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Country of Senegal Flag

Capital: Dakar

Population: 16,296,364

Brief History of Senegal:

Senegal has been inhabited for thousands of years. The Arabs arrived in the 11th century and many of the local tribal peoples converted to Islam. Later, in the 13th and 14 centuries the Mandingo and the Jolof Empires formed in Senegal.

When Europeans first arrived Senegal became a major area for slaves. It wasn't until the 1850s when the French began to explore further inland and colonize the land. In 1959 Senegal and the French Soudan merged and formed the country the Mali Federation. This didn't last very long as in 1960, Senegal declared its own independence and Leopold Sedar Senghor became the first president of Senegal.

Country of Senegal Map

The Geography of Senegal

Total Size: 196,190 square km

Size Comparison: slightly smaller than South Dakota

Geographical Coordinates: 14 00 N, 14 00 W

World Region or Continent: Africa

General Terrain: generally low, rolling, plains rising to foothills in southeast

Geographical Low Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha 581 m

Climate: tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind

Major cities: DAKAR (capital) 2.777 million (2009), Touba, Thies

The People of Senegal

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka

Independence: 4 April 1960 (from France); note - complete independence was achieved upon dissolution of federation with Mali on 20 August 1960

National Holiday: Independence Day, 4 April (1960)

Nationality: Senegalese (singular and plural)

Religions: Muslim 94%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 1%

National Symbol: lion

National Anthem or Song: Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons (Pluck Your Koras, Strike the Balafons)

Economy of Senegal

Major Industries: agricultural and fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, construction materials, ship construction and repair

Agricultural Products: peanuts, millet, corn, sorghum, rice, cotton, tomatoes, green vegetables; cattle, poultry, pigs; fish

Natural Resources: fish, phosphates, iron ore

Major Exports: fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton

Major Imports: food and beverages, capital goods, fuels

Currency: Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note - responsible authority is the Central Bank of the

National GDP: $25,150,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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