Portal:Senegal

The Senegal Portal

Senegal (/ˌsɛnɪˈɡɔːl, -ˈɡɑːl/ (About this soundlisten); French: Sénégal; Wolof: Senegaal; Arabic: السنغال Alsinighal), officially the Republic of Senegal (French: République du Sénégal; Wolof: Réewum Senegaal; Arabic: جمهورية السنغال Jumhuriat Alsinighal), is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal nearly surrounds The Gambia, a country occupying a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River, which separates Senegal's southern region of Casamance from the rest of the country. Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Senegal's economic and political capital is Dakar.

It is a unitary presidential republic and is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World, or Afro-Eurasia. It owes its name to the Senegal River, which borders it to the east and north. Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 16 million. The state was formed as part of the independence of French West Africa from French colonial rule. Because of this history, the official language is French. Like other post-colonial African states, the country includes a wide mix of ethnic and linguistic communities, with the largest being the Wolof, Fula, and Serer people, and the Wolof and French languages acting as lingua francas.

Senegal is classified as a heavily indebted poor country, with a relatively low Human Development Index. Most of the population is on the coast and works in agriculture or other food industries. Other major industries include mining, tourism and services. The climate is typically Sahelian, though there is a rainy season.

Senegal is a member state of the African Union, the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. (Full article...)

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Senegalese life, the well regarded baobab tree, and a lion

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The French conquest of Senegal started in 1659 with the establishment of Saint-Louis, Senegal, followed by the French capture of the island of Gorée from the Dutch in 1677, but would only become a full-scale campaign in the 19th century. (Full article...)
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An 1890 map of the island

Carabane, also known as Karabane, is an island and a village located in the extreme south-west of Senegal, in the mouth of the Casamance River. This relatively recent geological formation consists of a shoal and alluvium to which soil is added by accumulation in the branches and roots of the mangrove trees which cover most of the island. Along with the rest of Ziguinchor Region, Carabane has a tropical climate, cycling between a dry season and a wet season. The island was once considered an arid location where no useful plants were likely to grow, but it now supports several types of fruit tree, the most common of which are mangos and oranges. Although the nearby Basse Casamance National Park and Kalissaye Avifaunal Reserve have been closed for years because of the Casamance Conflict, Carabane has continued to attract ornithologists interested in its wide variety of birds. Various species of fish are plentiful around the island, but there are very few mammals.

The earliest known inhabitants of the island were the Jola, the ethnic group which is still the most populous on the island. The Portuguese were active in the region from the 16th century onwards; however, they did not linger on "Mosquito Island", the mosquitoes and black flies convincing them to establish their trading post in the town of Ziguinchor instead in 1645. On January 22, 1836, the island was ceded to France by the village leader of Kagnout in return for an annual payment of 196 francs. A series of treaties between the French and the leaders of the local peoples ensued; however, the inhabitants of Carabane did not recognize the authority of the treaties imposed upon them, resulting in lootings and abductions among French rice farmers by the Karoninka people. In 1869, Carabane became autonomous, but it merged with Sédhiou in 1886. Since World War II, the population of the island has gradually declined for a variety of reasons including periods of drought, the Casamance Conflict and, more recently, the sinking of the ferry Joola in 2002. Much of the village's ability to trade and receive tourists was lost until 2014, when MV Aline Sitoe Diatta resumed ferry services to the island. (Full article...)

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N'Dour in Warsaw on 13 September 2009

Youssou N'Dour (French pronunciation: ​[jusu (ɛ)nduʁ]; also known as Youssou Madjiguéne Ndour, born 1 October 1959) is a Senegalese singer, songwriter, composer, occasional actor, businessman, and politician. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine described him as, "perhaps the most famous singer alive" in Senegal and much of Africa. From April 2012 to September 2013, he was Senegal's Minister of Tourism.

N'Dour helped develop a style of popular Senegalese music known by all Senegambians (including the Wolof) as mbalax, a genre that has sacred origins in the Serer music njuup tradition and ndut initiation ceremonies. He is the subject of the award-winning films Return to Gorée (2007) directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud and Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love (2008) directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, which were released around the world. (Full article...)

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Flag of Senegal.svg You are invited to participate in WikiProject Senegal, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about Senegal.
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