Senegal or the Republic of Senegal is a west African country with a total land area of about 196,722 squared kilometers. Senegal borders the Republic of Mali to the east, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to the north and the Republics of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. Senegal has about 531 kilometers of coastline.
Senegal has a population of about 13 million people with the population growth rate around 2.6%. About 45% of the population live in urban areas. Dakar the capital of Senegal contains about 3 million people. Major ethnic groups such as Wolof, Pular, Serer, Jola and Mandinka make up about 90% of the population while European, Lebanese, and other minor groups make up the remaining 10% of the total population.
Senegal is blessed with abundant natural resources such as phosphates, Iron ore, fish, etc. Despite the abundance of natural resources in Senegal, Senegal remains one of the poorest countries in the world today with about 55% of the total population below poverty line. Unemployment rate in Senegal is around 50% with most people living on less than $1.25 a day.
Although the HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate in Senegal is low compared to other African countries, about 60,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Senegal today and about 2500 people die from HIV/AIDS every year.
Periodic droughts, seasonal flooding , and desertification threaten agriculture in some parts of Senegal while deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, overfishing, weak environmental protective laws, etc. threaten the wildlife population in Senegal today.
Besides the deadly HIV/AIDS, several other deadly diseases such as diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, dengue fever, Malaria, Rift valley fever, yellow fever, sleeping sickness, rabies and a host of others have high prevalence rates in this part of the world.
Senegal has a very low literacy rate of about 39% with very poor girl child education. Although better than Burkina Faso, the female literacy rate in Senegal today (around 29%) is one of the lowest in the world. The low female literacy rate also explains the high teenage pregnancy rate in Senegal today.
lack of good drinking water and water for domestic purposes is a major problem in Senegal today. Greater percentage of the total population lack access to good drinking water and water for domestic purposes which also explains the huge number of water-related diseases in this part of the world.
Poor Sanitation is a major problem in Senegal today and the problem is worse especially in the overcrowded parts of big cities and towns. Poor Sanitation is a major issue in almost all sub-Saharan African countries.
Besides the extreme poverty and hunger level in Senegal today, corruption levels remain at all time high.