African country profile: Senegal

African country profile

Senegal is a country with an area of 196,840 square kilometers, interrupting Gambias coast. In the northern part of Senegal, grasslands and desserts are predominant while in the south and southern east, there is a heavier vegetation. All in all, Senegal has poor soil and irregular rainfalls. To the west of Senegal is the Atlantic Ocean while land boundaries are Mauritania to the north and Mali to the east. Guinea and Guinea-Bissau border Senegal to the south. The southernmost region in Senegal is the Casamance area and this area extends eastwards the Gambia River. The Cassamance area is punctuated with a series of flat valleys and the area is also susceptible to flooding in the low lying areas.

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In terms of climate, Senegal has three climatic regions. Dusty and dry winds generated form the Sahara prevail from the north east. Normally, the winds generally strengthen at dawn and subside at night. The winds are however, the strongest during the afternoons. The rainy season is usually between May and October. In the southern part of the country, rain is highly dependable. There are two or more semi-diurnal tides per day on the Senegal coast.

Most of the Senegalese population live in rural areas. The population in the rural areas account for almost 63% of the total population. There are about 50,000 Europeans who reside in Senegal (mostly the French). 40 percent of the population aged 15 or younger. As of the year 1995, the average life expectancy in Senegal was 48.3 for the males and 52.6 for their female counterparts. The official language spoken is French although this is only used by the literate minority. Wolof, which is an indigenous language is of the highest usage. It is also imperative to comprehend that the Senegalese tend to identify with their ethnic backgrounds or groups. When compared with other African states, there are minimal differences between the various ethnicities in Senegal. The Senegalese shave a high or tremendous tolerance towards each other.

Thirty-five percent of the total population of Senegal is literate. There are different literacy levels for both men (44%) and women 24%. Education normally starts at the age of 7 and may last up to six years for primary education. Noncompliance is high although enrollment for education is mandatory. In terms of education, women have generally had fewer services and educational opportunities when compared to men. Although, there has been an increased focus on the development of the female gender in Senegal, the enrollment for young girls especially in the primary schools still lags behind when compared to the number of boys being enrolled.

All the above options are open to young individuals who have at least a secondary school diploma. There are however, some other options that require some post-secondary education especially when one wants to train at Senegals national school for applied economics. While such opportunities are available to both men and women, fewer women tend to make it through secondary education and then enroll in Senegals two universities.

The Senegalese are very religious individuals and about 90 % of the total population is Islamic. The constitution provides religious freedom especially for the secular individuals. Since Senegal is religiously tolerant, both Christianity and Islam holidays are celebrated. Although patterns do exist, beliefs are neither regionally or ethnically specific. In the Casamance region, Christianity is the most predominant religion. Traditional beliefs are predominant in small villages. In regard to the traditional beliefs, urban migration has immensely contributed to the dwindling adherents and the traditional beliefs are professed primarily by the older generation (Diallo, 12).

For recreational purposes, the Senegalese normally engage in dances and this is normally done during the harvesting season. The Senegalese also have a bend of fresh culture that is blended with Islamic traditions. Nevertheless, the divisions are generally caused by geography rather than ethnicity. Senegal was originally founded by the Portuguese in the 1400s. The country is divided into ten regions that is headed by as a country, Senegal has been transferred between the Great Britain and France although it was placed firmly under the French in 1815. This means that by the late 1850s, the Senegalese inhabitants had been inculcated to the French culture, language and history. Additionally, Senegal was one of the only four self-governing colonies of France. Members of the Senegalese society had voting rights that were only reserved for the French citizens. It is imperative to comprehend that after the creation of the Federation of the West Africa, it was Dakar that was chosen to fulfil local administrative duties (Maertens et al., 45).

The Islamic faith of the Senegalese is based on Sunni branch regardless of the varying degrees of religious practice. This means that the Senegalese tend to pray three times a day as compared to other Muslims.

Senegals healthcare is poor. In most rural areas, healthcare is not readily available. The country has few national-level research institutes and facilities. Some of these institutions located in Dakar are well-equipped and supplied. Most of the medial supplies that Senegal uses and pharmaceuticals are imported (Leone,67). Sanitation through the country is considered poor. Water sources and local food are heavily contaminated with parasites and pathogenic viruses       In conclusion, in terms of climate, Senegal has three climatic regions. Dusty and dry winds generated form the Sahara prevail from the north east. Normally, the winds generally strengthen at dawn and subside at night. For recreational purposes, the Senegalese usually engage in dances and this is normally done during the harvesting season. The Islamic faith of the Senegalese is based on Sunni branch regardless of the varying degrees of religious practice. The Senegalese are very religious individuals and about 90 percent of the total population is Islamic. In terms of education, women have generally had fewer service and educational opportunities when compared to men. In most rural areas, healthcare is not readily available. The country has few national-level research institutes and facilities. The Senegalese also have a bend of fresh culture that is blended with Islamic traditions.

Assignment:African country paper. For this 3-page paper on a African country, students will research a African country. .Students will focus on one or two topics of interest related to their chosen location and state why they chose their country or territory. Due in Week 5, this paper requires documenting at least three sources in MLA style.

Works cited

Leone, Sierra. “Mali Nigeria Senegal Spain.” (2014).

Maertens, Miet, and Johan FM Swinnen. “Trade, standards, and poverty: Evidence from         Senegal.” World development 37.1 (2009): 161-178.

Gellar, Sheldon. “Senegal: an African nation between Islam and the West.” (1982).

Diallo, Mawlouth, et al. “Vectors of Chikungunya virus in Senegal: current data and   transmission cycles.” The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 60.2        (1999): 281-286.