Geography Senegal: An In Depth Study Senegal Is A Republic Located In Essay

western Africa and has Dakar which is its largest city as capital. On the northern border is located Mauritania, on the east is Mali and on the Guinea. Senegal is also bordered by the Atlantic ocean on the west. Located in the center of the country is the small republic of Gambia. The county is pierced by the River Gambia. (see figure: 1)Figure 1Senegal primarily is made up of a large plain. The only real exceptions to this are in the south east where relatively high elevations exist. There are only a few rivers of any reasonable size in Senegal, these include; the Saloum, Gambia, Casamance and of course the Senegal which runs along the northern border of the country. Like all rivers, these recess during dry seasons and surge forth during wet seasons. Like most other countries of this region in Africa, Senegal has a vast multitude of climatic regions. These range from dry desert to a wet tropical zone in the southern portion of the country leaving the dry region to the north. There are two distinct seasons; the dry season, and the rainy season. The latter lasts from July to October in the north. (see figure: 2)Figure 2 Here, the rainfall averages 350 mm . In the south the season starts a month later in June but ends as it does in the north in October. In the north the average yearly rainfall averages 1525 mm . In January the average temperature is 22 degrees centigrade and in July it averages at 28 degrees centigrade. In Senegal the citizens to indeed have to endure very diverse climatic conditions.Figure 3Figure 4 As mentioned before the northern portion of the country is dominated by very dry desert like conditions while the south is a very wet region. The northern portion of the Country is part of the Sahal which is a buffer for the wetter southern part of the country against the Sahara which is located to the north of the country. In the Sahel the vegetation resembles that of the movie The Lion King in that it consists primarily of savanna grasses with random outcroppings of small stunted shrubs (see Figure: 3). As you move south towards the Gambia trees become more common. Further south still, there are actual swamps and dense forests.In these forests the typical tropical woods can be found including mahogany, palms and bamboo. In the Gambia and the others rivers as well crocodiles and hippopotamuses can be found. Other animals such as elephants can be found in the eastern portion of the country. Senegal’s infamous varieties of snake include the cobra and the boa constrictor.Senegal possess many minerals and other natural resources. Among these is Senegal’s principal exploited mineral resource, phosphates.( see figure:5) Iron ore is also present I but it has not yet been exploited due to a lack of accessibility. In the 1970’s deposits of both natural gas and petroleum were located off the western coast of Senegal.Figure 5 Senegal’s economy is based primarily on agriculture. The soul of the agricultural economy is based on peanuts, literally. Although this is the case Senegal has a growing industrial sector which is the largest in West Africa. Senegal receives aid from France and other European countries through the World Bank. Senegal is starting to learn to budget, and is now only spending $700 million more than the country brings in every year. About 27% of Senegal’s land is arable which is veryinproportionate to the 78% of the population which relies on subsistence farming. Because of French colonization, Senegal is now the leading producer of peanuts in the world. These peanuts are primarily grown in the north-west but are also grown in other parts of the country. Peanuts and peanut oils constitute a significant percent of the yearly export earnings ranging from 29% in the 80s to 12% in the early 90s . Most of the land isFigure 6 devoted to the production of peanuts and great strides have beenmade recently to diversify the types of crops grown. (see Figure:6) Among the crops to be grown are; rice, and tomatoes. This will allow the people of Senegal to produce food which could sustain its population. The traditional crops of Senegal are; sugarcane, millet and sorghum, peanuts, rice, and maize. The livestock raised are; cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. Senegal’s coast is rich with fish. With the use of a modern fishing fleet Senegal harvested over 319 700 tons which represented 23% of export earnings in 1990 . Mining is not a small business in Senegal, 1990s production of phosphates totaled 5.1 million cu m . There is also a oil refinery which processes oil for foreign oil as well as domestic. Senegal also employs other processing plants such as those used for peanuts, flour, chemicals, and tobacco products. There are several power plants in Senegal which have the capacity of 230 kilowatt and can produce 720 kWh of electricity a year. All of the power generated in Senegal is done so thermally.(see figure 7)Figure 7 The currency in Senegal is the franc, which is broken down into 100 centimes. The rate of exchange for the franc is 295.2 to 1 U.S. dollar or 50 francs for 1 French franc.The constitution of 1963, amended 1991, provides for a single-chamber legislature, the 120-member national assembly, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. The president, also elected by universal suffrage, serves a seven-year term, renewable only once. The president appoints a prime minister to lead a council of ministers. Senegal’s ten regions enjoy a high degree of autonomy, each having its own appointed governor and elected assembly and controlling a separate budget. history For early history, see Africa. Portuguese explorers arrived in the 15th century, and French settlers in the 17th. Senegal had a French governor from 1854, became part of French West Africa 1895, and a territory 1902.Senegal became an independent republic Sept 1960, with L?opold S?dar Senghor, leader of the Senegalese Progressive Union (UPS), as its first president. Senghor was also prime minister 1962-70. The UPS was the only legal party from 1966 until in Dec 1976 it was reconstituted as the Senegalese Socialist Party (PS) and two opposition parties were legally registered. In 1978 Senghor was decisively reelected. Senghor retired at the end of 1980 and was succeeded by Abdou Diouf, who declared an amnesty for political offenders and permitted more parties to register. In the 1983 elections the PS won 111 of the assembly seats and the main opposition, the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS), eight seats. Later that year Diouf tightened control of his party and the government, abolishing the post of prime minister. This met open, sometimes violent, opposition, but he and the PS remained firmly in power. In 1980 Senegal sent troops to the Gambia to protect it against a suspected Libyan invasion, and it intervened again 1981 to thwart an attempted coup. As the two countries came closer together, they agreed on an eventual merger, and the confederation of Senegambia came into being Feb 1982. Senegal has always maintained close links with France, allowing it to retain military bases. In the Feb 1988 elections Diouf was reelected president with 73% of the vote, but his ruling party had a slightly reduced majority in the national assembly. In April 1989 border disputes led to a severance of diplomatic relations with neighboring Mauritania, with more than 450 people killed during violent clashes between Senegalese and Mauritanians. Over 50,000 people were repaid from both countries May 1989. In Aug 1989 formal recognition was given of the ending of the unsuccessful federation of Senegambia. Constitutional changes were proposed Sept 1991, including the reduction of the voting age from 21 to 18 and the limitation of the presidential mandate to two terms. Diplomatic relations with Mauritania, severed 1989, were restored April 1992. In March 1993 Diouf was reelected for a third and (under the revised constitution) final term. In May the ruling Senegalese Socialist Party (PS) was the assembly elections and in June a new cabinet was formed, with Habib Thiam as prime minister (the post having been reinstated 1992). The political history of Senegal is not as bloody as many of the other countries of Africa so the county’s fifth world status can not be blamed on this but rather on the French and their despotic rule of the country. The French persuaded the farmers of Senegal to produce peanuts which was a crop of little benefit to the locals, but could fetch a high price for the French. Very little of the proceeds were actually given to the farmers with the remaining amount staying in France. Now the farmers of Senegal are still producing peanuts and receiving very little money for them because the price has dropped drastically. The result is that the farmers grow peanuts so that they can get money to buy food. There is nowhere near enough money to provide for a whole family. To drag Senegal out of the fifth world we must first make them agriculturally self sufficient so that they are now no longer starving. This is possible by teaching them new farming techniques, providing them with wells, and providing them with seeds that will grow into a wide variety of crops.

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