Located in West Africa, The Democratic Republic Senegal has an estimated population of 13 million people and a total area of approximately 197,000 km2. of the country’s population, 94 percent are Muslim and 5 percent are Christian (mostly Roman Catholic). While French is the official language, the Wolof, Pulaar, Jola and Mandinka dialects are also spoken. The capital, Dakar, is on the most westerly point of the coastline of Africa. -Senegal gained its independence in 1960, following about 75 years of French rule. It 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 (May-October) and a dry season (November April) dominated by hot Harmattan winds. Senegal’s economy is based on agriculture, primarily groundnuts, cotton, grain crops, livestock and fishing; industry, primarily food processing, gold, iron ore and phosphate mining, fertilizer and cement production and downstream petroleum products; and services, which are the main contributor to Senegal’s GDP.