Senegal Economic Outlook

  • Growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in Senegal in 2015 is estimated to have been 5.1% in 2015 and is predicted to reach 6.0% in 2016 and 6.5% in 2017.
  • The establishment of a precautionary reserve in 2015 and its continuation in the 2016 budget are examples of results-based management in line with the directives of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) relating to public finances.
  • Urban development provides opportunities linked to economic sector diversification, but the inflow of people from the countryside raises the issue of sustainable urban management.

The growth rate is on the rise and should have reached 5.1% in 2015, as against 4.3% in 2014, driven by the vigour of the agricultural sector, the continuing recovery of the vegetable oil and sugar industries, the dynamic cement industry, building and public works, energy, telecommunications and financial services. Nevertheless growth was slightly lower than the authorities’ predictions of 5.4% and is forecast to be 6% and 6.5% in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The implementation of the flagship projects in the Emerging Senegal Plan (Plan Sénégal émergent [PSE]) entered its second year in 2015, along with the major reforms which should speed up their completion. Of the 17 flagship projects launched so far (out of a total of 27) 10 are being implemented, one is operational and six are in the study phase. One of the PSE flagship projects is the development of integrated industrial platforms, and work began in 2015 on the special economic zone of Diamniadio, which will be a multifunctional urban platform. The authorities must ensure the sustained implementation of the major reforms, in particular in the fields of energy, property rights, logistics and infrastructure, as well as information and communication technologies and the business environment.

Urbanisation is constantly increasing in Senegal, where the urban population rose from 38% in 1988 to 45.2% in 2013 due mainly to the exodus from the countryside. Urban development provides opportunities linked to economic sector diversification and to transport infrastructure development between the country’s different regions. The promotion of urban hubs in regions with strong economic potential is achieved through a policy of major equipment and infrastructure projects with significant economic and social impacts. However the inflow of people from rural areas brings with it a substantial demand for socio-economic infrastructure and leads to environmental damage, thereby raising the issue of sustainable urban management.