(Wikipedia) - Senegal
Republic of Senegal République du Sénégal (French)
|Motto: "Un Peuple, Un But, Une Foi" (French) "One People, One Goal, One Faith" |
|Location of Senegal (dark blue) |
– in Africa (light blue & dark grey) – in the African Union (light blue)
|Capital and largest city ||Dakar 14°40′N 17°25′W / 14.667°N 17.417°W / 14.667; -17.417 |
|Recognised regional languages || |
|Ethnic groups () || |
- 43.3% Wolof
- 23.8% Fula
- 14.7% Serer
- 3.7% Jola
- 3.0% Mandinka
- 1.1% Soninke
- 1.0% European / Lebanese
- 9.4% others
|Semi-presidential republic |
| - ||President ||Macky Sall |
| - ||Prime Minister ||Mohammed Dionne |
| - ||Upper house ||Senate |
| - ||Lower house ||National Assembly |
| - ||from Francea ||20 June 1960 |
| - ||Withdrawal from the Mali Federation ||20 August 1960 |
| - ||Total ||196,712 km2 (87th) 76,000 sq mi |
| - ||Water (%) ||2.1 |
| - ||2013 estimate ||13,567,338 (67th) |
| - ||2013 census ||13,508,715 |
| - ||Density ||68.7/km2 (134th) 177.7/sq mi |
|GDP (PPP) ||2012 estimate |
| - ||Total ||$26.574 billion |
| - ||Per capita ||$2,026 |
|GDP (nominal) ||2012 estimate |
| - ||Total ||$13.864 billion |
| - ||Per capita ||$1,057 |
|Gini (2011) ||40.3 medium |
|HDI (2013) || 0.485 low · 163rd |
|CFA franc (XOF) |
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
|a. ||With French Sudan, as the Mali Federation. |
Senegal i/ˌsɛnɨˈɡɔːl, -ˈɡɑːl/ (French: le Sénégal), officially the Republic of Senegal (République du Sénégal, IPA: ), is a country in West Africa. It is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World or Eurafrasia and owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north. 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, except for Gambia''s short Atlantic coastline. Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi), and has an estimated population of about 13 million. The climate is tropical with two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.
Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, is located at the westernmost tip of the country on the Cap-Vert peninsula. About 500 kilometers (310 miles) off the coast lie the Cape Verde Islands. During the 17th and 18th centuries, numerous trading posts belonging to various European colonial empires were established along the coast. After French colonization of the territory called French West Africa (Afrique occidentale française, or AOF), the town of St. Louis became the capital; in 1902 it was succeeded by Dakar. When Senegal gained independence from France in 1960, it affirmed its capital as Dakar. Most Senegalese are Sufi Muslims.
The country is part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Integrated with the main bodies of the international community, Senegal is also a member of the African Union (AU) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. Since 2 April 2012, the country''s president has been Macky Sall. Contents
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Early and pre-colonial eras
- 2.2 Colonial era
- 2.3 Independence and modern era
- 3 Politics
- 4 OFNAC
- 5 Geography
- 6 Administrative divisions
- 7 Economy
- 8 Demographics
- 8.1 Largest cities
- 8.2 Ethnicity
- 8.3 Languages
- 8.4 Health
- 8.5 Religion
- 9 Culture
- 9.1 Education
- 9.2 Hospitality
- 9.3 Motorsport
- 9.4 Football
- 10 People
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
The country is named after the Sénégal River, the etymology of which is contested. One popular theory (proposed by David Boilat in 1853) is that it stems from the Wolof phrase sunu gaal, which means "our canoe" (or pirogue), resulting from a miscommunication between 15th-century Portuguese sailors and Wolof fishermen. Modern historians believe the name probably refers to the Berber Zenaga people, who lived on the northern side of the river. A competing theory is that it derives from the medieval town of "Sanghana" (also spelled as Isenghan, Asengan, Singhanah), described by the Arab geographer al-Bakri in 1068 as located by the mouth of the river. The "our canoe" theory has been popularly embraced in modern Senegal for its charm and its use in appeals to national solidarity (e.g. "we''re all in the same canoe") are frequently heard in the media.
