Senegal facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Republic of Senegal

République du Sénégal  (French)
Flag of Senegal
Coat of arms
Motto: "Un Peuple, Un But, Une Foi" (French)
"One People, One Goal, One Faith"
Anthem: Pincez Tous vos Koras, Frappez les Balafons
Everyone strum your koras, strike the balafons
Location of  Senegal  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)– in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Senegal  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

Location of Senegal
and largest city
Official languages French
Recognised regional languages
  • Wolof
  • Soninke
  • Serer
  • Fula
  • Maninka
  • Jola
Ethnic groups
  • 43.3% Wolof
  • 23.8% Fula
  • 14.7% Serer
  • 3.7% Jola
  • 3.0% Mandinka
  • 1.1% Soninke
  • 1.0% European / Lebanese
  • 9.4% others
Demonym(s) Senegalese
Government Semi-presidential republic
• President
Macky Sall
• Prime Minister
Mohammed Dionne
Legislature Parliament
Senate (disbanded)
National Assembly
• from Francea
20 June 1960
• Withdrawal from
the Mali Federation
20 August 1960
• Total
196,712 km2 (75,951 sq mi) (87th)
• Water (%)
• 2013 estimate
13,567,338 (67th)
• 2013 census
• Density
68.7/km2 (177.9/sq mi) (134th)
GDP (PPP) 2012 estimate
• Total
$26.574 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate
• Total
$13.864 billion
• Per capita
Gini (2011) 40.3
HDI (2013) Decrease 0.485
low · 163rd
Currency CFA franc (XOF)
Time zone UTC
Driving side right
Calling code +221
ISO 3166 code SN
Internet TLD .sn

The Republic of Senegal (French République da Sénégal) is a country in West Africa. The capital is Dakar. Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres. It has population of about 13 million. The climate is tropical with two seasons: the dry season and the rainy cold season . Senegal was given independence by France in 1960.

Major industries are fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, construction materials, ship construction and repair. Peanuts, sugarcane, cotton, green beans, industrial tomato, cherry tomato, melon, and mango are important cash crops.

French is the official language. Since April 2012 Senegal's president has been Macky Sall.


In the 15th century, Portuguese people came to Gorée Island off the coast of Dakar. In the 17th century, French people and Dutch people came there, too. These European countries used the island as a trading post in slaves from the mainland, controlled by the Muslim Wolof Empires. Slavery was later made illegal by France, but soon after, around 1850, the French started to conquer the Wolof. By 1902 Senegal was a part of the French colony French West Africa.

In January 1959, Senegal and the French Sudan became one to form the Mali Federation, which became fully independent on June 20, 1960, as a result of the independence and transfer of power agreement signed with France on April 4, 1960. This did not last long and Senegal and Mali broke apart into separate nations. Between 1982 and 1989 Senegal and The Gambia joined together to make Senegambia.


In the north of Senegal is the Senegal River. To the north of the river is Mauritania. The nation borders Mali in the east, Guinea-Bissau in the south, and Guinea in the south-east. The Gambia is another country inside of Senegal, along the Gambia River. It is about 300 km long.

The north of Senegal is part of the Sahel. The highest mountain is 581 m high. The rainy season is between June and October. The average temperature on the coast is about 24° C, and inland about 27° C.


  • Dakar
  • Diourbel
  • Fatick
  • Kaffrine
  • Kaolack
  • Kédougou
  • Kolda
  • Louga
  • Matam
  • Saint-Louis
  • Sédhiou
  • Tambacounda
  • Thiès
  • Ziguinchor

Images for kids

Senegal Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.