Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
July 5, 2016

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Executive SummaryShare    

Senegal offers a stable political environment, relatively robust infrastructure, strong institutions and a favorable geographic position with growing opportunities for foreign investment. The Government of Senegal welcomes foreign investment and has prioritized efforts to improve its business climate. Senegal has maintained a stable macroeconomic environment, with its regional currency, the CFA franc, pegged to the Euro and easy repatriation of capital and income. Investors cite high factor costs, bureaucratic hurdles, limited access to financing and a rigid labor market as being among the obstacles to investment. The government is making efforts address some of these challenges, streamline bureaucratic procedures and improve Senegal’s competitiveness.

Senegal is pursuing an ambitious development plan, the “Plan Senegal Emergent” (Emerging Senegal Plan or "PSE"), which includes a series of economic reforms and increasing private investment in strategic sectors with the goal of increasing real GDP growth to an average of 7.1% from 2014 to 2018. The growth rate reached 6.5% in 2015, the highest in 12 years. The government is implementing reforms to the energy sector, higher education and the land tenure system, in order to improve Senegal’s attractiveness for foreign investment. Senegal also has ambitions to build on its position as a regional business hub with relatively good transportation links to become a regional center for logistics, services and industry. The Senegalese government is focusing on infrastructure projects to develop port facilities, transportation infrastructure and a Special Economic Zone. Senegal has joined the New Alliance for Food Security and committed to policy reforms to facilitate greater investment in agro-industry. As the government undertakes a range of investment-friendly reforms, capacity constraints and bureaucratic bottlenecks continue to impede the implementation of this agenda.

Senegal’s low ranking (153th out of 189 countries) in the 2016 World Bank Doing Business Report highlighted the bureaucratic challenges that foreign investors can face when pursuing projects in Senegal. After an even lower Doing Business ranking of 178 in 2014, Senegal was cited as a top performer in 2015 and 2016 for improving its business climate to raise its ranking. The Government of Senegal is continuing to implement a multi-year program to streamline procedures and reduce costs involved in setting up a business. The development of a Special Economic Zone is also intended to provide an easier environment for private investment.

While Senegal has a well-developed legal framework for protecting property rights, settlement of commercial disputes can be cumbersome and slow. The government of Senegal has prioritized efforts to fight corruption, increase transparency and improve governance. Senegal compares favorably with most African countries in corruption indicators, but companies report that some corruption may persist, particularly at lower levels. The U.S. and Senegal signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in 1983 that includes provisions on non-discrimination, free transfer of funds, international legal standards for expropriation and the use of binding third-party arbitration for dispute resolution.

France is historically the largest source of foreign direct investment but the government of Senegal is keen to diversify its sources of investment. U.S. investment in Senegal has expanded since 2014 including several investments in power generation and participation of U.S. companies in offshore oil and gas exploration. Following the announcement of oil and gas discoveries in 2014-2015, energy sector investment is expected to expand during the next decade. Agriculture, agro-industry, mining, infrastructure, tourism and fisheries are among the other sectors that have attracted substantial investment.

Investors may consult the website of Senegal's investment promotion agency (APIX) at for information on opportunities, incentives and procedures for foreign investment, including a copy of Senegal's investment code.

Table 1



Index or Rank

Website Address

TI Corruption Perceptions index


61 of 168

World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business”


153 of 189

Global Innovation Index


98 of 143

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)


USD 66 million

IMF Coordinated Direct Investment Survey*

World Bank GNI per capita



Millennium Challenge Corporation Country Scorecard

The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. Government entity charged with delivering development grants to countries that have demonstrated a commitment to reform, produced scorecards for countries with a per capita gross national income (GNI) of $4,125 or less. A list of countries/economies with MCC scorecards and links to those scorecards is available here: Details on each of the MCC’s indicators and a guide to reading the scorecards are available here:

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign InvestmentShare    

Attitude toward Foreign Direct Investment

The Government of Senegal welcomes foreign investment and generally maintains a level playing field for foreign investors to participate in most sectors. There are no barriers to 100 percent ownership of businesses by foreign investors in most sectors. There are some exceptions for sectors such as water, electricity distribution, and port services where the government and state-owned companies maintain responsibility for most physical infrastructure but allow private companies to provide water distribution and port services.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

