

The next presidential election is expected in 2019.

Senegal has a lively political scene, with parties competing across ethnic, religious and ideological lines.

Senegal has traditionally enjoyed one of the most unrestricted press climates in the region.

But Reporters Without Borders warned media freedom faced threats before the 2012 elections when

there were « physical attacks on news media, jamming of radio broadcasts, abusive prosecutions and the

jailing of journalists ».

Laws that ban reports that discredit the state, incite disorder or spread « false news » have encouraged

self-censorship.

The private media, however, is often critical of the government

 

  • Economic Overview

Over the course of 2015, Senegal’s macroeconomic performance has been strong with a growth rate of

6.5%, a rate which hasn’t been achieved since 2003.

This performance is remarkable given the the depressed global environment that has contributed to

many African countries registering a marked slowdown in their economic activities.

As a result, Senegal was the second fastest growing economy in West Africa, behind Côte d’Ivoire.

The main drivers of growth were higher private sector demand, stimulated by lower energy and transport

prices, as well as the ambitious public investment program carried out by the government, up

by almost 0.4% of GDP in 2015.

At the sectorial level, services remained the engine of growth, contributing to over one third of the

economic expansion, while the industry’s contribution increased to approximately 23% thanks to a solid

performance in the chemical industry and construction sector.

The agricultural sector accounted for almost 34% of GDP growth in 2015 thanks to good rainfall and

various targeted government programs in favor of rice production and horticulture value chains.

Medium-term outlook

As indicated in a recent WORLD BANK report, the economic outlook remains favorable in the short term

with growth projected to reach 6.5% in 2016, with the economy driven mainly by the services sector,

particularly telecommunications and financial services.

The rebound in agriculture coupled with the end of the Ebola epidemic will benefit the national economy.

Economic activity will be further strengthened by lower oil prices, reduced production costs, and

electricity subsidies.

 

 

The uncertainty created by a slower implementation of reforms geared toward curbing unproductive

public consumption, and delays in raising expenditure efficiency could hamper implementation of the

government’s strategy for an emerging Senegal, known as the “Plan Senegal Emergent” (PSE).

Sluggish policy implementation in the energy and agriculture sectors could also depress growth and the

limited absorption capacity regarding the precautionary reserve of investment projects might slow down

growth in 2016 and beyond.

Development Challenges

An unfavorable investment climate, costly energy, and weak governance systems have prevented the

private sector from stimulating the economy.

External shocks and natural disasters have also slowed growth and increased the vulnerability of the

entire economy.

In addition, poor management of exports such as peanuts, seafood, and phosphates have slowed growth.

The tourism sector, which has substantial potential, has been neglected.

In order to strengthen the Senegalese economy and increase its resilience to internal and external

shocks, more efforts are needed to diversify the economy in the areas of horticulture, mining,

telecommunications, and manufacturing.

The new government has developed an ambitious program that prioritizes diversification and exports.

The Emerging Senegal Plan or “Plan Senegal Emergent” (PSE) aims to increase the productivity of

Senegal’s economy in the public and private sectors.

However, current plans to accelerate public investment will test the authorities’ ability to improve the

quality of projects, and could lead to higher debt without commensurate positive impact on GDP.

Social Context

Poverty remains high in Senegal, affecting 46.7% of the population.

GDP growth is well below the rates necessary for significant poverty reduction, and a growing reliance on

capital-intensive exports rather than labor-intensive sectors limits the creation of new jobs.

Repeated shocks in recent years have further hampered progress, with poverty incidence decreasing only

by 1.8 percentage points between 2006 and 2011, and the number of poor actually increasing to reach 6.3

million in 2011.

Inequality in Senegal is moderate, and slightly lower than the Sub-Saharan African average.

However, geographic disparities are very pronounced, with almost 2 out of 3 residents poor in rural

areas, especially in the south, versus one in four in Dakar.

Progress has been made on access to education, but a significant number of youth only go to Koranic

schools that are not aligned with the public school curriculum.

Child begging related to some of these schools remains a problem, notably in Dakar.

To promote the welfare and human capital of the poorest, President Sall has committed to accelerating

the roll out of the National Family Security Transfer Program (Programme National de Bourses de

Sécurité Familial).

 

  • Travel and Tourism in Senegal

 

Compared to several other African countries, Senegal has a considerably democratic and stable

government, which is in fact considered an example to follow for neighbouring countries.

This stability and maturity has been reflected in the government’s investment in core markets which can

help to grow the country’s economy, such as travel and tourism.

In fact, Senegal has been investing in promoting itself abroad, this being evident from the increasing

number of arrivals.

