Fish market in Saint Louis, Senegal

Political situation Comprehensive development programme

Senegal is a presidential democracy. Its constitution and legal system are modelled to a large extent on the French system. In May 2019, the president, whose position was already strong, was vested with further powers when the office of prime minister was abolished by means of a constitutional amendment. The post was reinstated in late 2021 but is still vacant (as at August 2022).

In 2012, Macky Sall was elected president. In the presidential elections in February 2019, he was confirmed in office, receiving an absolute majority of votes in the first round. Since the 2017 parliamentary elections, the governing coalition which he leads has had a strong majority in the National Assembly.

In March 2021, there was unrest in Senegal during which 10 people died and many more were injured. The unrest was triggered by the arrest of Ousmane Sonko, the main opposition leader. The situation escalated and is regarded as a sign of dissatisfaction with the government, particularly among young people, since it is primarily the younger generation among Senegal's fast-growing population that lacks jobs and prospects for the future.

Government policies focus on implementing a comprehensive programme for the country's economic and social development in the period to 2035, known as the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (Plan Sénégal Emergent). Its key goals are to achieve economic stability, combat unemployment, strengthen the private sector, with a special focus on fostering SMEs, and expand the country’s infrastructure.

Senegal was one of the first countries to join the G20 Compact with Africa initiative. The country is making good progress on implementing the economic reforms agreed with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) and therefore on improving the business climate.

Foreign policy

The Senegalese government pursues active and stabilising foreign policies within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations. Macky Sall has chaired the African Union since early 2022. Senegal acts as a mediator in regional conflicts and is an important provider of troops for UN peace missions.

As at: 09/08/2022