Senegal Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Senegal
According to directoryaah, around 15.5 million people live in Senegal (2016). About 58% of the population in Senegal are younger than 20 years. In the past 20 years, Senegal’s population has almost doubled, even if hundreds of thousands live abroad. Many of them in neighboring countries or in France. The largest tribe are the Wolof. They live largely peacefully together with many other ethnic groups who are in the border areas. The Bambara towards Mali, the Diola in the south and the Moors in the north. Seasonal migrations are a traditional part of culture in the Sahel zone, where parts of the population live nomadically. The herders visit the regions around the rivers during the dry season, while they move inland during the rainy season.
The official language in Senegal is French. Modern literature, print media and cinema in Senegal are almost exclusively French, and public education also uses this language.
In addition, as in most African countries, a large number of other languages are spoken in Senegal. The six most important languages are Wolof, Serer, Diola, Pulaar, Soninke and Mandinka and all belong to the Niger-Kordofan language family.
Senegal is an Islamic dominated country in which over 90% of the population profess Sunni Islam.
Politics and economy in Senegal
Senegal is characterized by constitutional and democratic structures. Fundamental freedoms, in particular freedom of religion, opinion, press and assembly, are guaranteed. In foreign policy, Senegal plays the role of mediator between emerging countries and Europe. This is mainly due to the very good relations with France. In addition, Senegal is one of the few Islamic countries that recognizes Israel as a state. CEDEAO (Communauté Economique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest), the African unity, is particularly important to the President. Even if Senegal has the status of a developing country, it is still more developed than its neighbors. The dependence on a few export goods such as peanuts, phosphates and fish, From the 1980s onwards, however, rapid population growth and national debt led to impoverishment and growing social tensions in the formerly prosperous Senegal, to which Casamance’s attempts to split off came from 1982. As a result, Senegal made itself dependent on loans from the industrialized and oil countries as well as on development aid. The economic recovery is gradual.
According to ebizdir, there is sporadic tourism, but the government is careful to avoid mass tourism. Agriculture and fishing are still the strongest industries in Senegal.
Transport network in Senegal
In Senegal, most of the transport takes place by road. The train route from Dakar to Mali is currently closed because the rail network, which dates back to the colonial era, is too bad and no longer passable.
The approximately 13,600 km extensive and mostly paved road network is well developed and there is a large range of intercity buses and bush taxis. You can easily travel anywhere from the Gare Routiere that are found in every city.
In the big cities there are the typically colorful city buses. Most of them are around 60 years old, which makes riding them an unforgettable adventure.
Cities and regions in Senegal
Since 2008, Senegal has been divided into 14 regions, which in turn are divided into a total of 45 departments:
Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kédougou, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Sédhiou, Tambacounda, Thiès and Ziguinchor.
A total of around four million people live in the Dakar metropolitan region. This means that around a third of the population lives in the capital region. However, cities in Senegal are a new type of settlement. Unlike in neighboring countries, no trading cities were founded in Senegal, as the country was off the trade routes through the Sahara. In 1920 there were only four places with a population over 5000 residents.
The ten largest cities (2013) in Senegal are: