An Introduction to the Africas Political Corruption and Poverty in Senegal

The current discourse on Africa’s political corruption, poverty and environment has emerged from a convergence of international and regional critiques about the future of African trade and economic prospects. Recent years have witnessed a considerable resurgence of interest in African Development, although it is difficult to impose any precise link, much of the attention has been generated by the events surrounding the transition and transformation of Mandrel’s South Africa.

There doesn’t seem to be any consensus on the best way to deal with the many problems that are affecting development in certain African countries.

However, most scholars agree that the primary underlying causes that affect international political will to invest in Africa’s future must be controlled before this glorious continent can reach its full potential. I want to argue that the corruption, poverty, environment nexus is what went wrong after Africa was decolonalized; I will focus on Senegal in particular.

Senegal is located on the West Coast of Africa.

The French gained possession of Senegal in 1840 and made it part of French West Africa. In 1946, together with other parts of French West Africa Senegal became an overseas territory of France. In 1956 Senegal gained internal self-government from France and in 1959 the country joined the Federation of Mali. On August 20 1960 Senegal withdrew from the federation and became the independent Republic of Senegal with Leopold Senghor as President. In 1970 President Senghor appointed Abdou Diouf as Prime Minister and in 1976 a new constitution was introduced which committed the country to a multiparty democratic system of government but also limited the number of parties to three.

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This parliamentary style democracy with socialist leanings offers the right to vote to anyone over 18 years old and a constitutional guarantee of equality before the law, which is based on the French civil law system. In January 1981 Senghor retired and Diouf was appointed President, in 1983, 1988 and 1993 Diouf was re-elected with 58% of the vote going to his Socialist Party or PS ( The ethnic composition of Senegal 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, although only about 12% of the population can speak it. Around 94% of the population are Sunni Muslims, while 5% are Roman Catholic. As of 1970, 95% of the people over the age of 6 had no formal schooling, however as of 1995, 33% of the population age 15 and over could read and write.

Senegal is about the size of South Dakota and has a tropical climate with a wet season from May to November and dry season from December to April. While severe droughts during the late 1960’s and 1970’s seriously damaged the economy and caused widespread famine the 1993 Gross National Product was $5,867,000,000 with public debt registering around $3,011,000,000, however debt decreased slightly in 1996 to $3.7 billion. Only 2.4% of the Gross National Product account for military expenditure. The main exports ($968 million, 1995) to the U.S., Western European countries, African neighbors, Japan, China, and India are cotton, fish nuts, oil and petroleum. Imports of consumer goods, foodstuffs, transport equipment and petroleum account for $1.22 billion dollars. Less than 35% of the population are economically active in the major industries of agriculture, fishing, fertilizer production and mining.

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An Introduction to the Africas Political Corruption and Poverty in Senegal. (2021, Dec 25). Retrieved from

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