World History

Senegal | History, Capital, Language, Flag, Facts

History of Senegal:

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

When Europeans first arrived, Senegal became an important area for slaves. It was not until the 1850s that the French began to explore further inland and colonize the land. In 1959, Senegal and French Sudan merged to form the Federation of Mali. It did not last long when in 1960 Senegal declared its independence and Léopold Sédar Senghor became Senegal’s first president.

Information about Senegal:

Capital Dakar
Population 17,846,244 (Source: 2023 worldometer)
Major Cities Dakar (capital), Saint Louis, Thies, Diourbel, Tambacounda, Louga, Pikine, Joal Fadiout, Kedougou
Borders Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $27,684,430,244 (2022 worldometer)
Currency Communaute Financiere Africaine franc (XOF); note – responsible authority is the Central Bank of the

Flag of Senegal:

Senegal Economy Key Industries:

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

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

Senegal Natural Resources: fish, phosphates, iron ore

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

Senegal Major Imports: food and beverages, capital goods, fuels

The Geography of Senegal:

Total Size of Senegal: 197,000 square kilometres (source: wikipedia)

Geographical Low Point of Senegal: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point of Senegal: unnamed feature near Nepen Diakha 581 m

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

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

World Region or Continent of Senegal: Africa

Geographical Coordinates: 14 00 N, 14 00 W

The People of  Senegal & Culture

Senegal Government Type: republic

Senegal Nationality: Senegalese (singular and plural)

Senegal National Holiday: Independence Day, 4 April (1960)

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

Senegal National Symbol: lion

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

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

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

Interesting Facts about Senegal:

Senegal gained independence from France on 4 April 1960, becoming one of the first African countries to do so.

The official language of Senegal is French, inherited from the country’s colonial history.

The majority of Senegal’s population is Muslim, making it a Muslim-majority country.

Senegal is known for its vibrant music scene, with genres such as Mbalax, Afrobeat and internationally recognized Senegalese hip hop.

The country has a rich cultural heritage, with traditional dance forms such as the Sabar and Dakar Biennale annually showcasing contemporary African art. The Senegalese wrestling tradition, known as Laamb, is a popular sport and recreation in the country.

Senegal is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic island of Gorée and the nature reserve of the Djoudj National Ornithology Reserve.

Senegalese cuisine is varied and delicious, with dishes like Thieboudienne (rice and fish dish), Yassa (marinated chicken or fish) and Mafe (peanut stew).

Lac Rose, also known as Lac Retba, is a natural phenomenon unique to Senegal due to its high salt content that gives the water its pink color.

Senegal has a strong tradition of storytelling and oral history, with traditional storytellers playing an important role in preserving cultural heritage. The country has a diverse landscape, including beautiful coastlines, savannas and the Sahel region to the north.

Senegal has produced world-renowned artists and intellectuals, including poet Léopold Sédar Senghor, who served as the country’s first president.

The annual Saint Louis Jazz Festival in Senegal attracts renowned jazz musicians from all over the world.

The Senegal River, which forms a natural border with Mauritania, is an important waterway and source of livelihood for local communities.

Senegal has a strong wrestling tradition and has produced famous wrestlers who have achieved national and international fame. The country has a high degree of religious tolerance, with various religious practices coexisting harmoniously, including Islam, Christianity, and traditional African religions.

The Senegal national football team, also known as the Lions de la Teranga, has participated in the FIFA World Cup several times and is highly regarded in African football.

Senegal is a country located in West Africa and is bordered by Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest.