Raych asked in Education & ReferenceTrivia · 1 decade ago

What are some interesting facts about Senegal?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Senegal is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. The Gambia lies almost entirely within Senegal, surrounded on the north, east and south; from its western coast, The Gambia's territory follows the Gambia River more than 300 kilometers (186.4 mi) inland.

    The Cape Verde islands lie some 560 kilometers (348 mi) off the Senegalese coast, but Cap Vert is a peninsula near Senegal's capital Dakar, and the western-most point in Africa.

    Senegal

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    République du Sénégal

    Republic of Senegal

    Flag Coat of arms

    Motto

    "Un Peuple, Un But, Une Foi" (French)

    "One People, One Goal, One Faith"

    Anthem

    Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons

    Capital

    (and largest city) Dakar

    14°40′N, 17°25′W

    Official languages French

    Government Semi-presidential republic

    - President Abdoulaye Wade

    - Prime Minister Macky Sall

    Independence

    - from France June 20, 1960

    Area

    - Total 196,723 km² (87th)

    75,955 sq mi

    - Water (%) 2.1

    Population

    - 2005 estimate 11,658,000 (72nd)

    - Density 59 /km² (137th)

    153 /sq mi

    GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate

    - Total $20.504 billion (109th)

    - Per capita $1,759 (149th)

    HDI (2004) 0.460 (low) (156th)

    Currency CFA franc (XOF)

    Time zone UTC

    Internet TLD .sn

    Calling code +221

    Senegal (French: le Sénégal), officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country south of the Sénégal River in western Africa. Senegal is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. The Gambia lies almost entirely within Senegal, surrounded on the north, east and south; from its western coast, The Gambia's territory follows the Gambia River more than 300 kilometers (186.4 mi) inland.

    The Cape Verde islands lie some 560 kilometers (348 mi) off the Senegalese coast, but Cap Vert is a peninsula near Senegal's capital Dakar, and the western-most point in Africa.

    Main article: History of Senegal

    Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times. Since then, Senegal has had a varied cultural history of kingdoms, brotherhoods and colonial struggles (between and against colonizing powers).

    Eastern Senegal was once part of the Empire of Ghana. It was founded by the Tukulor in the middle valley of the Senegal River. Islam, the dominant religion in Senegal, first came to the region in the 11th century. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the area came under the influence of the Mandingo empires to the east; the Jolof Empire of Senegal also was founded during this time.

    Various European powers - Portugal, the Netherlands, and England - competed for trade in the area from the 15th century onward, until in 1677, France ended up in possession of what had become an important slave trade departure point - the infamous island of Gorée next to modern Dakar. It was only in the 1850s that the French began to expand their foothold onto the Senegalese mainland, at the expense of native kingdoms such as Waalo, Cayor, Baol, and Jolof.

    In January 1959, Senegal and the French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation, which became fully independent on June 20, 1960, as a result of the independence and the transfer of power agreement signed with France on April 4, 1960. Due to internal political difficulties, the Federation broke up on August 20. Senegal and Sudan (renamed the Republic of Mali) proclaimed independence. Léopold Senghor was elected Senegal's first president in September 1960.

    After the breakup of the Mali Federation, President Senghor and Prime Minister Mamadou Dia governed together under a parliamentary system. In December 1962, their political rivalry led to an attempted coup by Prime Minister Dia. Although this was put down without bloodshed, Dia was arrested and imprisoned, and Senegal adopted a new constitution that consolidated the president's power. In 1980, President Senghor decided to retire from politics, and he handed power over in 1981 to his handpicked successor, Abdou Diouf.

