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Senegal: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Senegal

A lightweight suit for men and a dress that covers the shoulders and knees for women are advised. Appointments should be made, and punctuality is expected. Business cards are essential, preferably in French and English. The right hand should be used for handshakes and to pass items.

Take your time to greet a business associate and ask general questions relating to the meeting. Do not ask personal questions particularly if you have just met them.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1300 and 1400-1700. During Ramadan, some offices open 0730-1430.

Economy

Senegal's economy is based largely on mining, construction, tourism, fisheries and agriculture. The country is an active phosphate producer and has rich deposits of iron ore, gold, limestone, as well as several types of precious stones. Its oil and natural gas reserves located onshore and offshore are also being tapped.

Since 2014, the government has been following the Emerging Senegal Plan which commits more than US$7 billion in a wide range of projects, from infrastructure, agriculture, mining to tourism. The plan aims to help the poor economically and give them access to high-growth or value-added sectors, such as agricultural processing or horticulture. However, high public spending has also led to an increase in public debt, with an estimated debt-to-GDP ratio at 63.1% in 2020.

While Senegal is on the path to reform, poor sanitary conditions and lack of clean drinking water continue to be major issues.

GDP

US $23.940 billion (2019).

Main exports

Petroleum products, gold, phosphate products and fish.

Main imports

Petroleum products, broadcasting equipment, food, iron products and medicine.

Main trading partners

India, China, Mali, France, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain.

Keeping in Touch in Senegal

Telephone

Senegal's telephone network is extensive, with landlines in use throughout the country. However, since the advent of mobiles, many telecentres are not shut.

Mobile Phone

Mobile phone coverage is good in the main cities and tourist areas. Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies.

Internet

Wi-Fi access is available in some hotels. Most people in Senegal access the internet through their phones rather than broadband. In areas where there is no cellular data coverage, you may need to rely on dial-up.

Media

Senegal's constitution guarantees freedom of the news media, although there are laws prohibiting reports that discredit the state or incite disorder. Still, the country has traditionally enjoyed a liberal media climate.

Publications must be registered, but foreign publications circulate freely. There are multiple TV and radio stations in Senegal.

Post

Airmail to Europe takes between seven and 10 days, and surface mail between two and six weeks.

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