 

Tourism diversity appeals to touristsAlthough the Senegalese travel and tourism market still has much

room for development, the country’s diversity has been attracting a large number of tourists.

Beautiful beaches and good weather, good nightlife and varied and internationally-recognised cuisine are

just some of the factors which have been attracting tourists.

At the same time, as several international companies have chosen Senegal for their African logistics hubs

and headquarters, business tourism also plays an important role in the market’s overall performance.

 

 

International players inject know-how into the market.

The Senegalese travel and tourism market has attracted internationally recognised companies, which

have acknowledged the potential of the country’s tourist industry and consequently invested in

it.France’s close relationship with Senegal has led to Europcar and Accor Group investing in the car

rental and travel accommodation categories, respectively.

This international know-how has enabled these categories to improve in terms of quality and thus competitiveness.

Online channel still underdeveloped despite the presence of such international players, the online

channel in Senegal currently remains extremely underdeveloped.

On the one hand, the country’s inhabitants do not have sufficient incomes to take regular holidays, while

on the other internet penetration is weak, thus discouraging local companies from investing in online

activities.

 

Senegalese government has high expectations for the country’s travel and tourism market.

The Senegalese government is aware of the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the

development of internal economy.

As result, the current government´s objective is to increase the number of tourists to two million by 2019,

Senegal is likely to focus on improving its infrastructure.

Nonetheless, this goal is extremely ambitious according to trade experts.

The country attracts nearly a million foreign arrivals each year, who spend over 600 million US dollars.

Some of these visitors come on business, since Dakar is a well-established international conference centre.

Many European visitors (particularly the French) choose Senegal as a holiday destination, drawn by its

tropical sandy beaches and history.

Gorée Island, a major centre of the slave trade, and the former French colonial capital of Saint-Louis are

both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Two of Senegal’s National parks – the Djoudj Bird Sanctuary and

Niokolo-Koba – are also on the World Heritage list.

 

 

As with many countries offering luxury holidays, visitor numbers and revenues have been badly hit by the

global recession.

Unrest in the Casamance region of the southwest has also made travel to this part of Senegal precarious.

Tourism is regarderd as a  vital sector.

Tourism accounts for around a quarter of Senegal’s gross domestic product and the government has been

hoping to attract more northern Europeans and Americans.

In urban centres, Senegal has a well-developed telephone system, with increasing coverage by mobile and

internet services allowing both locals and visitors to stay connected.

Recently, the government of Senegal has invested in major infrastructure projects to improve the ‘tourist’

experience.

This investment has led to a new airport and roads in Dakar, including a motorway which runs through to

the centre of the capital.

 

In conclusion, Senegal is an attractive business destination in more ways than one :

  • A stable and  open country

    Located on the Atlantic coast of Africa, Senegal is a privileged gateway to the wider West African subregion.

  • Modern key infrastructure

    Since 2000, Senegal has been extensively upgrading its key infrastructure. Armed with strong desire to promote private investment, national and foreign, the country has chosen under this new policy to implement infrastructure upgrades in a consistent pattern of public-private partnership.

  • A healthy and competitive economy

    Senegal’s economy is strong and has performed well in recent years. Its economic performance has been praised in uncertain global economic times.

  • Quality human resources

    Education in Senegal has long been a priority with a major concern being universal access to quality schooling to create and sustain the pool of skills required by a growing and diversifying economy.

  • Legal and tax incentives

    In Senegal, policy incentives aimed at encouraging investment are regularly updated. Legislation, the tax code and customs are constantly updated. Ambitious reforms of tax code, legislation and customs provide clear incentives to invest

  • Privileged access to regional and international markets

    Trade relations are facilitated by preferential access to regional and international markets. Because of its unique location, Senegal enjoys an incomparable proximity to several major markets. The country is also a member of a number of regional institutions facilitating movement of people and goods.

  • An exceptional quality of life

    Senegal offers an exceptional quality of life praised by both settlers and visitors. Dakar combines tradition and modernity, a year round sunny and pleasant climate with an Ocean side lifestyle; an ideal environment to achieve, work and do good business.

 

 



 

http://video.carrapide.com/media/watch/4_A6wOIrRX/senegal-ca-kanam-du-mardi-15-mars-2016-recoit-philippe-henry-latimier-du-clesieux—2stv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senegal
Country in West Africa
Senegal is a country on Africa’s west coast known for its French colonial heritage and natural attractions. Dakar, the capital, features the ancient Médina district and esteemed Musée Théodore Monod, displaying African art. Dakar is also known for its nightlife and native mbalax music. Saint-Louis, formerly the capital of French West Africa, is known for the colonial architecture in its old town