France and Senegal

Political relations

Relations between Senegal and France are close and multi-faceted and political leaders from the two countries meet often. Senegal is the only sub-Saharan African country with which France holds an intergovernmental seminar every year (alternating between Dakar and Paris).

Bilateral visits

  • Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, visited Dakar on 15 June 2017.
  • President Macky Sall met with President Emmanuel Macron on 12 June 2017.
  • Michel Sapin, Minister of the Economy and Finance, visited Dakar on 16 June 2017.
  • President Sall attended a meeting and dinner at the Elysée Palace on 22 March 2017.
  • Jean Marc Ayrault met with his counterpart Mankeur Ndiaye on 21 February 2017.
  • President Sall made a State visit from 18 to 22 December 2016.
  • Mr Ndiaye, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Amadou Ba, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Planning, visited Paris to attend the Open Government Partnership Summit in Paris from 7 to 9 December 2016.
  • Mr Le Drian, Minister of Defence, participated in the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa on 5 and 6 December 2016.
  • Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior, visited Senegal on 7 and 8 October 2016.
  • An intergovernmental seminar was held in Dakar on 22 and 23 September 2016, which was attended by Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Economic relations

France is the leading investor in Senegal and its number one trade partner. France posted a surplus for trade totalling €834.2 million in 2016.

With more than 78% of FDI stock (€2.2 billion in 2015), France remains the number one investor in Senegal.

Despite a still difficult business environment, Senegal presents interesting investment opportunities for French companies. These companies play a significant role in the country’s economic vitality, accounting for 25% of the GDP and tax revenues.

France’s contribution to the Emerging Senegal Plan is expected to be at least €500 million (sovereign loan).

Senegal is one of the 16 priority countries to receive French official development assistance. The last partnership framework paper for the period 2013-2017 sets three priority sectors for our civil cooperation: sustainable development, democratic governance and human development.

The current portfolio of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) includes nearly 50 projects with commitments totalling €1.5 billion, which makes the AFD one of Senegal’s leading donors. Flagship projects include the future Train Express Régional (TER) in Dakar, the KMS III project which is expected to secure the supply of safe drinking water in Dakar and projects aiming to diversify the energy mix.

The recent discovery of hydrocarbons (gas and oil fields in 2014) could change Senegal’s economic situation in the coming years. TOTAL, already working in Senegal in the area of distribution, is establishing its position in exploration and production with the signature on 2 May 2017 of a deep offshore agreement.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

System

The French network in Senegal consists of:

  • Senegal’s Institut Français, which includes the Dakar and Saint Louis sites,
  • Two Alliances Françaises in Ziguinchor (687 students) and Kaolack (362 students) (and a third in Banjul, Gambia, managed from Dakar),
  • A network of 11 schools teaching French curricula (and one more in Banjul managed from Dakar).

The Institut Français mainly works in sectors in support of Francophonie and cultural promotion, and in support of academic and scientific sectors. It has Campus France offices using a study-in-France Centre (CEF) procedure. On average, 135 scholarships to Senegalese university and PhD students are granted a year. Nearly 9,500 Senegalese students are enrolled in French higher education institutions.

Dakar is home to a Pasteur Institute and regional offices of French the Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD).

In 2016, France deployed 49 international technical experts to Senegal. Thirteen of them were posted in multilateral institutions. They help to implement projects to tackle terrorism and organized crime, modernize the justice system, support democratic governance and create startups.

France works in coordination with international and especially European donors through which most of the French multilateral assistance passes (347 M€ pour le 11th EDF for the period 2014–2020).

Senegal is the African country with the most cooperation partnerships with French local governments (114 ongoing partnerships between Senegalese and French local governments). Senegal is among the main countries to welcome French volunteers, including in programmes providing for reciprocity.

Security and defence cooperation

Senegal is the leading beneficiary of structural defence and security cooperation.
Moreover, French forces in Senegal constitute a regionally oriented operational cooperation hub. They also run training programmes in Senegal and in the region.

Updated: 16/06/17

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