Plane at the Leopold Sedar Senghor airport in Dakar, Senegal, with the African Renaissance monument in the background

Senegal A reform-oriented and politically stable country

Located in the extreme west of Africa, Senegal has a long democratic tradition and is politically stable. Since the country's independence in 1960 it has enjoyed uninterrupted civilian rule and has a constitution enshrining the rule of law. Government policies are geared towards addressing matters in a practical fashion and carrying out reforms. Senegal pursues active peace efforts and pan-African efforts, which makes the country an important stabilizing force in the region and for the entire continent.

The current United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) ranks the Republic of Senegal 166th out of 189 countries. Power shortages, food crises, strong population growth and high unemployment are constraining the country's development.

Development cooperation

A long history of development cooperation links Germany and Senegal. In November 2019, a reform partnership was agreed between the two countries. The reform partnerships are Germany's contribution to the G20 Compact with Africa initiative. They are intended to improve the environment for private investment and thus create more employment. Sustainable economic development will therefore be one of the priority areas of Senegalese-German development cooperation in future. The second priority area is renewable energy and energy efficiency. 

Fish market in Saint Louis, Senegal

Broad development programme Internal link

Senegal is a presidential democracy. Its constitution and legal system are closely modelled on the French system. In May 2019, the president, whose position had been strong even before, was vested with further powers. The office of prime minister was eliminated through a constitutional amendment.

A young woman in Senegal

Poor conditions are causing rural exodus Internal link

The Senegalese government is facing great challenges in the fields of domestic and social policy. According to estimates, some 40 per cent of the population are living in poverty. This particularly affects people in the mostly arid eastern and northern parts of the country.

The port of Dakar, Senegal

Strong role of small-scale enterprises Internal link

The most important sectors of Senegal's economy are agriculture, construction, fisheries and services. The capital, Dakar, is a hub for trade in West Africa. Informal-sector micro and small enterprises account for more than 60 per cent of gross national income.

Two women on the coast near Dakar

Two women on the coast near Dakar

Two women on the coast near Dakar

German development cooperation with Senegal

As part of the G20 Compact with Africa initiative, Germany and Senegal entered into a reform partnership in November 2019. The German Development Ministry (BMZ) approved funding totalling 108 million euros for this partnership. 31 million euros of this amount will be used for Technical Cooperation and 77 million euros for Financial Cooperation.
Development cooperation focuses on the following priority areas:

  • Sustainable economic development
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency

Germany is also providing support to Senegal through the African Risk Capacity Insurance Company (ARC). The scheme, which the BMZ is co-financing to the tune of 50 million euros, offers African countries climate risk insurance. In 2015, Senegal was the first country to receive a payout from this insurance, amounting to the equivalent of 16.5 million US dollars. In November 2019, the Government of Senegal received 23.1 million US dollars from ARC to compensate for drought-related crop losses.


Since 2017, Senegal has been a target country for the BMZ programme on migration and development. Advice is being provided on matters such as cooperation with the Senegalese diaspora, migration issues, and business start-up programmes. Senegal is also a partner country for the BMZ's Returning to New Opportunities returnee programme. In early 2018, a migration advice centre was opened in Dakar. Together with local projects under German development cooperation, the centre is intended to help returning migrants acquire vocational training and find jobs. 

Street lighting through a solar-powered mini power grid in a village in Senegal

Climate-friendly and reliable power supply Internal link

A shortage of energy is one of the main constraints to development in Senegal. In order to foster stable economic development in rural areas in particular, Germany is helping to improve access to safe, reliable and climate-friendly energy.

Road stand in Dakar, Senegal

Creating jobs and fostering the development of small businesses Internal link

The overarching goals of the Senegalese-German reform partnership are the creation of jobs, the development of the private sector and better training for the workforce. Assistance is also to be provided to informal-sector small-scale enterprises as they move to the formal sector.