Senegal is located in West Africa, It has an estimated population of 13 million people and a total area of approximately 197,000 km2. The country’s population consists of 94 percent Muslims and 5 percent Christians (mostly Roman Catholic). While French is the official language, the Wolof, Pulaar, Jola and Mandinka dialects are also widely spoken. The capital of Senegal is Dakar which is located on the most westerly point of the coastline of Africa. Senegal gained its independence in 1960, following about 75 years of French rule and is a democratic republic governed under multiparty rule based on the French civil law system, making the country a location of choice for many foreign embassies and international banks as the headquarters for the West African region. Senegal lies within the Sahel, the semi-desert, or Savannah region that forms a broad band across Africa between the Sahara desert to the north and the forested countries to the south. The landscape is generally low, rolling plains rising to foothills in the southeast. The climate is tropical, with a hot and humid wet season during May to October. The dry season starts in November and lasts up to April dominated by hot Harmattan winds. Senegal’s economy is based on agriculture, primarily groundnuts, cotton, grain crops, livestock and fishing; Other industries include primarily food processing, gold, iron ore, phosphate mining, fertilizer, cement production, downstream petroleum products and services. Theses are the main contributor to Senegal’s GDP.
The estimated 2011 GDP breakdown by sector is: agriculture 15.4%; industry 22.6% (minerals industry approximately 20%) and services 61.9%. The minerals industry is responsible for approximately 20% of Senegal’s export earnings. Foreign exchange is also derived from tourism. Agriculture supports over three quarters of the labor force.The government is generally pro-mining and passed a new Mining Code in November 2003. Under the Mining Code, appropriate governmental authorization is required to undertake any form of mining activity. In this regard, the right to explore minerals is conferred only by a permit of exploitation or a mining concession. An exploration permit for mineral exploration activities is granted for a period not exceeding three years, and is renewable. During the exploration phase, the permit holder is exempt from sales tax and duties on imported equipment and supplies necessary for exploration activities, as well as on fuel used for operation of stationary installations. Following exploration success, the permit holder may enter into a mining contract agreement with the State, which provides the State a free carried interest of 10% of the project. Under the Senegalese Mining Code, numerous fiscal incentives are offered to mining license holders, including a minimum seven-year exemption from income tax, among other tax exemptions, and the opportunity to secure a lease of up to 25 years for a major project. All mining activities are subject to a royalty of 3% of the value of the mine site payable to the Government.
Foreign mining companies are allowed to expatriate profits.Senegal (French: le Sénégal), officially the Republic of Senegal (République du Sénégal, IPA: [ʁepyblik dy seneɡal]), is a country south of the Sénégal River in western Africa. It owes its name to the river that borders it to the East and North and that originates from the Fouta Djallon in Guinea. Senegal is externally bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south; internally it almost completely surrounds the Gambia, namely on the north, east and south, exempting Gambia’s short Atlantic Ocean coastline. Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, is located at the westernmost tip of the country on the Cap-Vert peninsula. About 300 miles off the coast, of the Atlantic Ocean, which lie near the Cape Verde Islands. During colonial times, numerous trading counters belonging to various colonial empires, were established along the coast. The town of St. Louis became the capital of French Western Africa (Afrique-Occidentale Française, or AOF) before it was moved to Dakar in 1902. Dakar later became its capital in 1960 at the time of independence from France.