Doing Business 2020


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GDP per capita (USD)


Senegal consulting

The Republic of Senegal is a former French colony, which claimed independence in 1960, together with Sudan. Named after Senegal River, covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres of the West Coast of Africa. Senegal is classified as a heavily indebted poor country, with most of its 16M inhabitants working in agriculture, mining, tourism and services. However it is also a hub for shipping and transport in the region and a home to banks and other institutions serving all of Francophone West Africa. Read more to seek consulting for Senegal. 

 Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal nearly surrounds The Gambia, a country occupying a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River, which separates Senegal’s southern region of Casamance from the rest of the country. Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Senegal’s economic and political capital is Dakar.  

The country has a high profile in many international organizations and was a member of the UN Security Council in 1988–89 and 2015–2016. It was elected to the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1997. Friendly to the West, especially to France and to the United States, Senegal also is a vigorous proponent of more assistance from developed countries to the Third World. 

Senegal enjoys mostly cordial relations with its neighbours. It is also part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Integrated with the main bodies of the international community and a member of the African Union (AU) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. 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. 

With its beautiful landscapes and remains of pre-colonial, Portuguese and French edifices, Senegal is a popular touristic destination. The country used to be a host of Paris-Dakar rally from 1979 until 2007, the best known off-road race in the world. 

The currency in use is frank CFA, common for Middle Africa countries. 


The population of Senegal is approximately 15,736,370 (2020). As the other former colonies, the country is inhabited by multiple ethnic groups. The main groups are Wolof (37.1%)Pular (26.2%) and Serer (17%). In Senegal live also around 14,000 Mauritanian refugees and a fraction of people of European or Middle-Eastern origin. The official language of Senegal is French, but Wolof and Arabic are in common use. 

The Senegalese population is very young. People between 0-24 years old comprise around 61% of the whole population, and the people older than 65 years – only 3,1%. In 2020 median age is 18.5 years for male and 20.3 years for female. The fertility growth is positive, around 2.3% and the migration rate is negative: -1.3 migrants per 1000 population. That means the Senegalese society is growing.  

Almost 96% of Senegalese is Muslim, mainly Sufi. Remaining 4% are Roman Catholic and other Christian. The state is secular though.  

The biggest city is Dakar, the capital, with approximately 2M people. It remains also the key seaport, connecting the country with other African economies and partners overseas. The majority of the population lives on the coast. The interior of the country is mainly (70%) rural.  


Economy and International Trade

Because of the global climate change the Senegalese agriculture, key industry of the country, is a vulnerable business. With only about 5 percent of the land irrigated, Senegal continues to rely on rain-fed agriculture. The branch occupies about 75 percent of the labour force. Main products are millet, rice, corn and sorghum. The country is an important exporter of rice, peanuts, sugarcane, gum arabic and cotton. 

The second most important sector of the economy is mining. In 2018 its products: gold, refined petroleum and phosphoric acid, were main part of the country’s export. In 2018 Senegal exported a total of $3.89B, making it the number 120 exporter in the world. The most recent exports are led by gold ($587M), refined petroleum ($404M), phosphoric acid ($319M), non-fillet frozen fish ($276M), and cement ($155M). The most common destination for the exports of Senegal are Mali ($699M), Switzerland ($536M), India ($383M), Spain ($184M), and Italy ($164M). 

In 2018 Senegal imported $11.1B, making it the number 97 trade destination in the world. The most recent imports of Senegal are led by refined petroleum ($1.84B), crude petroleum ($623M), rice ($457M), cars ($246M), and wheat ($194M). The most common import partners for Senegal are China ($1.94B), France ($1B), Netherlands ($796M), Belgium-Luxembourg ($742M), and Nigeria ($645M). 


Senegal’s economy


Trade barriers

Corruption level is low, thanks to highly developed political culture. Freedom House, Ibrahim Index of African Governance and Transparency International classify the country quite high in their rankings, especially compared to other African states. The highest import tariffs for products from European Union are 87% for sugars, 77% for refined sugar and 73% for raw sugar and beet.  

The most important barriers are cultural and infrastructural ones. Because of the Muslim dominance in religious life, products forbidden by the Shariah, like alcohol or pork, are not welcome (not officially banned though). They may require additional certification.  

The issues of infrastructure include lack of solid roads and railways in the interior of the country, as well as lack of electricity – only est. 65% of total population has permanent access to electric energy (90% in the cities).  

One needs to remember about the terroristic activity in Mauretania and West Sahara, laying further North from Senegal. The internal conflicts in those countries may endanger the sea transport along the Western coast of Africa. 


Senegal is opening up for the new opportunities and development. The market demands wheat and rice, automotive parts and petroleum products. Because of the agriculture’s sensibility, providing of long-lasting food supplies and technological solutions to slow down the climate change would be needed in the near future.  



  • Rapid developement
  • Strategic location enabling reexport
  • cost-effectivness of doing business
  • quailified and educated workforce


  • infrastructural problems
  • bureaucracy
  • competetive environment
  • regional political and cultural destabilization
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