Some Serer people from the south believe the river''s name is derived from the compound of the Serer term Sene (from Roge Sene, Supreme Deity in Serer religion) and O Gal (meaning "body of water"). History Main articles: History of Senegal, Timeline of Serer history, Serer prehistory and Serer historyMap of the Senegal River according to Muhammad al-Idrisi.Early and pre-colonial eras
Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times and has been continuously occupied by various ethnic groups. Some kingdoms were created around the 7th century: Takrur in the 9th century, Namandiru and the Jolof Empire during the 13th and 14th centuries. Eastern Senegal was once part of the Ghana Empire.
Islam was introduced through Toucouleur and Soninke contact with the hypo-Saharan Almoravid dynasty, who in turn propagated it. The Almoravids, with the help of Toucouleur allies, used military force for conversion. This movement faced resistance from ethnicities of traditional religions, the Serers in particular. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Wolof converted peacefully due to the intervention of leaders such as Amadou Bamba, Malik Sy and Sayyidunâ Muhammad Al-imam Laye, who brought their followers with them. . They saw Islam as a way to unite and fight against colonial power.
In the 13th and 14th centuries, the area came under the influence of the empires to the east; the Jolof Empire of Senegal was also founded during this time. In the Senegambia region, between 1300 and 1900, close to one-third of the population was enslaved, typically as a result of captives taken in warfare.
In the 14th century the Jolof Empire grew powerful, having united Cayor and the kingdoms of Baol, Sine, Saloum, Waalo, Futa Tooro and Bambouk. The empire was a voluntary confederacy of various states rather than an empire built on military conquest. The empire was founded by Ndiadiane Ndiaye, a part Serer and part Toucouleur, who was able to form a coalition with many ethnicities, but collapsed around 1549 with the defeat and killing of Lele Fouli Fak by Amari Ngone Sobel Fall. Colonial era
In the mid-15th century, the Portuguese landed on the Senegal coastline, followed by traders representing other countries, including the French. Various European powers—Portugal, the Netherlands, and Great Britain—competed for trade in the area from the 15th century onward. In 1677, France gained control of what had become a minor departure point in the Atlantic slave trade—the island of Gorée next to modern Dakar, used as a base to purchase slaves from the warring chiefdoms on the mainland.Slave traders in Gorée, 18th century.
European missionaries introduced Christianity to Senegal and the Casamance in the 19th century. It was only in the 1850s that the French began to expand onto the Senegalese mainland – they had abolished slavery and promoted an abolitionist doctrine-, adding native kingdoms like the Waalo, Cayor, Baol, and Jolof Empire. French colonists progressively invaded and took over all the kingdoms except Sine and Saloum under Governor Louis Faidherbe. Senegalese resistance to the French expansion and curtailing of their lucrative slave trade was led in part by Lat-Dior, Damel of Cayor, and Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof, the Maad a Sinig of Sine, resulting in the Battle of Logandème. Independence and modern era
On 4 April 1959 Senegal and the French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation, which became fully independent on 20 June 1960, as a result of the independence and the transfer of power agreement signed with France on 4 April 1960. Due to internal political difficulties, the Federation broke up on 20 August, when Senegal and French Sudan (renamed the Republic of Mali) each proclaimed independence.
Léopold Sédar Senghor was proclaimed Senegal''s first president in September 1960. Senghor was a very well-read man, educated in France. He was a poet, a philosopher and personally drafted the Senegalese national anthem, "Pincez tous vos koras, frappez les balafons". Pro-African, he advocated a brand of African socialism.Colonial Saint Louis c. 1900. Europeans and Africans on the Rue Lebon.
In 1980, President Senghor decided to retire from politics. The next year, he transferred power in 1981 to his hand-picked successor, Abdou Diouf. Former prime minister Mamadou Dia, who was Senghor''s rival, ran for election in 1983 against Diouf but lost. Senghor moved to France, where he died at the age of 96.
