Senegal is considered an anchor of stability and a model democracy in the Sahel region, which is often characterized by instability. The country has until now always experienced peaceful transitions of power without military coups and is an important partner of the international community in the region. At the same time, the political system, which has so far been characterised by a concentration of power in the hands of the president, has structural deficits. The final years in office of President Macky Sall, who ruled from 2012 to 2024, were marked by restrictions on fundamental rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and freedom of expression, as well as violent unrest. However, the presidential elections in March 2024 were clearly won by the opposition candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who promised political change as the candidate of “rupture”. The comparatively young president, who represents a left-leaning pan-Africanism, is associated with high hopes for changes in both the political system and economic policy.

Economically, Senegal belongs to the group of least developed countries (LDCs), but this is set to change thanks to the extraction of gas and oil reserves. Under the government of Macky Sall, the country's infrastructure has been modernised and expanded. However, there is still a lack of jobs and prospects for the country's predominantly young population. The country is also affected by the negative effects of climate change and especially the traditionally important fishing sector is struggling with the decline in fish stocks. Creating jobs and combating the rising cost of living therefore remain an important political priority.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) has been on the ground in Senegal since 1976. Among other things, it supports democratic and social reform processes and, through its Young Leaders programme, promotes and encourages young, dedicated people from political parties, civil society and the trade union movement to engage with socio-political issues. The FES also works on gender equality, coastal erosion and issues relating to the informal economy with a focus on social security and decent work.

Dakar is also home to the FES Peace and Security Competence Centre, which is active throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Find out more about our work in Senegal on the country project's website.


Wienkoop, Nina-Kathrin

Power to protest presidencies?

Lessons learned from the successful mobilization and diverging effects of popular uprisings in Senegal and Burkina Faso
Berlin, 2017

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Ndiaye, Wore

Les defis et enjeux securitaires dans l'espace Sahelo-Saharien

La perspective du Senegal
Dakar-Fann, 2018

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Ndiaye, Wore

Security challenges and issues in the Sahelo-Saharan region

The Senegal perspective
Dakar-Fann, 2018

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Lohmann, Annette

Gegen den Trend - aber nicht sofort

das Referendum im Senegal und die Amtszeitbegrenzung des Präsidenten
Berlin, 2016

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Crises et conflits en Afrique de l'Ouest

quelle politique sécuritaire face aux menaces?
Dakar, 2015

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Africa Department

Contact in Germany

Thomas Claes

Hiroshimastr. 17
10785 Berlin

+49 30-269 35-74 35


Contact in Senegal

Senegal Office

Claudia Ehing
B.P. 25516
SN Dakar

+221-33-869 27 27 

+221-33-869 27 28


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