Where Is Senegal?
The West African nation of Senegal derives its name from the Senegal River, which borders the country to the north and east. Senegal encompasses an area of 197,000 square km and has a population of approximately 15 million people. Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau border Senegal to the north, east, southeast, and southwest, respectively. Senegal also borders The Gambia on three sides. To the west, Senegal has a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean.
What Type of Government Does Senegal Have?
Senegal is governed as a unitary semi-presidential republic. The President of Senegal is elected by the Senegalese votes and serves as head of state. The president appoints a prime minister, who then selects the other members of the cabinet in consultation with the president. Senegal has a unicameral legislature made up a National Assembly that consists of 150 members. The judiciary operates independently of the executive and legislative branches of government. The Court of Justice and the Constitutional Council serve as the highest judicial bodies in Senegal.
What Is the Capital of Senegal?
Dakar is the capital city of Senegal. The city has an area of 83 square km and a population of 1,146,053, making it the country’s most populous city. The population density of Dakar is 12,510 persons per square km. Dakar is located on the Atlantic coast of Senegal in the Cap-Vert peninsula. It is mainland Africa’s westernmost city. Dakar experiences a hot semi-arid climate. The dry season here is long with the rainy season lasting only from July to October.
History of Dakar
The land that is now Dakar was first settled in the 15th century. The area was later colonized, first by Portugal and later by France in 1677. The French built a fort in 1857 to protect the interests of merchants active in the region, as well as to safeguard the residents of an island off the coast of the Cap-Vert peninsula. Dakar gradually grew in importance and surpassed other cities in the region such as Gorée and Rufisque. The city became a major center for the export of peanuts, and in 1902, Dakar replaced Saint-Louis as the capital of French West Africa. By 1961, however, French West Africa was divided into several independent states. For a short period of time, Dakar served as the capital of the Mali Federation, which was later dissolved. Finally, in 1960, Dakar became the capital of the newly independent Senegal.
Role of Dakar as the Capital of Senegal
As the capital city, Dakar is the seat of the government of Senegal. As such, the city is home to the official residences of the President of Senegal and the Prime Minister of Senegal. The National Assembly also meets in Dakar. The country's highest courts, as well as numerous other government departments and offices, are located in Dakar. The city is also the economic hub of the nation.