The Gate to Africa

Senegal

The Gate to Africa

Senegal is one of the most stable democracies in Africa and in many ways has a leading position among the Western African nations. Senegal has taken part in many international peacekeeping operations and regional peace mediation efforts.

Senegal

The Gate to Africa

Senegal is one of the most stable democracies in Africa and in many ways has a leading position among the Western African nations. Senegal has taken part in many international peacekeeping operations and regional peace mediation efforts.

Capital: Dakar Area: 192,710 km2 Population: 14,7 million (2017), over 90 percent are Moslem Government:Republic Official language: French Independence from France 1960 Borders: Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north and east, Mali to the east, Guinea and Guinea Bissau to the south, and to Gambia, which is almost totally surrounded by Senegal Climate:Tropical, rainy season from June to November Average temperature Novermber-February: 24 degrees Celsius

Capital:DakarArea: 192,710 km2 Population:14,7 million (2017), over 90 percent are Moslem Government: Republic Official language: French, independence from France 1960 Borders: Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north and east, Mali to the east, Guinea and Guinea Bissau to the south, and to Gambia, which is almost totally surrounded by Senegal Climate: Tropical, rainy season from June to November Average temperature Novermber-February: 24 degrees Celsius

  • Ethnic groups. Wolof (41 percent), Fula (28 percent), Mandinka (5,4 percent), Jola (3,4 perecent) and many more.
  • No conflicts between Moslems (93 percent) and religious minorities. Animism is prevalent in all regions.
  • 65-70 percent of the population lives in rural areas.
  • Women have on average 4,5 children. In the countryside more on account of low age for first births, little acceptance for contraception and because large families constitute an economic safety net.
  • 65 percent of the population is under 25.
  • Almost 40 percent cannot read or write.
  • Main industries: Agriculture (16,9 percent of BNP), fish export, mining, fertilizer production, peanuts and tourism. Oil discoveries have fueled hopes of increased prosperity.
  • High unemployment, overfishing because of foreign ocean-going trawlers, deforestation, illegal logging and erosion.
  • In 2012 Abdoulaye Wade stepped down as president after 12 years and was followed by Macky Sall. Nest presidential electon is 2019.
  • The separatist movement MFDC has been active since 1960 to separate Casamance from Senegal. A civil war ended with a peace treaty in 2004, which was updated in 2012, and negotiations are still ongoing. From time to time there have been clashes between the remains of the deeply split MFDC movement and government soldiers. In typical tourist areas there have not been any episodes that with certainty can be attributed to the MFDC, but the movement is often singled out as responsible for other common crimes.

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Wikipedia et. al.

Culture

Kasumai! “Peace be with you” is the start and ending of a whole ritual of important questions and answers when people meet. Essential values for the Senegalese are to meet strangers with politeness and amiability. The openness and hospitality you meet in Senegal is extraordinary.

History

Kingdoms have come and gone in the region which today is Senegal, and European powers have fought for slaves and gold. Today’s Senegal stands on its own feet, but offers sharp contrasts, from hectic city life in Dakar to rural living in the south. If you’re interested in reading more about Senegal’s history,click here.

Sights

The slave port at Karabane makes a strong impression on any visitor. The city of Ziguinchor is also worth seeing, with its traces of a colonial past, while the fishing village of Kafountine lets you see first hand how today’s Senegalese struggle for their livelihood, and the challenges from foreign investment that does as it pleases without regard to the local communities.

Food

Fish, rice and chicken, in all its variations, sweet potatoes, peanuts, beans, onion and garlic are some of the main ingredients in Senegalese everyday meals. Good, but sometimes spicy, and always meticously and slowly prepared. Good, but sometimes spicy, and always meticously and slowly prepared.

Culture

Kasumai! “Peace be with you” is the start and ending of a whole ritual of important questions and answers when people meet. Essential values for the Senegalese are to meet strangers with politeness and amiability. The openness and hospitality you meet in Senegal is extraordinary.

History

Kingdoms have come and gone in the region which today is Senegal, and European powers have fought for slaves and gold. Today’s Senegal stands on its own feet, but offers sharp contrasts, from hectic city life in Dakar to rural living in the south. If you’re interested in reading more about Senegal’s history,click here.

Sights

The slave port at Karabane makes a strong impression on any visitor. The city of Ziguinchor is also worth seeing, with its traces of a colonial past, while the fishing village of Kafountine lets you see first hand how today’s Senegalese struggle for their livelihood, and the challenges from foreign investment that does as it pleases without regard to the local communities.

Food

Fish, rice and chicken, in all its variations, sweet potatoes, peanuts, beans, onion and garlic are some of the main ingredients in Senegalese everyday meals. Good, but sometimes spicy, and always meticously and slowly prepared. Good, but sometimes spicy, and always meticously and slowly prepared.

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Casamance

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What does Casamance mean? The Portuguese founded the regional capital Ziguinchor in the 16th century and called the area Kassa Mansa – the King’s House. The town on the banks of the Casamance River today boasts a large market, museums, a boatyard, a university and hotels and restaurants. The ship to Dakar takes one night.
Whoever gets to explore Casamance, can be considered fortunate. Almost untouched by tourism, and with the local culture woven into the textile of everyday life. The lushest region of Senegal is located south of Gambia, which almost cuts Senegal in two.

Casamance

This is custom heading element

What does Casamance mean? The Portuguese founded the regional capital Ziguinchor in the 16th century and called the area Kassa Mansa – the King’s House. The town on the banks of the Casamance River today boasts a large market, museums, a boatyard, a university and hotels and restaurants. The ship to Dakar takes one night.
Whoever gets to explore Casamance, can be considered fortunate. Almost untouched by tourism, and with the local culture woven into the textile of everyday life. The lushest region of Senegal is located south of Gambia, which almost cuts Senegal in two.

Senegals quisine

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Casamance is often called Senegal’s food basket. In years with abundant rainfall the region is brimming with fruits and vegetables. The rivers and the sea are full of fish, but still, the communities depend on the rice harvest for their prosperity. The last few years the harvest has been good. However, when the harvest is not so good, people sometimes starve. There is a lack of employment outside of agriculture, fisheries and a little industry. Tourism is important, however modest. In gthe village of Niafourang, right by TinTing, young people are working together with the organization Niafourang’s Friends, to create jobs, improve children’s life quality and encourage people to get education and knowledge. Read more about Niafourang here.

The Culture

In the villages of Abéné and Kafountine there are annual culture festivals that draw great musicians from all of West Africa, and attract an enthusiastic audience even from Europe. The week long festival in Abéné from December 26th till January 2nd i is a highlight. The atmosphere in Abéné and Kafountine is very relaxed, and the reggae culture and music exist side by side with the traditional Africa.

Nature

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Deep forests, savannas and mangrove swamps make Casamance en eldorado for birdwatchers. In the extreme south are the remains of a rain forest with an abundance of seabirds and also dolphines and rare turtles. The big animals are usually found in the national parks. Casamance-elva The Casamance River has mangrove swamps on both sides that stretch their networks far into the countryside. It’s a fascinating experience to paddle a narrow pirogue into the mangrove labyrinths, and it’s possible to go all the way to Guinea Bissau along the waterways.

The People

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The Jola, the main ethnical group in Casamance, by all accounts came to the area from Egypt in a distant past. Most of them are Moslems, but there is also a Christian minority. Animism is, however, very much a part of spiritual life for Moslems as well as Christians. The different ethnic groups live together in peace. Many speak three or four different African languages; young people speak French and many speak English as well.

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