Senegal joined with the Gambia to form the nominal Senegambia Confederation on 1 February 1982. However, the union was dissolved in 1989. Despite peace talks, a southern separatist group (Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance or MFDC) in the Casamance region has clashed sporadically with government forces since 1982 in the Casamance conflict. In the early 21st century, violence has subsided and President Macky Sall held talks with rebels in Rome in December 2012.
Senegal has had a long history of participating in international peacekeeping.
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. Abdou Diouf served four terms as president.
In the presidential election of 1999, 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 30 December 2004 President 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 have not yet yielded a resolution.
Today, Gorée island is a massive tourist site for Senegal. Its rich history has lured famous people including recent visitors, President of the United States of America, Barack Obama and the first lady Michelle Obama on 27 June 2013. Gorée Island''s cultural significance has allowed it to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In order to maintain the authenticity of the island and its buildings, it is against the law for the inhabitants of the island to add any improvements to the houses and structures that have been present for centuries. Politics Main article: Politics of SenegalMacky Sall, current president of Senegal (2012 until now)Abdoulaye Wade, president of Senegal (2000–2012)
Senegal is a republic with a presidency; the president is elected every five years as of 2001, previously being seven years, by adult voters. The first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, was a poet and writer, and was the first African elected to the Académie française. Senegal''s second president, Abdou Diouf is the current general secretary of the Organisation de la Francophonie. The third president was Abdoulaye Wade, a lawyer. The current president is Macky Sall, elected in March 2012.
Senegal has more than 80 political parties. The bicameral parliament consists of the National Assembly, which has 120 seats, and the Senate, which has 100 seats and was reinstituted in 2007. 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.
Currently, Senegal has a quasi-democratic political culture, trying to be one of the more successful post-colonial democratic transitions in Africa. Local administrators are appointed by, and responsible to, the president. The marabouts, religious leaders of the various Senegalese Muslim brotherhoods, also exercise a strong political influence in the country especially during Wade''s presidency. In 2009, however, Freedom House downgraded Senegal''s status from ''Free'' to ''Partially Free'', based on increased centralisation of power in the executive.
In 2008, Senegal finished in 12th position on the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African governance (limited to sub-Saharan Africa until 2008), based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to their citizens. When the Northern African countries were added to the index in 2009, Senegal''s 2008 position was retroactively downgraded to 15th place (with Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco placing themselves ahead of Senegal). As of 2012, Senegal''s rank in the Ibrahim Index has decreased another point to 16 out of 52 African countries.
On 22 February 2011, it was reported that Senegal has severed diplomatic ties with Iran, saying Tehran supplied rebels with weapons which killed Senegalese troops in the Casamance conflict.
On 26 February 2012, Senegal held presidential elections which were perceived as controversial due to President Wade''s candidacy. The controversy stemmed from the fact that although the Senegalese constitution did not allow a president to serve more than two terms, President Wade amended the constitution last year which allowed him to run for a third term. Several youth opposition movements, including M23 and Y''en a Marre, emerged in June 2011 to contest the amendment. In the end, Macky Sall of the Alliance for the Republic won, and Wade conceded the election to Sall. This peaceful and democratic transition was hailed by many foreign observers, such as the EU as a show of "maturity".
On 19 September 2012, lawmakers voted to do away with the senate to save an estimated $15 million. OFNAC
National Anti-Corruption (OFNAC) and the Commission of restitution and recovery of illegally acquired assets. According to Business Anti-Corruption Portal, President Sall created the OFNAC to replace the Commission Nationale de Lutte Contre la non Transparence, la Corruption et la Concussion (CNLCC). It is said that the OFNAC represents a more effective tool for fighting corruption than the CNLCC established under former President Wade. The mission of OFNAC is to fight corruption, embezzlement of public funds and fraud. OFNAC has the power of self-referral (own initiative investigation). OFNAC is composed of twelve members appointed by decree. Geography Main article: Geography of SenegalLandscape of Casamance
Senegal is located on the west of the African continent. It lies between latitudes 12° and 17°N, and longitudes 11° and 18°W. it has a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean.
