Skip to main content

Senegal Country Report

Country Risk Level



Executive Summary

Senegal has received USD442 million in emergency funding from the IMF, having formulated resilience plans for key sectors such as tourism, air transport, and agriculture, which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Protest and riot risks related to the pandemic have eased since the government agreed to permit internal travel and relax curfew hours following a wave of nationwide demonstrations in the first few days of June.In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the real GDP growth forecast has been revised down from 6.9% in 2020 to a 1.8% contraction, with a recovery to 4.9% in 2021, based on lower growth estimates for trading partners in the eurozone and China. The trade, ICT, and transport sectors are projected to provide less robust support to the economy. In the longer term, new productivity improvement programmes, public investment in infrastructure, increased investment in the hydrocarbon sector, and projects related to the Emerging Senegal Plan will sustain growth.The National Assembly, dominated by President Sall's United in Hope (Benno Bokk Yakaar: BBY) coalition, has passed a new petroleum code which greatly increases the state's fiscal take. Oil companies are likely to have been deterred from entering a new licensing round, which opened on 31 January and closed on 31 July 2020, despite the compensation of prime acreage and benign above-ground risks.The latest round of talks in Rome over the long-running Casamance insurgency is now likely to be delayed at least until late 2020. Although a final settlement is unlikely in the 12-month outlook given the fragmented nature of militant forces, attacks on military targets, business interests or tourists will remain isolated incidents.

Operational Outlook

The government struggled to contain the fallout from a BBC programme aired in June 2019 that alleged corrupt payments in the oil sector involving President Macky Sall's brother. The scandal reinforced perceptions that management of the nascent sector has been opaque, and that contracts have been signed which do not adequately benefit the state. Sall has also been accused of instrumentalising the judiciary to sideline political rivals. The ruling BBY coalition has proved sympathetic to union demands, especially in the public sector, although it resisted teachers' demands for housing allowances for nearly a year before conceding. Strikes are relatively frequent, although they rarely last longer than 48–72 hours.


Senegal is taking extremely seriously the probability of attacks by militants linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Security forces remain deployed to key sites in the capital, Dakar, and specially trained anti-terrorist units are on high alert, with additional threats to tourist sites outside the capital. The risk increased with the formation of a new Sahelian jihadist front in March 2017 of several Al-Qaeda-linked groups. Casamance had been quiescent for many years as peace negotiations rumbled on, although armed robberies increased in 2019, while factions of separatist forces complain about lack of government commitment to peace talks.


Crime is primarily a risk in urban areas, especially the capital Dakar where targets of petty crime include expatriates. Pickpocketing and property theft are the most prevalent forms, rather than violent crime, although armed robberies of petrol stations and businesses can occur in Dakar's peripheral neighbourhoods. Senegalese nationals and foreign visitors are occasionally subject to fraud and phishing attempts, with local groups drawing on expertise gleaned from Nigerian criminal gangs. Commodity smuggling between Gambia and Senegal is common, as well as human trafficking into and out of Senegal, a country that still sees large numbers attempting to reach Europe as economic migrants.

War Risks

President Sall has made meaningful efforts to address the demands of the separatist Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de Casamance (MFDC), but little progress has been made in mediation talks. Several statements by the Front Nord faction in early 2019 accused the government of failing to respect its commitment to Rome-based peace negotiations, which resumed in October 2017, although in February 2020 both sides reiterated their resolve to continue. Although the MFDC has stepped up armed robberies, it has lost vital support from ousted Gambian president Yahya Jammeh, whose departure also removes threats of armed inter-state conflict. Occasional disputes over fishing boundaries with Mauritania are unlikely to lead to inter-state war.

Social Stability

The risk of organised protests has reduced in the three-month outlook, after the government swiftly lifted a regional travel ban and reduced curfew times following two days of unrest in early June. However, there will be a high risk of sporadic violent unrest nationwide if lockdown measures are reimposed in the event of rising COVID-19 infection rates. Demonstrations are also likely in urban hubs over grievances surrounding lack of social services and basic public amenities. The newly formed Aar li nu Bokk group has taken the lead in organising recent demonstrations, joining the 23 June Movement and youth organisation Y'en a Marre in vibrant civil-society activity.

Health Risk

Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over nine months old arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission and for travelers who have been in transit in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).

Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Practical Information


Temperatures are high in Senegal all year long. The rainy season lasts from July until September and tornados sometimes strike during this period. The rest of the year (October-June) weather conditions are dry. Between December and February, the Harmattan, a hot and dry wind from the Sahara Desert, regularly passes through the country.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +221
Police (Dakar): 33 823 71 49 or 33 823 25 29
UAS: 33 824 24 18


Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz


Risk Level
Critical High Medium Low Minimal