Senegal is located at the westernmost tip of the African continent in the Atlantic Ocean, at the confluence of Europe, Africa and the Americas, and at the crossroads of major sea and air routes.


With an area of 196,722 km2, it is bordered to the north by Mauritania, to the east by Mali, to the south by Guinea and Guinea Bissau, to the west by Gambia, and by the Atlantic Ocean on a 500 km front. Dakar (550 km2), the capital, is a peninsula located in the extreme west.

Relief, hydrography

Flat country with sandy soils not exceeding 130 m in altitude except at the southeast border with Guinea. Three rivers cross the country from east to west: the Senegal River (1700 km) in the north, the Gambia River (750 km) and the Casamance River (300 km) in the south.

Climate, vegetation

Dry tropical climate characterized by two seasons: a dry season from November to June and a rainy season from July to October. Three types of vegetation: forest in the south, savanna in the center and steppe in the north.



Political organization

The Republic of Senegal is secular, democratic and social. It ensures the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race, sex or religion. It respects all beliefs.

The official language of the Republic of Senegal is French. The national languages are Diola, Malinke, Pular, Serer, Soninke, Wolof and any other national language that is codified.

Multiparty presidential system: the President of the Republic is elected by universal suffrage for seven years. The current President of the Republic, Macky Sall, was elected on March 25, 2012.

The Parliament : The representative assemblies of the Republic of Senegal are called the National Assembly and the Senate. Their members hold the titles of deputies to the National Assembly and senators.

Administrative organization

Fourteen regions whose capitals are the main cities: Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kédougou, Kaolack, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint Louis, Sédhiou, Tambacounda, Thiès, Ziguinchor.

Administrative organization

Senegal is organized into fourteen regions whose capitals are the main cities: Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kédougou, Kaolack, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint Louis, Sédhiou, Tambacounda, Thiès, Ziguinchor.

Prehistory and protohistory of the Senegambian area

After more than a century of prehistoric and archaeological research, it has been possible to define, in the Archaic Paleolithic, a civilization of developed pebbles that flourished especially in Upper Gambia (Kédougou).

The human settlement would go back at least to the Lower Paleolithic where the Acheulean civilization appeared with its bifaces (stones cut on two sides) and its axes; but, in the deposits, the human remains are missing. This civilization is dated between 50 000 and 150 000 years. This chronology suggests the age of the oldest human presence in Senegambia; the Falémé Valley has yielded the most important elements.

Bifaces of this age have been collected in the Cape Verde peninsula (Pointe de Fann), as well as small axes, the work of pithecanthropes, in southeastern Senegal (Djita, Saré).

The study of the strata of sedimentary rocks (stratigraphy) does not yet allow a clear distinction between a Middle Paleolithic and an Upper Paleolithic. However, pieces of an industry using the “Levallois” technique (systematic cutting of stones allowing the same weight of flint to produce five times more tools), typical of the Middle Paleolithic, have been found in Senegal. A few scrapers, numerous scrapers and circular cores with splinters (short fragments), characteristic of the so-called “mousteoid” industry, have been discovered in the Cape Verde peninsula (Cap des Biches, Bargny Ouest, Yarkam Ndiaye, Bargny Nguer), at Sébikhotane as well as at Richard Toll and at sites in the middle and lower valley of the Senegal River (Diamal, Kaédi, Mbagne…).

The “Mousteroid” industry served as the basis for another industry of poorly defined age, sometimes attached to the Upper Paleolithic, called Tiemassassian, from the name of the main site (Tiémassas) located southeast of Mbour. There are many bifaces, spear heads, arrows and javelins attesting to the existence of a Neolithic humanity.

The Neolithic period, during which man went from being a predator to a producer, is the best represented prehistoric period in the Senegambian area. The diversity of the tools collected shows that there were several Neolithic civilizations, whose origins, number, duration and links remain difficult to specify.

The evolution of several cultural facies has been observed:

  • At Cape Manuel (Dakar), the industry is characterized by macrolithic tools. These are light tools with the appearance of picks and axes;
  • the Bel Air facies, in the Cape Verde peninsula, has provided material preserved at IFAN in Dakar. This facies is also found in the dunes of Cayor. This industry produced microlithic flint tools and points. The facies saw the development of a ceramic art with pottery of various forms (Tanma Lake northwest of Thies)
  • The Neolithic of the coast is marked by shell piles (Casamance, Sine-Saloum, Saint-Louis region). In the Khant deposits (Senegal valley), a pavement made of hard bones (hippopotamus, manatees, crocodiles) was found
  • South – East Senegal has delivered cultural remains of a facies rich in polished tools made with various rocks (sandstone, jasper, hematite, dolerite …).

The various facies recognized in Senegal do not appear to result from the in situ evolution of Paleolithic industries. The Senegambian space thus seems to constitute a finistere where civilizations already elaborated in the interior of West Africa come to ground.