    Senegal joined with The Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia on February 1, 1982. However, the union was dissolved in 1989. Despite peace talks, a southern separatist group in the Casamance region has clashed sporadically with government forces since 1982. Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping.[1]

    Abdou Diouf was president between 1981 and 2000. He encouraged broader political participation, reduced government involvement in the economy, and widened Senegal's diplomatic engagements, particularly with other developing nations. Domestic politics on occasion spilled over into street violence, border tensions, and a violent separatist movement in the southern region of the Casamance. Nevertheless, Senegal's commitment to democracy and human rights strengthened. Diouf served four terms as president. In the presidential election of 2000, opposition leader Abdoulaye Wade defeated Diouf in an election deemed free and fair by international observers. Senegal experienced its second peaceful transition of power, and its first from one political party to another. On December 30, 2004 President Abdoulaye Wade announced that he would sign a peace treaty with the separatist group in the Casamance region. This, however, has yet to be implemented. There was a round of talks in 2005, but the results did not yet yield a resolution.

    [edit] Politics

    Main article: Politics of Senegal

    Please help improve this article by expanding this section.

    Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion. Please remove this message once the section has been expanded.

    This article has been tagged since March 2007.

    Abdoulaye WadeSenegal is a republic with a powerful presidency; the president is elected every seven years, amended in 2001 to every five years, by universal adult suffrage. The current president is Abdoulaye Wade, re-elected in March, 2007.

    Senegal has 65 political parties. The unicameral National Assembly has 120 members elected separately from the president. An independent judiciary also exists in Senegal. The nation's highest courts that deal with business issues are the constitutional council and the court of justice, members of which are named by the president.

    Today Senegal has a democratic political culture, being one of the more successful post-colonial democratic transitions in Africa.

    Local administrators are appointed by, and responsible to, the president.

    [edit] Geography

    Main article: Geography of Senegal

    Senegal is located on the west of the African continent. The Senegalese landscape consists mainly of the rolling sandy plains of the western Sahel which rise to foothills in the southeast. Here is also found Senegal's highest point, an otherwise unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha at 581 m. (1906 ft.) 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.

    [edit] Climate

    Senegalese savannah.

    The Gambia River winds through the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Senegal.The local climate is tropical with well-defined dry and humid seasons that result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds. Dakar's annual rainfall of about 600mm (24 in) occurs between June and October when maximum temperatures average 27°C (80.6°F); December to February minimum temperatures are about 17°C (62.6°F). Interior temperatures are higher than along the coast, and rainfall increases substantially farther south, exceeding 1.5m (59.1 in) annually in some areas.

    [edit] Economy

    Street vendors.Main article: Economy of Senegal

    In January 1994, Senegal undertook a bold and ambitious economic reform program with the support of the international donor community. This reform began with a 50 percent devaluation of Senegal's currency, the CFA franc, which was linked at a fixed rate to the former French franc and now to the euro. Government price controls and subsidies have been steadily dismantled. After seeing its economy contract by 2.1% in 1993, Senegal made an important turnaround, thanks to the reform program, with real growth in GDP averaging 5 % annually during 1995-2001. Annual inflation had been pushed down to less than 1%, but rose to an estimated 3.3% in 2001. Investment rose steadily from 13.8% of GDP in 1993 to 16.5% in 1997.

    The main industries include food processing, mining, cement, artificial fertilizer, chemicals, textiles, refining imported petroleum, and tourism. Exports include fish, chemicals, groundnuts, and calcium phosphate, and the principal foreign market is India, at 26.7% of exports (as of 1998).

    Shops near the road in Dakar.As a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Senegal is working toward greater regional integration with a unified external tariff. Senegal also realised full Internet connectivity in 1996, creating a miniboom in information technology-based services. Private activity now accounts for 82% of GDP. On the negative side, Senegal faces deep-seated urban problems of chronic unemployment, socioeconomic disparity, juvenile delinquency, and drug addiction.

    [edit] Demographics

    Senegal's population, 1962-2004Main article: Demographics of Senegal

    Senegal has a population of over 11 million, about 70 percent of whom live in rural areas. Density in these areas varies from about 77km² in the west-central region to 2 km² in the arid eastern section.

