General Information


Officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West  the southwest. Senegal also borders. 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's economic and political capital is Dakar.

Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. It is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World, or Afro-Eurasia, and owes its name to the Senegal River, which borders it to the east and north. The name "Senegal" comes from the Wolof "Sunuu Gaal", which means "Our Boat".

The territory of modern 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.

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 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.

The Senegalese landscape consists mainly of the rolling sandy plains of the western Sahel which rise to foothills in the southeast. The northern border is formed by the Senegal River; other rivers include the Gambia and Casamance Rivers. The capital Dakar lies on the Cap-Vert peninsula, the westernmost point of continental Africa.
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 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.Other foreign markets include the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom.
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, the Fula and Toucouleur are the second biggest group, followed by the Serer then others.
French is the official language, spoken at least by all those who enjoyed several years in the educational system that is of French origin. Most people also speak their own ethnic language while, especially in Dakar, Wolof is the lingua franca.

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

Because Senegal borders the 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 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.

Senegal is known across Africa for its musical heritage, due to the popularity of mbalax, which originated from the Serer percussive tradition especially the Njuup. Sabar drumming is especially popular. The sabar is mostly used in special celebrations like weddings. The tama, is used in more ethnic groups.