By: Landry Jorski


Senegal is a young country in the world of political freedom. Fifty-one years ago today, Senegal was granted independence from France,a nation that had colonized it since the mid-17th century.
Before that, the Portuguese, Dutch, and English were involved. The entire continent, in fact, spent centuries under the rule of foreign lands, and it was not until the independence movement in the 1950s and 60s that most of these African nations were freed to govern themselves. Senegal and The French Sudan were granted independence on April 4th, 1960, and were named the Federation of Mali. Just four months later, however, the two prior colonies decided to form independent nations and on August 19th, the Federation was dissolved and Senegal became its own country.


Multiparty democratic republic
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Islam is the religion of the vast majority of the population in Senegal. Practiced through involvement in groups known as Muslim brotherhoods. In Senegal the three primary brotherhoods are the Qadiri (Qadiriyyah), the Tijani, and the Mourides (Murid, Murīdiyyah).

Muslim 94%, Christian 5% (mostly Roman Catholic), indigenous beliefs 1%
Africa ... States of Independence - Senegal


French is the official language, but really only used regularly by a minority of Senegalese who were educated in colonial-style schools of French origin. Most people speak their own ethnic language. Three-quarters of the population speak the Wolof language, thereby making it the lingua franca of the country. There are actually five other major languages: Serer, Alpuular, Mandingo, Diola, and Bassari.


12,767,556 (2011)


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Macky Sall
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Senegal has one of the most active national sports scenes in West Africa. Dakar has hosted the All Africa Games and several Africa Cup football (soccer) championships. A national holiday was declared after Senegal beat France in first-round play at the 2002 football World Cup, in Senegal’s first appearance in the competition. The country has national men’s and women’s football and basketball teams that rank among the best in Africa. Traditional African wrestling is also extremely popular throughout the country, and Senegalese wrestlers are among the best-known national sports figures.