Fish market in Saint Louis, Senegal

Political situation Broad development programme

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.

In 2012, Macky Sall was elected President. In the presidential elections in February 2019, he received an absolute majority of the vote 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 ten people died and a considerable number of people 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 in particular young people's dissatisfaction with the government, 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 up to 2035 (Plan Sénégal Emergent). Its key goals are economic stability, lower unemployment, a stronger private sector (with a special focus on fostering SMEs), and infrastructure development.

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 which it has agreed with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), thus improving the business climate.

Foreign policy

The Senegalese government pursues an active, stabilising foreign policy, both within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and within the African Union and the United Nations. Senegal has acted as a mediator in regional conflicts and is an important provider of troops for UN peace missions.