Only over half of Senegal's residents can
read and write, which is a low figure for Africa as
well. Nevertheless, literacy has increased rapidly in
recent decades. The children have a compulsory schooling
from the age of six, but every fourth child does not
attend school at all.
School compulsory schooling applies formally for ten
years, but fewer than half of the students go on after
the first six-year stage. Many families feel that they
cannot afford to let their children go to school.
Instead, they are often forced to stay home to help in
households and agriculture. However, the proportion of
children participating in schooling has increased
compared to the beginning of the 1990s, when fewer than
half of the children attended school. Especially girls
are allowed to go to school to a much greater extent
today. Among adult Senegalese, significantly more women
than men are illiterate.
Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of
Senegal, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and
Country facts of Senegal, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Teaching takes place mainly in French but in 2002
lessons began to be held in native languages during
the first school years.
Many children participate in the teaching of
traditional Qur'an schools, daraa, in addition to the
regular school, while other children attend only
Qur'anic schools. Some Quran teachers use their power
position and send the children to beg on the streets
instead of teaching them. After pressure from the
outside world, in 2010 it was forbidden by law to use
Koran school students, called talibé, as beggars.
Several Quran teachers have been sentenced to
conditional prison terms and fined for breaking the ban.
Despite the authorities counteracting the custom, around
50,000 Talibes were still begging in the streets of
Senegal in 2014.
Despite a lack of financial resources, Senegal's
three universities, two in Dakar and one in Saint-Louis,
count for the better in the region. They attract
students from other countries in West Africa. The
Senegalese who can afford study in Europe or North
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
74.1 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
42.8 percent (2013)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
21.6 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
21.6 percent (2017)
The police are taking action against opposition protests
Opposition Movement National Resistance Front (FRN) protests against Khalifa
Sall and Karim Wade (see August 2018) being prevented from
running in the 2019 presidential election. Police intervene with tear gas to
prevent demonstrations. Several opposition leaders are arrested, according to
HD refuses Karim Wade to stand in the 2019 election
The Supreme Court rejects Karim Wade, former minister and son of former
President Abdoulaye Wade, the request to be put on the ballot in order to stand
for election. This is done with reference to Wade being sentenced to more than
five years in prison. The sentence fell in 2015, but he was pardoned the
following year. Since then, Karim Wade has been living abroad,
The prison sentence against Khalifa Sall is established
The five-year sentence for Dakar's popular mayor Khalifa Sall is fixed (see
March 2018). It states the Court of Appeal. That means he can't
run for next year's presidential election. The verdict concerns abuse of public
funds. Sall and three other defendants are also ordered to pay the equivalent of
EUR 2.75 million in fines. However, Salle is cleared of the money laundering
chargesand a few more charges. He now intends to appeal the verdict to the
Supreme Court and continues to argue that the trial against him is politically
motivated. President Macky Sall now takes away his post as Dakar's mayor.
Earlier, Ecowa's court has ruled that it was wrong to keep Khalifa Sall in
prison from the parliamentary elections in July 2017 until November 25 of the
same year when the National Assembly claimed his immunity from prosecution and
that he is entitled to damages for this.
A death in connection with student protests
15th of May
A student is killed in connection with protests against late student loan
payments. About 20 people are injured, including 18 police officers, in clashes
between protesters and police in Saint-Louis. According to student sources, the
25-year-old student had been shot dead. He died raising new protests at
universities in several parts of Senegal.
New law for presidential candidates provokes protests
The National Assembly decides to raise the bar for how many signatures a
candidate must collect in order to take part in presidential elections. The new
rules mean that around 52,000 signatures must be collected in at least seven of
the country's 14 regions. It is also required that a candidate be supported by
at least 2,000 people in each of the regions. The measure is approved by 120 of
the 165 members after a long and heated debate. The aim is to limit the number
of candidates in a situation where there are 300 political parties in the
country. The opposition accuses the government of carrying out a "constitutional
coup". Violent protests against the decision are mounting in several parts of
the country. Several people are arrested and in Dakar the police use tear gas to
disperse the protesters.
French-Senegalese man sentenced to 15 years in prison for terrorist offenses
A French-Senegalese man is sentenced to 15 years in prison for terrorist
offenses. In his possession, the man, who had traveled to Syria to join the
Islamic State (IS), had a phone with pictures in which he, with a weapon in
hand, urged Muslims to wage holy war, jihad. The man himself, who has been in
custody for three years, says he traveled to Syria to study the Koran. Trials
are ongoing against another 30 people accused of similar crimes.
Opposition politicians are sentenced to five years in prison
Opposition politician Khalifa Sall and two of his co-workers are sentenced to
five years in prison for embezzling the equivalent of just over $ 3 million and
falsifying documents. The former mayor of Dakar is accused of providing funds
for "political purposes" via fax receipts for the purchase of rice and millet.
Prior to his arrest in the spring of 2017, he was considered one of President
Macky Sall's top political rivals. According to Khalifa Sall's supporters, the
legal process against him is politically motivated. The ruling means that the
opposition politician will not be able to stand in the 2019 presidential
election. Complaints also come about a growing intolerance for opposition
statements. Opposition politicians are sentenced to five years in prison
Free Trade Agreement in Africa
Senegal is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African
Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level
before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a
historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.
Still excited for massacres in Casamance
Salif Sadio, a leader of the MFDC, the separatist movement in Casamance,
warns that his organization may suspend its three-year ceasefire if the army
continues its mass arrests following the massacre earlier this month. He claims
that the military is using the deed to strike the MFDC. Twenty-four people have
been arrested and charged with murder, membership in an illegal organization and
possession of weapons for which they are not licensed. Prosecutors in
Ziguinchor, Casamance's main town, say one of the arrested is a member of the
MFDC and the brains behind the deed. The MFDC claims that those arrested are
innocent civilians and that the murders are linked to illegal logging in the
area. According to a spokesman for the army, the military has killed an armed
man and a suspected "rebel" after the killing.
14 young men killed in attack in Casamance
14 young men are shot to death and even more injured when out and gathering
firewood near the town of Borofaye in the troubled Casamance province, a mile
from the Guinea-Bissau border. It is unclear who is behind the act. In local
media, it is speculated whether it may have been carried out by a group opposing
the MFDC's negotiations with the government. An armistice has existed between
the government and the MFDC since 2014. Representatives of the MFDC condemn the
deed, but believe it is likely a consequence of a conflict over illegal logging
of teak trees in the area. They urge the authorities to look for the
perpetrators of local militaries and officials involved in the lucrative trade.
The government later promises to take steps to stop it. A large part of the
timber is smuggled across the border to Gambia for further transport to China.
Trial against Dakar's mayor begins
The trial of Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall begins. He has been in custody since
March, charged with embezzling the equivalent of $ 3 million. His lawyers are
demanding that the trial be postponed for two months and that the judge be
replaced. At the end of 2017, Sall and 64 were excluded by his supporters from
the Socialist Party, citing that they did not support the party's policies.