A little background: the population of Senegal is in the region of 13 million and, thanks to a stable economy and political situation, is considered an excellent jumping-off point for expansion into sub-Saharan Africa with a population of nearly 80 million. Over recent years a growing number of Spanish companies have looked at Senegal as the beachhead from which to expand operations into the neighbouring countries of: Mauritania; the Benin; Burkina Faso; the Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau; Mali; Niger; Togo; the Gambia; etc.
Senegal was colonised by both Britain and France and, in 1959, formed part of the Mali Federation with French Sudan until independence in 1960. Later in the same year, the Federation broke up to form the present-day Mali and Senegal. Since then it has been a parliamentary republic with French as the official language and Wolof as the unofficial.
Senegal is currently a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union which is a major factor behind the monetary stability and regional and worldwide economic integration.
With a total area of 196,722 Km2 , Senegal is the westernmost country of the African continent, and about 1,800 Km from the Canary Islands. The main cities classified by population are: Dakar; Thiès; Mbour; Saint Louis and Kaolak.
The climate is tropical sub-Saharan and is divided into two seasons. The dry season from November to June and the rainy from July to October.
The market in Senegal is a growing one (Est. 4% for 2013) and is very much an unexploited one. Whilst the service sector contributes 62% to the GNP and industry a further 23%, it is agriculture (15%) that 70% of the population relies upon, mainly animal husbandry. The principal imports are: foodstuff and beverages; household cleaners; cosmetics; construction (materials and machinery) renewable energies; etc.
Senegalese industry is totally incapable of supplying demand for consumer goods which has resulted in the ever increasing import of foreign manufactured goods. The main items are: agricultural and public works machinery; electrical generators (the country has a chronic power supply problem); low-cost construction materials (bathroom fittings, ceramics, doors and wooden fittings, etc.) basic foodstuffs (pasta, sugar, rice, legumes, etc.) general consumer goods (cosmetics and cleaning products, especially) and agricultural supplies: seeds; irrigation equipment; ironmongery; etc.
During the last year for which figures have been published, Spanish exports to Senegal increased by 17% year on year and imports from the country grew by around 60% in the same period.
Faced with this situation and given the general lack of knowledge about the social, cultural and business environment of the country, it is highly recommended that you work through somebody with a thorough understanding of the country and is well versed in how to make contact with business circles and how to approach the negotiating table.
For this very reason, we at International Team Consulting are placing special emphasis on widening the scope of our trade development programmes in Africa with programme specifically for Senegal. These services include, but are not limited to, partner search (distributors, agents, representatives, etc.); and ensuring maximum follow-up after initial contacts. We can also provide a bespoke outsourced export department for those firms that wish to “test the water” before committing fully to the project.
For further information on how our new programmes of trade development for Senegal can help you, please contact: