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

Senegal Reform-oriented and politically stable

Located in the extreme west of Africa, Senegal has a long democratic tradition and is politically stable. Since the country gained its independence in 1960, it has enjoyed uninterrupted civilian rule and has a constitution enshrining the rule of law. Government policies are practical and reform-oriented. With its active peace policy and pan-African engagement, the country is an important stabilising force in the region and on the African continent as a whole.

Straight to
Fish market in Saint Louis, Senegal

Senegal's economy was badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the government has endeavoured to generate fresh impetus and mitigate the negative impacts with an economic stimulus programme. The United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) currently ranks the Republic of Senegal 168th out of 189 countries. Energy scarcity, food crises, strong population growth and high unemployment are constraining the country's development.

Senegal's land area almost completely encloses its relatively small neighbour Gambia, which divides Senegal into a northern and a smaller southern part. In the southern region of Casamance, political and economic isolation has led to the emergence of an independence movement. Over three decades, there were frequent violent clashes. In recent years, tensions have eased and in 2012 a ceasefire was agreed, which has largely held.

German development cooperation with Senegal

A long history of development cooperation links Germany and Senegal. In November 2019, Senegal became a reform partner in German development cooperation. 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 is therefore one of the core areas of Senegalese-German cooperation. There is also a focus on governance, with the aim of creating the conditions necessary for a more transparent and efficient administration. A further core area is renewable energy and energy efficiency.

In 2021, the German Development Ministry (BMZ) approved funding totalling 140 million euros for the cooperation with Senegal.

The COVID-19 relief programme (PRES)

In order to mitigate the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, Germany is providing 100 million euros, as part of the commitments for 2020, in budget support for Senegal's COVID-19 relief programme (Programme de résilience économique et sociale – PRES). Germany's support under this programme focuses on measures that aid the most fragile and most severely affected sectors of Senegal's economy, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Germany is also pushing for efficient and transparent implementation of the relief programme.


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. Furthermore, a migration advice centre was opened in Dakar in early 2018. Together with local projects implemented within the framework of German development cooperation, the centre is assisting returning migrants to access vocational training and find employment.

Al Azhar Excellence Centre for Further Education in Mbao, Senegal

Core area “Sustainable economic development” Creating jobs and fostering private investments 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. In addition, a more efficient administration is intended to support small informal-sector businesses as they transition to the formal sector.

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

Core area “Climate and energy, just transition” A climate-friendly and reliable power supply Internal link

Energy scarcity is one of the major barriers to development in Senegal. Only around 40 per cent of the country's rural population has access to electricity. In order to foster stable economic development for the rural population in particular, Germany is helping to improve access to a safe, reliable and low-carbon energy supply.

Current situation

Fish market in Saint Louis, Senegal
A young woman in Senegal
The port of Dakar, Senegal

As at: 09/08/2021