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 584 m (1,916 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.
The Cape Verde islands lie some 560 kilometres (350 mi) off the Senegalese coast, but Cap-Vert ("Cape Green") is a maritime placemark, set at the foot of "Les Mammelles", a 105-metre (344 ft) cliff resting at one end of the Cap-Vert peninsula onto which is settled Senegal''s capital Dakar, and 1 kilometre (0.6 mi) south of the "Pointe des Almadies", the westernmost point in Africa. Climate Main article: Climate of Senegal
The local climate is tropical with well-defined dry and humid seasons that result from northeast winter winds and southwest summer winds. The dry season (December to April) is dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind. Dakar''s annual rainfall of about 600 mm (24 in) occurs between June and October when maximum temperatures average 30 °C (86.0 °F) and minimums 24.2 °C (75.6 °F); December to February maximum temperatures average 25.7 °C (78.3 °F) and minimums 18 °C (64.4 °F). Interior temperatures are higher than along the coast (for example, average daily temperatures in Kaolack and Tambacounda for May are 30 °C (86.0 °F) and 32.7 °C (90.9 °F) respectively, compared to Dakar''s 23.2 °C (73.8 °F) ), and rainfall increases substantially farther south, exceeding 1,500 mm (59.1 in) annually in some areas. In the far interior of the country, in the region of Tambacounda, particularly on the border of Mali, temperatures can reach as high as 54 °C (129.2 °F). Administrative divisionsRegions of SenegalMain articles: Regions of Senegal, Departments of Senegal and Arrondissements of Senegal
Senegal is subdivided into 14 regions, each administered by a Conseil Régional (Regional Council) elected by population weight at the Arrondissement level. The country is further subdivided by 45 Départements, 103 Arrondissements (neither of which have administrative function) and by Collectivités Locales, which elect administrative officers.
Regional capitals have the same name as their respective regions:
Major citiesMajor cities in SenegalSee also: List of cities in Senegal
| || |
Senegal''s capital of Dakar is by far the largest city in Senegal, with over two million residents. The second most populous city is Touba, a de jure communaute rurale (rural community), with half a million.
Economy Main article: Economy of SenegalGrand Market in KaolackGraphical depiction of Senegal''s product exports in 28 color-coded categories.
City Population (2005)
|Dakar (Dakar proper, Guédiawaye, and Pikine) ||2,145,193 |
|Touba (Touba Mosquee) ||475,755 |
|Thiès ||240,152 |
|Kaolack ||181,035 |
|M''Bour ||170,875 |
|Saint-Louis ||165,038 |
|Rufisque ||154,975 |
|Ziguinchor ||153,456 |
After its economy contracted by 2.1 percent in 1993 Senegal instigated a major economic reform program with the support of international donors. This reform began with a 50 percent devaluation of the country''s currency (the CFA franc). Government price controls and subsidies were also dismantled. As a result, Senegal''s inflation went down, investment went up, and the gross domestic product rose approximately 5 percent per year between 1995 and 2001.
| ||Parts of this article (those related to 1990s GDP & export partners (percent), and the 2001 inflation stats in the paragraph above & the paragraph below) are outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2009) |
The main industries include food processing, mining, cement, artificial fertilizer, chemicals, textiles, refining imported petroleum, and tourism. Exports include fish, chemicals, cotton, fabrics, groundnuts, and calcium phosphate. The principal foreign market is India at 26.7 percent of exports (as of 1998). Other foreign markets include the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Senegal has a 12 mile exclusive fishing zone that has been regularly breached in recent years (as at 2014). It has been estimated that the country''s fishermen lose 300,000 tonnes of fish each year to illegal fishing. The Senegalese government have tried to control the illegal fishing which is conducted by trawlers, some of which are registered in Russia, Mauritania, Belize and Ukraine. In January 2014 a Russian trawler, Oleg Naydenov, was seized by Senegalese authorities close to the maritime border with Guinea-Bissau.
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 is also a member of the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).
