Population: 8,600,000 (1995)
Area: 196,192 Km²
Currency: 1 CFA Franc (CFAF) = 100 centimes
Time Zone: GMT+0h00
ISO Code: SN
Dialing Code: +221
Senegal is an independent republic with a democratic government which lies on the westernmost bulge of Africa and forms part of the West African Region. The capital city is Dakar. Other major cities are Saint Louis, Thies and Kaolack.
The official language is French and Wolof is the most widely spoken Senegalese language. Senegal has a free-market economy in which the dominant sector is private. The local currency is the CFA-franc. (US$ / CFA Franc – current exchange rate).
The main industry in Senegal is agriculture, although industry is growing. The main agricultural crops consist of cotton and peanuts and are an important source of foreign exchange income. The country produced 505,900 metric tons of peanuts in 1999.
Other major industries include maize, rice, sugarcane and livestock.
The Senegal oil industry is one of the key elements in the economy of the country. While the upstream potential of the country has yet to be fully assessed, the downstream oil industry is well-developed. There is an oil refinery at Dakar and many of the major international oil companies have a presence in the country. Senegal’s mining industry is a small but important contributor to the country’s GDP and is an important source of export earnings.
The international time zone for Senegal is GMT and the international dialling code is +221. The national air carrier is Air Senegal. Other principal airlines which fly to the country are Air Afrique and Air France. Visas are not required for European Union countries, citizens of most African Francophone countries, or South African citizens. The reciprocity rule applies for all other countries. Exchange control exists for financial transfers outside the Franc Zone (a monetary zone including France and its former overseas colonies).
Malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, hepatitis A, meningitis, typhoid fever, yellow fever (regional) and schistosomiasis (bilharzia) may be contracted while travelling in Senegal. Travellers should be aware that advance payment for medical services may be required. Prescription medicines should be carried in their original containers together with the prescription. Vaccinations should be obtained before entering Senegal.
The main export commodities include chemical products, construction equipment, cotton, fish, fuel, ground nuts, petroleum products and phosphates.
The main import commodities include capital goods chemical products, fuel, petroleum products and transport equipment.
All import transactions relating to foreign countries must be domiciled with an authorised bank when their value exceeds CFAF 500,000 (delivered at the Senegalese border of c.i.f.). The Dakar Industrial Free Zone is a government-owned and operated free trade zone established to encourage foreign and domestic investors to set up labour intensive export orientated industrial companies to help reduce Senegal’s trade deficit and create jobs.
Senegal is a contracting party to the Harmonized System Convention.