Name: Republic of Senegal (Republique du Senega)
Political Capital: Dakar
Major cities: Dakar (Dakar proper, Guédiawaye, and Pikine), Touba (Touba Mosquee), Thiès, Kaolack, M'Bour, Saint-Louis, Rufisque, Ziguinchor
Form of Government: Republic
Political situation: chief of state: President Macky Sall (since 2 April 2012); head of government: Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye (since 3 April 2012); president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term) election last held on 26 February 2012 with a second round runoff on 25 March 2012, prime minister appointed by the president
Territorial subdivision: divided into 14 Regions: Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kedougou, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda, Thies, Ziguinchor
Population: 12,969,606 (July 2012 est.)
Urbanization rate: 3.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Population Density: 65.3/km2
Ethnic groups: Wolof 43.3%, Pular 23.8%, Serer 14.7%, Jola 3.7%, Mandinka 3%, Soninke 1.1%, Europeans and Lebanese 1%, others 9.4%
Official religion(s): Muslims 94%, Christians 5%, others 1%
Official language(s): French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Jola, Mandinka
Territory Surface: 196,722 km²
Land: 192,530 km²
Neighboring Countries: Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; rainy season (May to November) has strong southeast winds; dry season (December to April) dominated by hot, dry, harmattan wind
Festivities: January 1 - New Year's Day, January 22 - Tabaski Feast, February 4 - Prophet Mohammed's Birthday, April 4 - Independence Day, April 9 - Easter Monday, May 1 - Labor Day; Ascension, May 28 - Whit Monday; Assumption, August 19 - Korité (End of Ramadan), November 1 - All Saints' Day, October 26 - Tabaski (Feast of the Sacrifice), November 15 - Tamkarit (Islamic New Year), November 24 - Tamkharit (Ashoura), December 25 - Christmas Day
Passports and Visas: To enter Senegal, a passport valid for at least six months after date of entry is required by all Australian, American, Canadian, British and other EU nationals. Visas are not required by those nationals for stays in Senegal of up to three months, except nationals of Australia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovak Republic, who do require a visa. Nationals not referred to are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Senegal.
Applications from nationals of the following countries must be referred to the authorities in Dakar and will therefore take longer (up to 21 days): Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovak Republic.
A WHO vaccination card, with current yellow fever and cholera vaccinations, may be required if national is travelling from an endemic area.
Local currency: Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF/CAF)
Currency exchange rate: 1 US dollar - 503.24 CAF / 1 Euro - 655.65 CAF
GDP (official exchange rate): $13.95 billion (2012 est.)
GDP growth rate: 3.7% (2012 est.)
Inflation: 1.5% (2012 est.)
Transport systems: Airports - 20, Pipelines - gas 43 km; refined products 8 km, Railways - 906 km, Roadways - 14,008 km, Waterways 1,000 km (primarily on the Senegal, Saloum, and Casamance rivers), Merchant marine – 1, Ports & Terminals - Dakar
Economy: Senegal relies heavily on donor assistance and foreign direct investment. The country's key export industries are phosphate mining, fertilizer production, and commercial fishing. The country is also working on iron ore and oil exploration projects. The IMF completed a non-dispersing, Policy Support Initiative program in 2010 and approved a new three-year policy support instrument in December 2010 to assist with economic reforms. Senegal also receives disbursements from a $540 million Millennium Challenge Account for infrastructure and agriculture development. In 2012, the economy began to rebound after a weak 2011. The economy continues to suffer from unreliable power supply, which has led to public protests and high unemployment and has prompted migrants to flee Senegal in search of better job opportunities in Europe.
Exports: fish, groundnuts (peanuts), petroleum products, phosphates, cotton
Imports: food and beverages, capital goods, fuels
Primary sector: Agriculture - peanuts, millet, corn, sorghum, rice, cotton, tomatoes, green vegetables, cattle, poultry, pigs, fish