On the western coast of Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, is one of the continent’s most stable democracies, Senegal. Couched between the arid desert in the north and lush tropical forests in the south, Senegal boasts an exciting variety of sights, sounds and flavours.
Officially the Republic of Senegal, the country gets its name from the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north.
Senegal joined Gambia to form the nominal confederation of Senegambia in 1982. The envisaged integration of the two countries was never carried out, and the union was dissolved in 1989. The Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MDFC) has led a low-level separatist insurgency in southern Senegal since the 1980s, and several peace deals have failed to resolve the conflict.
Senegal has a long history of participating in international peacekeeping and regional mediation. The country was ruled by a socialist party for 40 years until Abdoulaye Wade was elected president in 2000. He was re-elected in 2007, and during his two terms he amended Senegal’s constitution over a dozen times to increase executive power and to weaken the opposition. His decision to run for a third presidential term sparked a large public backlash that led to his defeat in a March 2012 run-off election.
Area: 196 722km²
Climate: Tropical, hot and humid. Rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds, dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry wind.
Natural resources: Fish, phosphates, iron ore.
Total renewable water sources: 39,4 cu km
Like many other African countries, Senegal faces numerous environmental challenges. These include wildlife populations threatened by poaching, deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, desertification and overfishing.
Senegal suffered severe flooding, which resulted from a much wetter than average rainy season during the summer of 2012. Many towns and villages have been flooded in addition to areas that normally flood during the rainy season. The floods have left a notable scar on the country’s infrastructure and economy.
Senegal’s energy demands far outweigh its supply, as the country is prone to months without water. However, abundant sunlight may prove to be the future solution to frequent crippling power cuts that result from its aging infrastructure.
Senegal’s power outages hinder progress in many sectors, especially in the administrative and financial capital of Dakar.
Electricity production: 2,608-billion kWh
Electricity consumption: 2,123-billion kWh
Installed generated capacity: 638 000kW
Electricity (fossil fuels): 99,7% of total installed capacity
Electricity (nuclear): 0% of total installed capacity
Electricity (other renewables): 0,3% of total installed capacity
Crude oil imports: 13 040 bbl/day
Refined petroleum production: 16 850 bbl/day
Refined petroleum consumption: 40 600 bbl/day
Natural gas production: 50-million cu m
Natural gas consumption: 50-million cu m
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 6,679-million Mt
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.cia.gov for the information given to write this article.