As part of its PSE, the Government of Senegal prepared a series of reports to outline sector policies and business opportunities in priority sectors including agriculture and agro-business, tourism, fishing, health care and other sectors. More information can be found at

Laws/Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

Senegal's 2004 Investment Code provides basic guarantees for equal treatment of foreign investors and repatriation of profit and capital. It also specifies tax and customs exemptions according to the investment volume, company size and location, with investments outside of Dakar eligible for longer tax exemptions. A law to enhance transparency in public procurement and public tenders entered into force in 2008, establishing a Public Procurement Regulatory body (ARMP) that publishes annual reviews of public procurement. The Government of Senegal enacted a Public Private Partnership Law in 2014 that amended the 2004 Build Operate and Transfer Law to facilitate expedited approval of public-private partnerships for projects that include a minimum share of domestic investment.

More information on Senegal's legal and regulatory environment including a copy of the investment code, the mining code, and many other reference documents can be found at (Note: As of April 2015, more recent revisions to the Customs Code and the 2014 Public Private Partnership Law are not yet posted on this site.)

Senegal is a member of UNCTAD’s international network of transparent investment procedures

Business Registration

The point of entry for online business registration is the website of Senegal's Investment Promotion Agency (APIX) at Through a one-stop shop, the APIX Administrative Procedures Facilitation Centre, companies can register businesses in less than two days. This center enables entrepreneurs to perform all business registration procedures with government, local authorities and public institutions. A public notary is required for business creation in addition to the simplified services provided by APIX. Senegal defines microenterprises as those having less than 21 employees whereas medium-sized enterprises have less than 251 employees. The law n°2008-29 of July 28, 2008, provides special services or preferences to facilitate investment and business operations by medium and small enterprises including reduced interest rates for Senegalese-owned companies.

Industrial Promotion

Senegal’s strategic plan, the Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE), includes an investment plan for 2014-2018, focusing on priority sectors including agriculture, mining, energy, tourism and infrastructure. The PSE includes 27 priority projects and 17 economic reforms intended to reinforce the enabling environment for private sector investment. The government has focused initial efforts on a handful of priority projects and reforms. The government has established a delivery unit in the President’s office to coordinate and monitor implementation of investment projects by line Ministries. Investors may consult the website of Senegal's Investment Promotion Agency at for more details on investment priorities.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Senegal allows foreign investors equal access to ownership of property and does not impose any general limits on foreign control of investments. Senegal's Investment Code includes guarantees for equal treatment of foreign investors including the right to acquire and dispose of property. There is no provision in Senegalese law permitting domestic businesses to adopt articles of incorporation or association that limit or control foreign investment. There is no pattern of discrimination against foreign firms making investments in Senegal.

Privatization Program

Since the 1980s, Senegal has reduced the involvement of state-owned enterprises in most sectors as the country has shifted towards promotion of private investment to drive national development objectives. The government has privatized companies involved in the airline, water, finance, real estate and telecommunications sectors with no restriction on the participation of foreign investors. Several state-owned firms privatized in recent years were sold in part or in whole to foreign entities. In the energy sector, the state-owned electricity company, SENELEC, operates transmission and distribution networks while the government has encouraged private companies to take an increasing share of electricity generation under power purchase agreements. The government has maintained involvement in ports and infrastructure projects but granted a private concession for container ports and used a public-private partnership to complete a toll road connecting the Dakar peninsula with interior roads.

Screening of FDI

The Government of Senegal does some screening of proposed investments, primarily to verify compatibility with the country's overall development goals and compliance with environmental regulations. If the government is involved in project financing, the Finance Ministry will also review financing arrangements to ensure compatibility with budget and debt policies. Senegal's Investment Promotion Agency (APIX) can facilitate government review of investment proposals and the project approval process.

Competition Law

Senegal's National Competition Commission is responsible for reviewing transactions for competition-related concerns.

