Economy of Senegal
Predominantly rural, and with limited natural resources, the Economy of Senegal gains most of its foreign exchange from fish, phosphates, groundnuts, tourism, and services. The agricultural sector of Senegal is highly vulnerable to variations in rainfall and changes in world commodity prices. The former capital of French West Africa, is also home to banks and other institutions which serve all of Francophone West Africa, and is a hub for shipping and transport in the region.
Senegal also has one of the best developed tourist industries in Africa. Senegal depends heavily on foreign assistance, which in 2000 represented about 32% of overall government spending—including both current expenditures and capital investments—or CFA 270.8 billion (U.S$. 361.0 million). Senegal is a member of the World Trade Organization.
The fishing sector has replaced the groundnut sector as Senegal's export leader. Its export earnings reached U.S.$239 million in 2000. The industrial fishing operations struggle with high costs, and Senegalese tuna is rapidly losing the French market to more efficient Asian competitors.
Phosphate production, the second major foreign exchange earner, has been steady at about U.S.$95 million. Exports of peanut products reached U.S.$79 million in 2000 and represented 11% of total export earnings. Receipts from tourism, the fourth major foreign exchange earner, have picked up since the January 1994 devaluation. In 2000, some 500,000 tourists visited Senegal, earning the country $120 million.
Senegal has well-developed though costly port facilities, a major international airport serving 23 international airlines, and direct and expanding telecommunications links with major world centers.
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