Senegal Economic Outlook

  • The economy grew by an estimated 6.7% in 2016, with 6.8% expansion predicted for 2017 and 7% in 2018.
  • The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) ranked Senegal 10th out of 54 countries in 2016 and one of the three that improved their position in the four categories of the index.
  • The country’s industrial sector is 92.5% made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) but large firms (7.5%) account for 90% of added value.

Economic growth continues to accelerate and should reach 6.7% in 2016 (up from 6.5% in 2015), mostly driven by agriculture, industry and a revival in the services sector. This expansion should reach 6.8% in 2017 and 7% in 2018, but could be less if reforms are slow to take effect or the weather is a problem, along with security in the sub-region linked to jihadi groups.

The national development plan (Plan Sénégal émergent [PSE]) was in its second year in 2016, with major reforms expected to speed up the public investment involved in the plan’s projects.

Entrepreneurship and industrialisation are seen as chances to create added value and jobs, especially in manufacturing and agri-food. The government has a strategy to boost entrepreneurs as well as an industrial development policy, but they are not being fully implemented so these sectors are still quite small. The number of big firms only rose from 79 in 2009 to 80 in 2013, with the contribution of modern industries just growing from 9.9% of GDP to 10.3%. Individual entrepreneurs were estimated to number 59.5% of the total by the 2014 national survey of SMEs and this proportion can increase if structural obstacles are reduced and the business climate improves, along with better access to funding. The government is revising its 2005-15 industrial redeployment policy (PRI) to boost industrialisation in provinces with big economic potential through substantially upgrading facilities and infrastructure and setting up special economic zones and industrial parks.