Senegal Celebrates Independence 4 April 2023
By Joy Osiagwu
The Republic of Senegal is one of the 53 countries on the African continent. It is located on the western tip of Africa precisely, West Africa with a landmass area totaling 196,710km. It is the 25th smallest country in Africa. The neighboring countries to Senegal are Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Mauritania. The nation also shares a maritime border with Cabo Verde. Dakar is the capital city. With a population of 17.1 million, the Senegalese speak over 30 languages, but the common ones are Serer, Wolof, Pulaar, Malinke, Arabic, Soninke, and Jola with French as the official language of the nation.
The French under the leadership of Governor Louis Faidherbe on December 16, 1861, started its expansion process into Senegal’s mainland. However, Senegal started under the Mali Federation when it merged with French Sudan to make up the Federation and became fully autonomous on June 20, 1960, based on the transfer of authority agreement signed with France on 4 April 1960. Léopold Sédar Senghor. a firm believer in African culture and Black identity became the first president of Senegal from 1960-1980. Senegal was created as part of the independence of French West Africa from the colonial period.
Léopold Sédar Senghor, first president of Senegal from 1960-1980 (photo credit: Wikipedia)
Current Governance Structure.
Senegal operates a multiparty structure with a centralized presidency where the President is the head of government, elected by direct universal suffrage of two seven-year tenure.
The president also appoints the ministers of the republic.
Because of its stable government and civilian system of governance, Senegal has been nicknamed Africa’s model democracy by the west. That has been described as a major reason for the nation’s ability to consistently send peacekeeping troops to Liberia, DR Congo, and Kosovo. Senegalese Diaspora remittances to the country are a major source of revenue for the nation. Senegal according to economic indices is set to record a “world-beating 8% growth” in 2023 due to its healthy and stable polity.
President Macky Sall was elected as President of the country in April 2012. He was re-elected in February 2019. Senegal is a member of the African Union, the Community of Sahel-Saharan states, and the United Nations.
Senegalese photographer Adama Sylla makes it to France
It is the first exhibition in France for one of the West African photography doyens: Adama Sylla, an 89-year-old Senegalese. He is not known outside his home country Senegal, but Sylla has successfully documented the society of his hometown, Saint-Louis, in northern Senegal, for almost half a century. According to France24, the exhibition in France may open more excellent doors for Sylla, even at 89.
Adama Sylla, an 89-year-old Senegalese Photographer (photo credit: France24)
The Exhibition in France may open more excellent doors for Sylla, even at 89.
89-year-old Senegalese Photographer Adama Sylla’s work
Senegal -Ottawa Connections
The Association sénégalaise de l’Outaouais / Ottawa-Gatineau has a critical mass of members in Ottawa and Gatineau. They look out for the interest of members and the diverse Ottawa-Gatineau community. The group can be found on their Facebook page.
The Senegalese Embassy in Canada is located at 381 Kent Street, unit 4002 Interphone 0015, Ottawa, ON K2P 2A8. Her Excellency, Viviane Laure Elisabeth Bampassy is the Ambassadeur Extraordinaire et Plénipotentiaire de la République du Sénégal au Canada. Phone: 613 238-6392.