The protohistoric sites scattered throughout the Senegalese territory are very numerous. They testify to a particularly dense human occupation in the valleys as well as on the edges of Cayor, Jolof (or Djolof) and Baol. The shell mounds of the coast (Saint-Louis region, Petite Côte, Casamance) and the sand “tumulus” (“banar” in the Wolof country, “podom” in the Sereer country) that served as tombs are typical of this period.

The area of megaliths is stretched from west to east between Kaolack and Goudiri. Finally, metallurgy workshops (forges) have been discovered in Casamance and in the middle valley of Senegal where the Sinthiou-Bara site is the subject of intensive research (brass, copper and gold objects).

Iba Der Thiam, Atlas du Sénégal, Jeune Afrique edition, 2000



The motto of the Republic of Senegal is: “One People – One Goal – One Faith”.

It expresses our will to live together, that is to say our will (One Faith), of Unity (One People), for the National Construction (One Goal).


Flag of Senegal The flag of the Republic of Senegal is composed of three equal vertical bands of green, gold and red. It bears, in green, in the center of the gold band, a five-pointed star.

Green, for Muslims, is the color of the Prophet’s flag. For Christians, it is the symbol of hope. For the Animists, it is the symbol of fertility. Gold is a sign of wealth, it represents the fruit of work for a people who have given priority to economic problems, the solution of which alone will allow the elevation of the level of culture. This is the second objective of the Senegalese nation. Gold – Yellow – is, at the same time, the color of Arts and Letters; the color of the Spirit. Red recalls the color of blood, the color of life, and therefore of the sacrifice made by the whole Nation, but also the ardent determination and the resolute strength that animates each of its sons in the fight against underdevelopment.

The Star is a fairly common sign in Black African symbolism. It has five branches to mark the opening of Senegal to the five continents. It represents the sky and therefore spiritual values, especially for a people who do not live on rice and bread alone. It is green to signify, more particularly, the hope expressed by the Young Independence of the Republic of Senegal.

The coat of arms of Senegal

The coat of arms of Senegal is composed of two parts. On the left side, on a red background, is a lion and on the right side, on a yellow background, a baobab tree. In the center of the upper part, a five-pointed star.

The lion is a common symbol of the North Sudanese ethnic group, to which most Senegalese belong. Before the French presence, it was the symbolic animal of power. The king was thus the king-sun-god. Afterwards, it became the official animal of the Senegalese state.

Around the coat of arms a crown surrounds it and around it we see a parchment in which we can read the national motto: “One People, One Goal, One Faith”.


The Republic of Senegal has two seals.

Senegal is a Republic that has the singularity of having two seals:

A seal called the “Seal of the Passing Lion” which is reserved for the President of the Republic and which is intended to mark under dry stamp the great acts of the state, like the treaties.

A seal called the “Seal of the Baobab”, which stamps the acts of the public administration.

Article 2 of Ordinance No. 60-26 of October 10, 1960, states:

“The seals, stamps and stamps of the great bodies of the State, of the Ministries, of the courts and tribunals, of the Notaries, of all the administrations and public authorities shall bear for type the baobab tree as it is figured on the seal of the State and is figured on the seal of the State and for legend “Republic of Senegal” and the stamp of the administration or public authority for which they will be employed.”

National Anthem of Senegal

The national anthem consists of five verses, each of twelve feet in length, and a refrain consisting of a stanza of four lines of the same rhythm.

The lyrics are the work of Mr. Léopold Sédar Senghor, first President of the Republic, poet and writer, and the music by Herbert Peppert.

The hymn evokes the theme of the joy born of independence, that of national unity through the overcoming of regional diversities; the theme of rooting ourselves in our values and of openness to others and to modernity, that of our past glory evoked not so much to feed a shady nationalism as to serve an ideal of generosity, peace, work, dialogue, unity and African brotherhood without discrimination of race or language, before ending with a proclamation: the oath to defend the Fatherland in union and determination, even to the death in the face of all dangers threatening its independence, prosperity and security.


Clamp all your coras, hit your balafons
The red lion roared. The bush trainer
With a leap, dispelling the darkness
Sun on our terrors, sun on our hope.

Standing up brothers, here is Africa gathered
Fibers of my green heart shoulder to shoulder
My more than brothers. O Senegalese, stand up!
Let us unite the sea and the springs, let us unite
The steppe and the forest. Hi Africa mother.

Senegal, you son of the lion’s foam,
You came out of the night at the gallop of the horses,
Give us back, oh, give us back the honor of our ancestors
Splendid as ebony and strong as muscle!
We say straight – the sword does not have a burr.

Senegal, we make your great design our own:
Gather chicks away from kites
To make it, from east to west, from north to south,
Standing, one people, one seamless people,
But a people turned towards all the winds of the world.

Senegal, like you, all our heroes,
We will be tough, without hate and with both arms open,
The sword, we will put it in the peace of the sheath,
For our work will be our weapon and the word.
The Bantu is a brother, and the Arab and the White.

But if the enemy sets fire to our borders
Let us all be upright and armed:
A people in its faith defying all misfortunes;
Young and old, men and women.
Death, yes! We say death but not shame.