Senegal, a coastal country in West Africa, has been experiencing strong growth since 2014. It has adopted a job-creating and environmentally friendly development model. To address challenges which still prevail – unemployment, infrastructure and food security –, AFD is supporting it in these areas.
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old trains in Dakar, Sénégal
AFD and Senegal: Promoting inclusive growth and protecting the environment
old trains in Dakar, Sénégal

Supporting inclusive growth

vocational training, students, young, Diamniadio, Sénégal

Supporting inclusive growth

Every year, 260,000 young Senegalese people arrive on the labor market. This young population is an asset for the vitality of the economy, but also a challenge: the country is struggling to provide it with sustainable high-quality jobs. To optimize its human resources, Senegal needs to offer a more attractive labor market.  

AFD supports job-creating growth via two areas:

  • Strengthening vocational training to ensure it matches market needs. We are financing 9 vocational training centers and the construction of 2 higher vocational education institutions for agricultural activities;
  • Supporting SMEs. In 2005, AFD set up an investment premium window for SMEs with high growth potential. The objective: boost the competitiveness of these companies and support the creation of local employment. With support from the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for the management of migrations, we have extended this program to three regions: the Senegal River Valley, the South-East and Casamance. We are promoting access to bank financing for SMEs via our ARIZ risk-sharing guarantee.

Facilitating access to essential services

Senegal electric wire

Facilitating access to essential services

Upgrading the power grid

The rate of access to electricity remains low in Senegal. The country has very limited energy resources and a small power system. To meet the population’s electricity needs, AFD has been providing longstanding support to the sector by participating in its financial recovery and rehabilitating the generation system. Today, our support contributes to developing renewable energies, as well as to extending the power grid to rural areas. 

Ensuring access to drinking water and preventing floods

Access to drinking water and sanitation continues to pose a problem in a number of regions. In addition, Senegal suffers from frequent flooding during the rainy season, which causes substantial damage. This concerns Dakar and its outskirts almost every year.

AFD has recognized expertisein the sector and is a key partner. It supports a number of projects to:

  • Increase the drinking water production and wastewater treatment capacity nationwide;
  • Secure Dakar’s drinking water supply system. For example, we are supporting the construction of the wastewater treatment plant in Keur Momar Sarr;
  • Limit flood risks in the suburbs of the capital. 

Developing urban transport

TER, Dakar, Senegal, transportation

Developing urban transport

Greater Dakar is experiencing significant expansion. Today, it is home to almost a quarter of the country’s population. There are an increasing number of new neighborhoods, which are further and further away from the city center and employment areas. This situation directly affects residents: transport is inadequate between the center of Dakar and its suburbs. Consequently, urban mobility management is one of the major challenges of the Senegalese capital.

To facilitate daily travel by Dakar residents, AFD is cofinancing:

  • The first toll highway, which links up Dakar and Diamniadio, and its extension to the new Blaise Diagne International Airport;
  • The Regional Express Train to Diamniadio. This flagship project aims to provide the city with a 38 km-long mass rail transport system, from the central station in Dakar to the new urban center of Diamniadio, and eventually to the future AIBD airport. 

Focusing on the country’s agricultural potential 

Senegal, AIDEP, crops, Andrianjafy

Focusing on the country’s agricultural potential 

Agriculture accounts for 14.5% of Senegal’s GDP and employs almost half of the working population. Most farms are family farms and combine cash crops (groundnuts, cotton) and subsistence crops (millet, sorghum, maize). But there are large number of small farmers and they struggle to make a livelihood from their crops and recover their food security. It is essential to diversify agricultural resources and increase productivity in order to reduce Senegal’s dependence on imports and ensure food security for populations. 

For some 30 years now, AFD has been focusing on Senegal’s vast agricultural potential. We support the development of rural areas by improving the technical capacities of the various actors, productivity, resources management, the development of rural areas and access to financing. 

The projects we finance have several objectives:

  • Develop 10,000 ha of rice-growing areas in the south-east of the country and in the Senegal River Valley;
  • Build 200 km of rural roads in the north and south-east of the country in order to open up over 50 villages;
  • Develop cereal crops thanks to facilities to manage the drop in water levels; 
  • Produce 50,000 tons of paddy rice a year;
  • Significantly increase the incomes of 1,000 farms;
  • Realize some EUR 10bn of investment loans in the agriculture sector.
euros committed since 2008
SMEs supported since 2005
euros committed for agriculture

Senegal is located in the westernmost part of Africa, on the Atlantic coast, and has 15.3 million inhabitants. It is the second largest economy in French-speaking West Africa and has been experiencing strong growth since 2014.

Indeed, the country can rely on a number of advantages: its democratic tradition, its geographical position, a young population, a vast agricultural and mining potential and the dynamism of its diaspora.

However, it needs to deal with an informal economy which deprives the State of major resources, demographic pressure which increases poverty, and a youth suffering from the lack of jobs. There is, in addition, the environmental emergency: with its 531 km-long coastline, Senegal is particularly vulnerable to climate change.

AFD has been a partner of the country since 1947 and is a key correspondent for the Senegalese authorities. It mobilizes its entire range of financial tools to finance projects that contribute to sustainable and environmentally friendly growth with a concern for reducing inequalities.

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