Senegal is a country in West Africa. It is the westernmost country on the African continent. Senegal remains one of the most stable democracies in Africa and has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation. Islam is the predominant religion in the country, practiced by approximately 94% of the country's population. It has a literacy rate of 57.7%. illiteracy is high, particularly among women. Senegal’s economy is driven by mining, construction, tourism, fisheries and agriculture, which is the primary source of employment in rural areas. The country's key export industries include phosphate mining, fertilizer production, agricultural products and commercial fishing and it is also working on oil exploration projects. Senegal relies heavily on donor assistance, remittances and foreign direct investment.

Political Profile/Structure/System

The president is elected every 5 years. The unicameral parliament consists of the national assembly which has 150 seats. Currently, Senegal has a quasi-democratic political culture, one of the more successful post-colonial democratic transitions in Africa. Local administrators are appointed by, and responsible to, the president. Marabouts, religious leaders of the various Muslim brotherhoods of Senegal, have also exercised a strong political influence in the country especially during Wade's presidency.

Elections and Political Parties

Senegal held its presidential elections in 2007. 15 candidates run for president including the incubent president Abdoulaye Wade. Wade was nominated as the presidential candidate of his party, the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS). Wade won the election with 55.90% vote. The voter turnout was 100%. The most recent presidential elections were held in 2012. There were 14 aspirants. In the first round of the elections, Wade had 34.8% of the votes with Macky Sall(of the Alliance for the Republic) forcing a runoff after getting 26.5% of the votes; Moustapha Niasse was in third place with 13.2%, Ousmane Tanor Dieng was in fourth place with 11.3%, and Idrissa Seck followed with 7.86%. In the second round of elections, Macky Sall won with 65.80% of votes. Wade gave a speech of concession that was widely praised both nationally and internationally.

By The Numbers

In 2012, there were 42.7% women in Parliament


Participation and Inclusion

Has signed and ratified the Maputo Protocol. Has signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women