Category:HistoryPaper Title:AfricaText:SENEGALThe current discourse on Africa’s political corruption, poverty andenvironment has emerged from a convergence of international and regionalcritiques about the future of African trade and economic prospects. Recent yearshave witnessed a considerable resurgence of interest in African Development,although it is difficult to impose any precise link, much of the attention hasbeen generated by the events surrounding the transition and transformation ofMandrel’s South Africa.There doesn’t seem to be any consensus on the best way to deal with the manyproblems that are affecting development in certain African countries. However,most scholars agree that the primary underlying causes that affect internationalpolitical will to invest in Africa’s future must be controlled before thisglorious continent can reach its full potential. I want to argue that thecorruption, poverty, environment nexus is what went wrong after Africa wasdecolonalized; I will focus on Senegal in particular.
Senegal is located on the West Coast of Africa. The French gained possessionof Senegal in 1840 and made it part of French West Africa. In 1946, togetherwith other parts of French West Africa Senegal became an overseas territory ofFrance. In 1956 Senegal gained internal self-government from France and in 1959the country joined the Federation of Mali. On August 20 1960 Senegal withdrewfrom the federation and became the independent Republic of Senegal with LeopoldSenghor as President. In 1970 President Senghor appointed Abdou Diouf as PrimeMinister and in 1976 a new constitution was introduced which committed thecountry to a multiparty democratic system of government but also limited thenumber of parties to three. This parliamentary style democracy with socialistleanings offers the right to vote to anyone over 18 years old and aconstitutional guarantee of equality before the law, which is based on theFrench civil law system. In January 1981 Senghor retired and Diouf was appointedPresident, in 1983, 1988 and 1993 Diouf was re-elected with 58% of the votegoing to his Socialist Party or PS (atlapedia.
com). The ethnic composition ofSenegal is diverse with the principal ethnic group the Wolof who account for 44%of the 9,723,149 population (1998). The official language is French, althoughonly about 12% of the population can speak it. Around 94% of the population areSunni Muslims, while 5% are Roman Catholic. As of 1970, 95% of the people overthe age of 6 had no formal schooling, however as of 1995, 33% of the populationage 15 and over could read and write.
Senegal is about the size of South Dakota and has a tropical climate with awet season from May to November and dry season from December to April. Whilesevere droughts during the late 1960’s and 1970’s seriously damaged the economyand caused widespread famine the 1993 Gross National Product was $5,867,000,000with public debt registering around $3,011,000,000, however debt decreasedslightly in 1996 to $3.7 billion. Only 2.4% of the Gross National Productaccount for military expenditure. The main exports ($968 million, 1995) to theU.
S., Western European countries, African neighbors, Japan, China, and India arecotton, fish nuts, oil and petroleum.Imports of consumer goods, foodstuffs, transport equipment and petroleumaccount for $1.
22 billion dollars. Less than 35% of the population areeconomically active in the major industries of agriculture, fishing, fertilizerproduction and mining.History