Senegal realized full Internet connectivity in 1996, creating a mini-boom in information technology-based services. Private activity now accounts for 82 percent of its GDP. On the negative side, Senegal faces deep-seated urban problems of chronic high unemployment, socioeconomic disparity, and juvenile delinquency.
Senegal is a major recipient of international development assistance. Donors include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Japan, France and China. Over 3000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Senegal since 1963.DemographicsGirls in Saint-LouisPopulation in Senegal, 1962–2004A street market in Malem-HodarIn the Senegal villageMain article: Demographics of Senegal
Senegal has a population of over 13.5 million, about 42 percent of whom live in rural areas. Density in these areas varies from about 77 inhabitants per square kilometre (200 /sq mi) in the west-central region to 2 per square kilometre (5.2 /sq mi) in the arid eastern section.
According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Senegal has a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 23,800 in 2007. The majority of this population (20,200) is from Mauritania. Refugees live in N''dioum, Dodel, and small settlements along the Senegal River valley. Largest cities
Ethnicity Main article: Ethnic groups in Senegal
Largest cities or towns of Senegal Senegal - Largest Cities
Rank Name Region Pop.
| Dakar ||1 ||Dakar ||Dakar ||2 476 400 || Pikine |
|2 ||Grand Dakar ||Dakar ||2 352 057 |
|3 ||Pikine ||Dakar ||874 062 |
|4 ||Thiès ||Thiès ||252 320 |
|5 ||Saint-Louis ||Saint-Louis ||176 000 |
|6 ||Kaolack ||Kaolack ||172 305 |
|7 ||Ziguinchor ||Ziguinchor ||159 778 |
|8 ||Tiébo ||Diourbel ||100 289 |
|9 ||Tambacounda ||Tambacounda ||78 800 |
|10 ||Mbaké ||Diourbel ||74 100 |
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 percent; the Fula and Toucouleur (also known as Halpulaar''en, literally "Pulaar-speakers") (24%) are the second biggest group, followed by the Serer (14.7%), then others such as Jola (4%), Mandinka (3%), Maures or (Naarkajors), Soninke, Bassari and many smaller communities (9%). (See also the Bedick ethnic group.)
About 50,000 Europeans (mostly French) and Lebanese as well as smaller numbers of Mauritanians and Moroccans reside in Senegal, mainly in the cities. The majority of Lebanese work in commerce. Also located primarily in urban settings are small Vietnamese communities as well as a growing number of Chinese immigrant traders, each numbering perhaps a few hundred people. There are also tens of thousands of Mauritanian refugees in Senegal, primarily in the country''s north. Languages Main article: Languages of Senegal
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 Fulas and Toucouleur. The Serer language is widely spoken by both Serers and non-Serers (including president Sall, whose wife is Serer); so are the Cangin languages, whose speakers are ethnically Serers. Jola languages are widely spoken in the Casamance.
Several of the Senegalese languages have the legal status of "national languages": Balanta-Ganja, Hassaniyya, Jola-Fonyi, Mandinka, Mandjak, Mankanya, Noon (Serer-Noon), Pulaar, Serer, Soninke, and Wolof.
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, Cape Verdean Creole, and standard Portuguese.
