According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, the state of Senegal is located in the far west of Africa on the Atlantic coast. It is about half the size of Germany, making it one of the smaller West African countries. Most of Senegal consists of coastal lowlands. Only in the south-east do foothills of a table mountainous country extend into the country. The Senegal River forms the north and north-east borders of the country for long stretches. The north of the country has a dry climate with a long rainy season. Depending on the rainfall, the vegetation ranges from thorn bush savannah to dry savannah to wet savannah and wet forest. In Senegal there are predominantly Sudanese peoples. Almost a quarter lives in the metropolitan areas around the capital Dakar. Over 90% of the population are Muslim.
The main line of business is agriculture. Peanuts and cotton are grown for export. The country has rich phosphate deposits. Important branches of industry are the food, textile, metal and chemical industries. Tourism is an important source of foreign currency.
The state of Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north and northeast, and Mali is its eastern neighbor. In the south, Senegal borders on Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. In the southern part of the country, Senegal encloses the state of Gambia, which forms an enclave (Fig. 1). The capital is Dakar.
The surface shape of Senegal is shaped by the two large landscapes Sudan and Sahel. The Sahel is a belt of landscape directly on the southern edge of the Sahara (Fig. 2). It is a dry transition zone between the desert and the humid savannah. The Sudan zone is the large landscape between the Sahara in the north and the tropical rainforest in the south.
Most of Senegal consists of coastal lowlands on the Senegal and Gambia rivers. It rises up to 40 m inland. Foothills of the Table Mountain Country Fouta-Djalon reach in the southeast with heights of up to 400 m into the country. The 500 km long coastline is not very indented and flat, e.g. T. boggy. In the south, Senegal’s coastline is interrupted by the enclave of Gambia.
The country of Senegal takes its name from the more than 1000 km long Senegal River, which marks the northern and northeastern borders of the country for long stretches. It is also the border between black Africa and the so-called white countries of the continent in the north.
The north of the country is characterized by a dry climate in the Sahel zone, with a short rainy season from July to October. The climate in the south is known as a marginal tropical climate. The summer rainy season is long here. The amount of precipitation is five times as high as in the north. The mean temperature values are above 20 °C (Fig. 3).
Depending on the amount of precipitation, the vegetation differs within the country. Thorn bush savannah predominates in the Sahel zone in the north, and dry savannah in the interior of the country. Moist forest grows in the south of Senegal, which turns into wet savannah to the north. The landscape south of the Gambia River is characterized by mangrove swamps.
Important data about the country
|Surface:||196 722 km²|
|Population density:||52 residents / km²|
|Growth of population:||2.4% / year|
|Life expectancy:||52 years|
|Form of government:||republic|
|Languages:||Wolof, French, Mandes, Serer, Diola, West Atlantic languages|
|Religions:||Muslims 92%, Christians 2%, followers of natural religions|
|Climate:||Edge tropical climate with a long summer rainy season|
|Land use:||Arable land 27.2%, forest 30.9%, pasture land 29.7%|
(share of employees)
|Agriculture 1%, industry 25%, services 57%|
|Export goods:||Fresh fish, processed fish, chemical products, peanut oil|
|Gross domestic product:||US $ 6,496 million (2003)|
|Gross National Product:||US $ 540 / residents (2003)|
The main supply branch of Senegal is agriculture. Around half of the land is used for arable and pasture farming. Mainly peanuts and cotton are grown for export. Millet, sugar cane, rice, corn, cassava, vegetables and fruits are used for self-sufficiency. In the north and northeast of the country, cattle, sheep and goats are kept by nomads. Inshore fishing is of great importance for export.
The country has large deposits of phosphate that are being mined. The importance of industry is constantly growing. Important branches of industry are the food, textile, metal and chemical industries. The main trading partner is France.
the tourismis an important source of foreign exchange. It plays a role especially on the coast and in the five national parks. The capital Dakar has one of the largest seaports in West Africa and an international airport. The country is accessible by roads and railways.
In the middle of the 15th century: the Portuguese and Dutch set up trading posts.
Since the 17th century: French colony
1895: Senegal becomes part of French West Africa.
1960: Independence from France
Since the beginning of the 80’s: Ethnic conflicts over the independence of the southern province of Casamance with civil war-like unrest. A multiple truce was broken. The conflict has not yet been settled.