Natural resources and energy
Within the Senegal coast are large deposits of phosphates, the only mineral extracted on a larger scale. Calcium phosphate is mined in Thiès and aluminum phosphate in Taïba. There is potential for increased extraction of gold, iron ore, natural gas and oil.
Minor amounts of gold have long been mined at Sabodala in the southeast. Larger discoveries have been found, but disputes over rights and protests against labor and environmental problems have long delayed production. Since 2009, however, a Canadian mining company has been extracting gold in the area.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Senegal with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
In eastern Senegal there are large deposits of iron ore and in 2006 the government signed an agreement with steel giant ArcelorMittal on a mining project in Falémé. The plans included the construction of a 75-mile long railway to a newly constructed port near Dakar, as well as expanded electricity generation. However, in 2009, ArcelorMittal announced that the project was put on ice due to a declining market. A legal dispute between the two parties continued and in 2013, a court of arbitration in Paris ruled that the steel giant was required to pay damages of $ 150 million to Senegal.
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There are also mainly untouched deposits of diamonds, titanium and copper.
In Casamance in the south there is illegal logging of mainly teak trees. The timber is often smuggled across the border to Gambia for further export to KIna.
Senegal also has reserves of natural gas and oil mainly off the coast of Casamance. In recent years, new discoveries of oil and gas have been made further north, near the sea border between Senegal and Mauritania. Extraction occurs only on a small scale, but foreign companies have found larger discoveries that can be exploited. It is hoped that production will start in 2020. Both the Senegalese state and the Mauritanian have interests in the projects.
The majority of all electricity comes from oil-fired thermal power plants, although dam projects in the Senegal River contribute more than a tenth of the production in the form of hydropower. However, the electricity capacity is inadequate, which means a serious brake for the country’s development. Electricity outages are numerous and have become a social problem, which has caused recurring rattles since 2009. Nevertheless, the expansion of the electricity grid in the countryside has gone fast in recent years and great efforts are being made to increase electricity supply. New power plants have been put into operation, and ambitious plans are under way for continued expansion with the help of foreign financial support. In rural areas, solar energy systems have been expanding rapidly since 2013.
The energy demand is covered by more than half through wood and coal burning, which is devastating for the country’s scarce forest resources.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
270 kilo oil equivalents (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
222 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
8.856 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.6 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
42.7 percent (2015)
Senegal’s first confirmed case of Ebola
At the end of the month, Senegal’s first confirmed case of Ebola is reported. The man who has fallen ill has come to the country from Guinea. The patient survives, and no new cases are reported from Senegal.
Concern for Ebola
Concern about the contagious viral disease Ebola is causing Senegal to close its border with Guinea, which has been affected by a large number of disease cases.
The Prime Minister is dismissed
Prime Minister Touré is dismissed as a result of ARP’s losses in the local elections a month earlier. Touré, who is also the party leader for the ARP, is succeeded as head of government by Mohamed Dionne, adviser to President Sall.
Local elections in the country
Local elections around the country result in a setback for the APR government that loses Dakar and other major cities, while doing better for the rural party.
New fighting between the MFDC and the government army
Only a few weeks after Salif Sadio’s one-sided ceasefire (see April 2014), new fighting erupts between his MFDC faction and the government army.
Presidential voter support drops
President Sall voter support drops. Among other things, he is accused of putting people with close ties to his own family on high posts.
Economic plan announced by the President
President Sall announces an economic plan (Plan Sénégal émergent, PSE) after providing more than $ 4 billion in support for such from Germany, the EU and the World Bank. The money will go to some twenty projects in agriculture, communications and tourism. Many investments will be made in Casamance to boost the economy there and strengthen the conditions for peaceful development in the troubled region.
MFDC leaders announce unilateral ceasefire
Salif Sadio, leader of an MFDC faction, announces unilateral ceasefire in Casamance and says he wants to give President Sall’s attempt to reach peace a chance. Sadio’s faction is fighting for full independence for Casamance.
Formerly the son of the president faces the right to corruption
A source at the Justice Department states that Karim Wade will face trial in July of the same year for corruption (see April 2013). Abdoulaye Wade returns to his homeland to assist the son and is welcomed by hundreds of followers. The father accuses the Sall government of wrongfully arresting a number of people in his circle and accusing them of embezzlement. Abdoulaye Wade argues that the legal process against his son is part of Sall’s attempt to get rid of competitors for power ahead of the next presidential election.
Russian fishing vessel seized
A Russian fishing vessel is seized by the military and accused of fishing without permission in Senegalese waters. The ship may leave Senegal after a few weeks after the owner paid the equivalent of $ 1.2 million in fines.