French, the only official language in the country, is facing a backlash as a consequence of a rising Senegalese linguistic nationalist movement, which supports the integration of Wolof, the common vernacular language of the country, into the national constitution. Health Main article: Health in Senegal
Life expectancy by birth is estimated to 57.5 years. Public expenditure on health was at 2.4 percent of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure was at 3.5 percent. Health expenditure was at US$72 (PPP) per capita in 2004. The fertility rate ranged 5 to 5.3 between 2005 and 2013, with 4.1 in urban areas and 6.3 in rural areas, as official survey (6.4 in 1986 and 5.7 in 1997) point out. There were 6 physicians per 100,000 persons in the early 2000s (decade). Infant mortality was at 77 per 1,000 live births in 2005, but in 2013 this figure had dropped to 47 within the first 12 months after birth. In the past 5 years infant mortality rates of Malaria have dropped. Religion Main article: Religion in Senegal
Islam is the predominant religion in the country. Islam is practiced by approximately 94% of the country''s population; the Christian community, at 5% of the population, includes Roman Catholics and diverse Protestant denominations. One percent have animist beliefs, particularly in the southeastern region of the country. Some Serer people follow the Serer religion.The Mosquée de la Divinité in OuakamThe Dakar Cathedral
Islamic communities in Senegal are generally organized around one of several Islamic Sufi orders or brotherhoods, headed by a khalif (xaliifa in Wolof, from Arabic khalīfa), who is usually a direct descendant of the group''s founder. The two largest and most prominent Sufi orders in Senegal are the Tijaniyya, whose largest sub-groups are based in the cities of Tivaouane and Kaolack, and the Murīdiyya (Murid), based in the city of Touba.
The Halpulaar (Pulaar-speakers), composed of Fula people, a widespread group found along the Sahel from Chad to Senegal, and Toucouleurs, represent 23.8 percent of the population. Historically, they were the first to become Muslim. Many of the Toucouleurs, or sedentary Halpulaar of the Senegal River Valley in the north, converted to Islam around a millennium ago and later contributed to Islam''s propagation throughout Senegal. Success was gained among the Wolofs, but repulsed by the Serers.
Most communities south of the Senegal River Valley, however, were not thoroughly Islamized. The Serer people stood out as one of this group, who spent over one thousand years resisting Islamization (see Serer history). Although many Serers are Christians or Muslim, their conversion to Islam in particular is very recent, who converted on their own free will rather than by force, although force had been tried centuries earlier unsuccessfully (see the Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune).
The spread of formal Quranic school (called daara in Wolof) during the colonial period increased largely through the effort of the Tidjâniyya. In Murid communities, which place more emphasis on the work ethic than on literary Quranic studies, the term daara often applies to work groups devoted to working for a religious leader. Other Islamic groups include the much older Qādiriyya order and the Senegalese Laayeen order, which is prominent among the coastal Lebu. Today, most Senegalese children study at daaras for several years, memorizing as much of the Qur''an as they can. Some of them continue their religious studies at councils (majlis) or at the growing number of private Arabic schools and publicly funded Franco-Arabic schools. A modern messianic sect in Islam, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is also present in the country which represents approximately 1% of the Muslim population.
Small Roman Catholic communities are mainly found in coastal Serer, Jola, Mankanya and Balant populations, and in eastern Senegal among the Bassari and Coniagui. The Protestant churches are mainly attended by immigrants but during the second half of the 20th century Protestant churches led by Senegalese leaders from different ethnic groups have evolved. In Dakar Catholic and Protestant rites are practiced by the Lebanese, Cape Verdean, European, and American immigrant populations, and among certain Africans of other countries as well as by the Senegalese themselves. Although Islam is Senegal''s majority religion, Senegal''s first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, was a Catholic Serer.
Serer religion encompasses a belief in a supreme deity called Roog (Koox among the Cangin), Serer cosmogony, cosmology and divination ceremonies such as the annual Xoy (or Khoye) ceremony precided over by the Serer Saltigues (high priests and priestesses). Senegambian (both Senegal and the Gambia) Muslim festivals such as Tobaski, Gamo, Koriteh, Weri Kor, etc., are all borrowed words from the Serer religion. They were ancient Serer festivals rooted in Serer religion, not Islam.
The Boukout is one of the Jola''s religious ceremonies.
