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Senegal

Senegal gained independence from France on April 4th, 1960. Shortly before independence in January 1959, Senegal and French Soudan merged to form the Mali Federation under the auspices of the French colonists. This Federation became fully independent on June 20th, 1960 but only lasted a total of two months to be abrogated on August 20th, 1960, a result of internal conflicts. A unique feature of Senegal is that it almost totally surrounds The Gambia except on the Atlantic. This was due to partition by the French (Senegal) and British (The Gambia) colonists for the transport and shipment of slaves from the interior of West Africa. The coastal settlers, some of whom were shipped to Europe and the Americas, became recruiters and lures for hinterland people for the slave trade. The trading and transhipment points were the cantonments at the mouth of the rivers Senegal, Gambia, and Cassamance, most notably the island of Goree.

Bordered by the North Atlantic on the west, Mauritania to the north

ROP-1 Africa Partners
ROP-1 Africa Partners

along the Senegal river, Mali to the east, and equally by Guineas Conakry and Bissau to the south, Senegal covers approx. 76,000 square miles of land area, one and a half times the state of Georgia. The capital of Senegal is Dakar where the nation’s largest sea and air-ports are located.

Senegal’s main preoccupations are the consolidation of the fragile truce with the separatist MFDC in the difficult cove between Guinea Bissau and Gambia (Cassamance), the quarrel with Mauritania over water rights to the Senegal River which the two nations share as common border, and to a lesser extent, water rights quarrels with Mali over the same Senegal River. 

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Please click on the link below to view a map of Senegal

http://www.izf.net/affiche_oscar.php?num_page=3498

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Senegal Facts

Population: approx. 12.8 million                   

Latitude: Between 12.5 deg. and 17 deg. North

Longitude: Between 11.5 deg. and 17.5 deg. West              

Highest pt: Neppen Diakha (1,900 Ft.)

Land Area: 76,000 sq. mi.

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Natural Resources:

PEOPLE

Africans

descendants of French colonists

Other Europeans

Canadian, North American, South American.

Asian (Arab, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese)

LANGUAGES

French is the official language in Senegal.

Wollof, Pulaar, Mandinka, Soninke, Serer, Jola, Bambara, Moore, and Arabic.

RELIGIONS:

Islam, Christianity, non-denominational, and traditional religions.

Senegal Climate:

TOPOGRAPHY

Senegal is generally flat, not rising above 390 ft. except in the southeast corner which contains terraces of the Fouta Djallon Highlands extending from La Guinea. There the relief reaches  1,900 ft. This is where the Senegal and Gambia rivers obtain their sources from with the Senegal

Courtesy - UNESCO.wwap
Senegal River: Courtesy – UNESCO.wwap

river flowing Northeast along the Mali border to Northwest along the Mauritania border, while the Gambia river flows mainly Northwestward through the Niokolokoba Forest reserve and the nation of Gambia to empty into the Atlantic ocean at the port city of Banjul.  

Temperatures

Between the dry desert border area with Mauritania, to the moist tropical south, Senegal’s climate is tempered more by Atlantic ocean breezes and the Harmattan winds from the north than by relief or unique ecologies. The Rainy season lasts from may to october with an average annual rainfall from 15 inches in the north to about 60 inches in the south. Average coastal temps are 70 deg. fahrenheit in January to 85 deg. fahrenheit in July.

Mineral Resources: Phosphates, un-exploited deposits of iron ore, un-exploited offshore oil & natural gas, Refinery for imported crude.

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Government:

The constitution of Senegal, a revised version of which was promulgated in 2001, governs her 10 regions, 34 departments, and 320 councils, and 120-member unicameral legislature. The government of Senegal is divided into the Executive, the legislative, and the Judicial branches. A historical ammendment to the Senegalese constitution is the provision to allow former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre’ to be tried in Senegal for charges of mass murder and other human rights violations.

Executive: Comprises a popularly elected president who appoints a prime minister. The president, in consultation with the prime minister, appoints a cabinet of ministers. A July, 2008 constitutional ammendment gives future presidents a 7-year term.

Legislative: Senegal’s legislature comprises a 120-member elected National Assemby.

Judicial: Comprises the High courts (constitutional council, state council, and the court of Appeals), and the lower courts. The constitutional council is the highest court of five members appointed by the president for a term of six years only.

Universal suffrage is 18 years old in Senegal.

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