    [edit] Ethnicity

    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 at 43%; the Peuls and Toucouleur (also known as Halpulaar, Fulbe or Fula) (24%) are the second biggest group, followed by others that include the Serer (15%), Lebou (10%), Jola (4%), Mandinka (3%), Maures or Naarkajors, Soninke, Bassari and many smaller communities (9%). (See also the Bedick ethinc group.) About 50,000 Europeans (1%) (mostly French) as well as smaller numbers of Mauritanians and Lebanese reside in Senegal, mainly in the cities. Also located primarily in urban settings are the minority Vietnamese communities. From the time of earliest contact between Europeans and Africans along the coast of Senegal, particularly after the establishment of coastal trading posts during the fifteenth century, communities of mixed African and European (mostly French and Portuguese) origin have thrived. Cape Verdeans living in urban areas and in the Casamance region represent another recognized community of mixed African and European background. French is the official language, used regularly by a minority of Senegalese educated in a system styled upon the colonial-era schools of French origin (Koranic schools are even more popular, but Arabic is not widely spoken outside of this context of recitation). Most people also speak their own ethnic language while, especially in Dakar, Wolof is the lingua franca. Pulaar is spoken by the Peuls and Toucouleur. Portuguese Creole is a prominent minority language in Ziguinchor, regional capital of the Casamance, where some residents speak Kriol, primarily spoken in Guinea-Bissau. Cape Verdeans speak their native creole.

    See also: Languages of Senegal

    [edit] Religion

    Islam is the predominant religion, practiced by approximately 94 percent of the country's population; the Christian community, at 4 percent of the population, includes Roman Catholics and diverse Protestant denominations. There is also a tiny minority who practice animism, particularly in the southeastern region of the country.

  • garon
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Senegal Facts

  • 1 decade ago

    The highest point in Senegal is near Nepen Diakha (581 m).

    Dakar, the capital, is one of the largest seaports in West Africa.

    The Stone Circles of Senegambia (Senegal and Gambia) consist of four large groups of stone circles and burial mounds along the River Gambia. This World Heritage site, dating back over fifteen hundred years, is part of a larger megalithic zone in the region.

    Long before the arrival of Europeans, Senegal was part of the three great West African empires: the "Ghana" Empire, the Mali Empire, and the Songhai Empire.

    The Portuguese arrived in Senegal in the 1440s.

    Towards the end of the sixteenth century the Dutch established a slave port on the island of Goree (now a World Heritage site).

    Saint-Louis, also on the World Heritage list, was founded as a French slave port in 1659.

    During the Seven Years' War (1756-63) the British formed the Colony of Senegambia. French property in Senegal was eventually returned to France.

    The abolition of slave trading by France became effective in 1826 but slavery was not abolished in the French colonies until 1848.

    Victor Schoelcher, the French abolitionist, contributed to the end of slavery in the French colonies.

    In 1871 the French offered to exchange the Ivory Coast with the British for Gambia (almost an enclave of Senegal).

    Senegal became part of French West Africa. (French West Africa was formed in 1895. The Federation included Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea (French Guinea), Mali (French Sudan) and Senegal. Later members were Benin (Dahomey), Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) Mauritania and Niger. The Federation ended in 1958).

    French West Africa was governed from Senegal, first from Saint-Louis, then from Dakar.

    Senegal became part of the French Union in 1946, and an autonomous republic within the French Community in 1958.

    Senegal achieved independence from France in 1960.

    For a brief period in 1959-60 Senegal was part of the Mali Federation.

    Leopold Senghor, the scholar and poet, was elected President of Senegal in 1960.

    Between 1982 and 1989 The Gambia and Senegal formed the Federation of Senegambia.

    Leopold Senghor died in 2001, aged 95.

    In September 2002, the [Senegalese] Joola ferry capsized, off the Gambian coast, killing over one thousand eight hundred passengers.

  • 3 years ago

    Interesting Facts About Mali

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    4 years ago

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  • 4 years ago

    The Sahara desert used to be a fertile area. Proof of this is found in the ancient art of the area (which depicts animals that cannot thrive in harsh desert climate). May God bless you.

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