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SENEGAL
Society

Society

State structure

Parliament building in Dakar, SenegalParliament building in Dakar, SenegalPhoto: Bernard bill5 CC 3.0 Unported no changes made

The Senegalese state institution is very similar to the French one. The president, elected for seven years (now Five) by universal suffrage, is very powerful. He can appoint and dismiss the prime minister and the ministers. He is mainly concerned with foreign affairs and defense.

The Parliament, the Assemblée Nationale, is elected for a period of five years and has 120 members.

Administrative division of SenegalAdministrative division of SenegalPhoto: Amitchell125 CC 4.0 International no changes made

Senegal is divided into ten "regions", each with its own parliament since 1996, which is subdivided into 30 departments. These departments are subdivided into 89 arrondissements. A region is headed by a governor who is accountable to the Home Secretary. The departments are administered by a prefect, the districts by a sub-prefect.

Senegal is still an active member of the French Commonwealth of Nations, the Francophonie. For the current political situation see chapter history.

Education

Campus of the University of Dakar, SenegalCampus of the University of Dakar, SenegalPhoto: Phillip Capper CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Education in Senegal is still in its infancy. About 60% of children only attend primary school for a few years. There is a shortage of everything: too little money and therefore too few teachers, too few schools and too few teaching materials. Moreover, the French school system is adhered to, which does not match the perception and language background of most children. Girls in particular, who are quickly burdened with the household, are the victims of this problem.

Schools have started teaching Wolof or other tribal languages on a small scale. Literacy courses in their own language are also given to adults in rural areas. Yet about 63% of the population is still illiterate.

In the Quranic schools, emphasis is placed on Arabic, which is not very useful for gaining a good position in society.

Secondary education is mainly found in Dakar and in some large cities. There is hardly any technical and domestic further education. Construction, industry, and household skills must be learned on the job. There are two universities, in Dakar and St. Louis. The University of Dakar in particular suffers from a chronic shortage of money. Students with wealthy parents attend classes in France or the United States.


Sources

Derksen, G. / Gambia, Senegal
Gottmer

Dirkx, J. / Reishandboek Senegal
Elmar

Else, D. / The Gambia and Senegal
Lonely Planet

Gambia en Senegal
Cambium

Hesseling, G. / Senegal/Gambia : mensen, politiek, economie, cultuur
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info