Senegal

Senegal is located in the western part of Africa south of Senegal River. The Atlantic Ocean is towards the West, Mauritania to the North, Guinea to the east and Mali towards the East. The capital of the country is Dakar with French being the official language. The country was a French colony till 1960 and was independent on the 20th of August 1960. The total population of the country is more than 11,500,000 according to estimate of 2005 with a density of 59 persons per square km. The Gross Domestic Product of the country is more that $20 billion with per capita income of around $1,500.

Senegal has its own unique cuisines that distinguish it from other West African countries. Due to its borders with Atlantic Ocean, fish is te most important food. Beef, chicken and lamb are also used for cooking in the country. However pork is not used due to the Muslim population of the country. Peanuts, bananas, white rice, lentils and sweet potatoes are the major vegetables. Apart from the official language French the other languages spoken are Wolof, Fula, Mande, Jola and Soninke. Music in the country is distinct from other countries of Africa. The popular music forms in the country are folk music and mbalax.

Since 1994, the economy of Senegal has taken an upward trend with the introduction of economic reforms with international help. The reform process began with the devaluation of the currency of the country by 50%. Subsidies and price control by the government was steadily reduced. The economy of the country has grown at the rate of 5% every year since the economic reforms till date. The main industries of the country are mining, food processing, cement, chemicals, fertilizers, textile, tourism and refining. The main exports of the country are fish, cotton, chemicals, calcium phosphate and groundnuts.

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