The Republic of Senegal was under French rule until April 1960, when merged as the Mali Federation with French Sudan. The union was short-lived and dissolved after a few months. In 1982, Senegal and The Gambia coupled to form Senegambia, a nominal confederation that, again, separated in 1989. Throughout history, Senegal was perceived as one of the stable nations in Africa, transitioning peacefully from each of the three political changes. Today, Senegal is a presidential republic structured into 14 administrative regions. The official language is French, but many native languages and dialects, such as Wolof or Pulaar, are widely spoken.
Widespread poverty, a low literacy rate, and a high unemployment rate are just some of the social problems that Senegal has to deal with. Economically speaking, the country's gross domestic product continues to grow at an accelerated rate, the year 2017 marking the third consecutive year with a growth rate above 6 percent. Senegal’s GDP itself is thus estimated to double between 2016 and 2022. The inflation rate remains low and despite high growth, cannot rise significantly pass the 2 percent core inflation rate in the near future.
Services represent an important sector in the Senegalese economy, accounting for nearly 60 percent of GDP generation. Additionally, the economy is also driven by mining, especially the production of phosphate rock, as well as tourism, and, since half of its inhabitants live in rural areas, agriculture. Senegal’s exports value did not change much in these past years, ranging from a value of 2 to 3 billion U.S. dollars of exported goods.