There are small numbers of adherents of Judaism and Buddhism. Judaism is followed by members of several ethnic groups, while Buddhism is followed by a number of Vietnamese. The Bahá''í Faith in Senegal was established after ''Abdu''l-Bahá, the son of the founder of the religion, mentioned Africa as a place that should be more broadly visited by Bahá''ís. The first Bahá''is to set foot in the territory of French West Africa that would become Senegal arrived in 1953. The first Bahá''í Local Spiritual Assembly of Senegal was elected in 1966 in Dakar. In 1975 the Bahá''í community elected the first National Spiritual Assembly of Senegal. The most recent estimate, by the Association of Religion Data Archives in a 2005 report details the population of Senegalese Bahá''ís at 22,000. CultureAfrican Renaissance MonumentSee also: Senegalese cuisine, Languages of Senegal, List of Senegalese writers, List of Senegalese and Music of Senegal
| ||This section requires expansion. (May 2008) |
Senegal is known across Africa for its musical heritage, due to the popularity of mbalax, which originated from the Serer percussive tradition especially the Njuup, it has been popularized by Youssou N''Dour and others. Sabar drumming is especially popular. The sabar is mostly used in special celebrations like weddings. Another instrument, the tama, is used in more ethnic groups. Other popular international renown Senegalese musicians are Ismael Lô, Cheikh Lô, Orchestra Baobab, Baaba Maal, Akon Thione Seck, Viviane, Titi and Pape Diouf.
Senegal is well known for the West African tradition of storytelling, which is done by griots, who have kept West African history alive for thousands of years through words and music. The griot profession is passed down generation to generation and requires years of training and apprenticeship in genealogy, history and music. Griots give voice to generations of West African society.
African Renaissance Monument built in 2010 in Dakar is the tallest statue in Africa. Education Main article: Education in Senegal
Articles 21 and 22 of the Constitution adopted in January 2001 guarantee access to education for all children. Education is compulsory and free up to the age of 16. The Ministry of Labor has indicated that the public school system is unable to cope with the number of children that must enroll each year. Illiteracy is high, particularly among women. The net primary enrollment rate was 69 percent in 2005. Public expenditure on education was 5.4 percent of the 2002–2005 GDP. Further information: List of universities in Senegal Hospitality
Hospitality, in theory, is given such importance in Senegalese culture that it is widely considered to be part of the national identity. The Wolof word for hospitality is "teranga" and it is so identified with the pride of Senegal that the national football team is known as the Lions of Teranga. Motorsport
The country hosted the Paris–Dakar rally from 1979 until 2007. Football
In recent times, the national team''s best played football tournaments were witnessed in 2002. The Lions of Teranga (Les Lions de la Teranga) kicked off their near-successful run at the African Cup of Nations on 20 January 2002 when beating Egypt 1–0 and subsequently leading their group overall with 7 points by 31 January 2002. Following a successful knockout round beating Congo in the quarter-finals (2–0) and Nigeria in the semi-finals (2–1), The Lions went on to face Cameroon in the finals on 10 February 2002. Marking their first time in the finals of an African Cup tournament, Senegal lost in the penalty shoot-out round 3–2 making them the tournament''s runners-up (Copnall, 2002). Tony Sylva, Senegal''s then goal-keeper won the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award, and El-Hadji Diouf was one of two who won the Forward of the Tournament award.
Senegal entered their first World Cup tournament the summer of the same year when it was held in South Korea and Japan between 31 May 2002 to 30 June 2002. Their first match (which was also the opening game of the World Cup tournament) shocked the world when defender Pape Bouba Diop scored Senegal''s only and winning goal beating the defending champions, France, 1–0 (BBC, 2002). After ending up placing second in their group overall in 11 June 2002 with 5 points (Denmark being the first with 7 points), Senegal went on to face and subsequently beat Sweden 2–1 on 16 June (Murray, 2002). This led the team to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 22 June 2002, the furthest point reached by Senegal''s national team. They faced and lost to Turkey in the match''s extra-time due to İlhan Mansız'' golden goal (BBC, 2002). Senegal became one of only three African nations to have reached the quarter-finals at the World Cup (the first being Cameroon in 1990, and Ghana subsequently followed in 2010; the quarter-finals being the best stage reached by any African football team). People Main article: List of Senegalese
- Macky Sall, current president
- Papiss Cissé, footballer
- Patrice Evra, footballer
- Demba Ba, footballer
- DeSagana Diop, NBA free agent
- Akon, singer
- Gorgui Dieng, NBA Center
- Mohamed Diamé, professional footballer