France and Senegal

Political relations and bilateral relations

France and Senegal’s relations are close and multi-faceted and political leaders from the two countries meet often:

  • The French Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, André Vallini, met with Senegalese authorities from 28 to 30 March 2016 in Senegal.
  • On 30 November, President Macky Sall participated in the COP21 in Bourget.
  • On 27 October 2015, President Sall attended the Economic Forum of Francophonie in Paris.
  • On 24 July 2015, a France-Senegal meeting at the level of prime ministers was held at the French Prime Minister’s Office in the Hotel Matignon.
  • On 10 May 2015, President Sall attended the inauguration of the Mémorial ACTe, Caribbean Centre of Expressions and Memory of Slave Trade and Slavery.
  • President Sall and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, Mankeur Ndiaye, took part in the France-Africa Forum for Shared Growth on 6 February 2015.
  • President Sall and Minister Ndiaye participated in the Republican march on 11 January held after the terrorist attacks in Paris. -The President of the French Republic, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Ministers of State for Development and Francophonie and for Veteran Affairs attended the Francophonie Summit on 29 and 30 November 2014.
  • The Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, Annick Girardin, met with Senegalese authorities from 10 to 13 September 2014 in Senegal.
  • President Sall participated in the commemorations of the Provence landing on 15 August 2014.
  • French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, was received by President Sall on 10 and 12 May 2014.
  • The Senegalese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, Mankeur Ndiaye, met with the French Minister of State for Development and Francophonie on 18 April 2014.
  • President Sall and several Ministers (Economy and Finance, Budget, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Water and Sanitation, Education, Health, Solidarity) took part in the Advisory Group meeting with Senegal’s donors on 24 and 25 February 2014.
  • President Sall and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, Mankeur Ndiaye, took part in the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa on 6 and 7 December 2013.

Economic relations

Senegal is one of France’s main partners in Africa. Senegal ranked 57 among our clients in the world in 2015, and third in West Africa after Nigeria (€1.5 billion) and Côte d’Ivoire (€1 billion). France is Senegal’s leading supplier. Trade between the two countries (€853 million in 2015) benefits France, which posted a trade surplus of €681 million in 2015 (+€34 million versus 2014).

Growth in French exports in 2015 was driven by household equipment, industrial and agricultural machinery and transport materials, despite the drop in oil product deliveries (- 15%, or a decrease of €45 million). French sales to Senegal remain strongly focused on a number of products: cereals (14%) and agri-food products (11%), machines and equipment (25%), pharmaceutical products (11%) and fuel (6%). French imports from Senegal are limited (ranging from €70 million to €100 million for more than ten years) mainly composed of agricultural and fishing products.
France remains the leading investor with €1.7 billion in FDI stock. French companies account for nearly 25% of the GDP and tax revenues in Senegal, employ some 15,000 people and concern all sectors of activity:

  • Orange, through its subsidiary Sonatel, is the number one company in the country,
  • Eramet, which owns 50% of the titanium sands mine,
  • Bolloré, which won a concession for Port of Dakar’s roll-on/roll-off terminal,
  • Nécotrans, won the concession for the Port of Dakar’s bulk terminal,
  • Club Méditerranée, which is planning on opening a new club on the Petite Côte,
  • Atos, which is entering the IT market,
  • But also the Compagnie Fruitière, Auchan, Carrefour, etc.
  • The first Africa-France-China Economic Conference, which should be opened by the French and Chinese Prime Ministers, is scheduled for 2017 in Dakar.

Development assistance

Senegal is one of the sixteen priority countries suffering from poverty (PPPs) for allocating French official development assistance. The last partnership framework paper, signed for the period 2013-2017, sets the priorities of our bilateral civilian cooperation. In sectoral and geographic terms, it is in line with the National Strategy for Economic and Social Development (NSESD) of Senegal which covers the same period.

This partnership framework paper identifies three priority sectors of action:

  • Sustainable development (agriculture, environment, water and sanitation);
  • Democratic governance (rule of law, decentralization, defence, anti-trafficking initiatives, civil society);
  • Human development (education and health).
    Starting in 2017, the French strategy is set to be implemented as part of a joint European programme of the Commission and Member States.

The AFD in Senegal

The Agence Française de Développement Group finances projects or programmes that are in line with the priorities defined by the Senegalese Government and consistent with the guidelines of the partnership framework paper. Since the year 2000, the AFD has allocated more than €1.2 billion to Senegal, all products and sectors combined. The Group’s annual average of commitments has risen to €152 million for the period 2008-2014. In 2015, €149.8 million was disbursed.

The targeted sectors are:

  • Promotion of human development (promotion of basic education and professional training, health).
  • Urban development and financing of urban infrastructures
  • Sustainable development (contribution to sustainable recovery of the electricity sector, agriculture and rural development.
  • Private sector support (financing investment projects and facilitating access to corporate loans).


The French network in Senegal consists of:

  • Senegal’s Institut Français, which includes the Dakar and Saint Louis sites,
  • Two Alliances Françaises in Ziguinchor and Kaolack (and a third in Banjul, Gambia, managed from Dakar),
  • A network of 11 schools with French curricula (and one more in Banjul managed from Dakar),

Dakar is one of the posts that tested linking the Institut Français of Senegal (IFS) to the Institut Français (state-owned industrial and commercial establishment, EPIC) from 2011 to 2014. Its status of financially independent institution was restored on 1 January 2014. The institution mainly works in sectors in support of Francophonie and cultural promotion, and in support of academic and scientific sectors. It had a budget of €3.2 million in 2015. It houses a study-in-France Centre (CEF). Some 140 scholarships (Senegalese university and PhD students) on average are granted a year totalling €460,000. A total of 7,540 Senegalese students are enrolled in French higher education institutions. In 2016, France deployed 49 international technical experts to Senegal including 13 seconded staff to multilateral institutions.

They help implement projects concerning efforts to combat terrorism and organized crime, to modernize the justice system, and to provide support for democratic governance and the project.

  • “Labs Xaalat Defar”: the FacLab network of Senegalese engineering schools.
  • France relies on its development agency, the AFD, and works in coordination with international and especially European, donors through which most of the French multilateral assistance passes (€347 million for the 11th EDF for the period 2014-2020).

Updated: 04/07/2016