2. Conversion and Transfer PoliciesShare    

Foreign Exchange

As part of the eight-country West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Senegal uses the CFA franc that is pegged to the Euro at 655.957 CFA per Euro. Senegal's Investment Code includes guarantees for access to foreign exchange and repatriation of capital and earnings, though transactions are subject to procedural requirements of financial regulators. Commercial transfers are routinely carried out by local financial institutions without delays. The government limits the amount of foreign exchange that individual travelers may take outside Senegal. Departing travelers may take a maximum of 6 million CFA (approximately USD 10,000) in foreign currency and travelers checks upon presentation of a valid airline ticket. Senegal's Bilateral Investment Treaty with the U.S. includes commitments to ensuring free transfer of funds associated with investments.

Remittance Policies

There are no restrictions on the transfer or repatriation of capital and income earned, or on investments financed with convertible foreign currency. Remittances to Senegal from citizens living overseas are routine and provide a significant source of income for many local Senegalese. In 2013, the value of remittances, formal and informal, was estimated by Senegalese authorities at USD 1.7 billion or 12 percent of GDP. Senegal is a member of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and through GIABAis an associate member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

3. Expropriation and CompensationShare    

Senegal’s Investment Code includes protection against expropriation or nationalization of private property with exceptions for “reasons of public utility” that would involve “just compensation” in advance. In general, Senegal has no history of expropriation or creeping expropriation against private companies. The government may sometimes use eminent domain justifications to procure land for public infrastructure projects with compensation provided to land owners. Senegal’s Bilateral Investment Treaty with the U.S. also specifies that international legal standards are applicable to any cases of expropriation of investment and the payment of compensation.

4. Dispute SettlementShare    

Legal System, Specialized Courts, Judicial Independence, Judgments of Foreign Courts

While Senegal has well-developed commercial and investment laws and a legal framework for resolving business disputes and enforcing property rights, settlement of disputes within the existing framework is cumbersome and slow. Senegal’s civil legal system, based on a French model, is one of the most functional systems in francophone Africa, but it still provides a challenging environment for resolution of commercial disputes. Court cases tend to proceed slowly with ample opportunity for the parties involved to prolong the proceedings. Even when courts issue judgments, companies may encounter challenges in implementing court decisions and enforcing their contractual rights. Investors may consider including provisions for binding arbitration in their contracts in order to avoid prolonged entanglements in Senegalese courts. To alleviate the growing backlog and delays in resolution of commercial disputes, the government of Senegal has taken steps to establish commercial courts, as part of its investment climate reforms. Senegal is signatory to the Organization for the Harmonization of Corporate Law in Africa Treaty (OHADA) that provides for common corporate law and arbitration procedures in the 16 member states in western and central Africa.


Senegal has commercial and bankruptcy laws that address liquidation of business liabilities. Foreign creditors receive equal treatment under Senegalese bankruptcy law in making claims against liquidated assets. Monetary judgments are normally in local currency. As a member of the Organization and Harmonization of Business Law (OHADA), Senegal permits three different types of bankruptcy liquidation through a negotiated settlement, company restructuring, or complete liquidation of assets. Senegal ranked 88th out of 189 countries on the "Resolving Insolvency" indicator in the 2016 Doing Business Report.

Investment Disputes

International firms have pursued a variety of investment disputes during the last decade, including at least two U.S. firms involved in tax and customs disputes. One U.S. energy firm was involved in a tax dispute and ultimately prevailed in arbitration. Another company has an ongoing case over whether imported industrial inputs would be subject to customs duties. Other foreign companies in the mining and telecommunications sectors have pursued commercial disputes over mining and telecom licensing. These disputes have often been resolved through arbitration or an amicable settlement.

International Arbitration

Senegal has growing experience in using international arbitration for resolution of investment disputes with foreign companies, including some cases involving tax disputes with U.S. firms. The government has also prevailed in some arbitration cases, including a 2013 arbitration decision in a high-profile case with Arcel-Mittelor over an integrated mining/railway/port project, lending greater confidence within the government to the arbitration process. Senegal's Bilateral Investment Treaty with the U.S. includes provisions to facilitate the referral of investment disputes to binding arbitration.

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Senegal is a member of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and a signatory of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitral Awards (the New York Convention).

Duration of Dispute Resolution – Local Courts

According to the 2016 World Bank Doing Business Indicators, it took an average of 740 days for companies to resolve a commercial dispute in Senegal involving the enforcement of contracts. Some companies have reported challenges in securing the enforcement of court decisions protecting contractual rights. The Government of Senegal has initiated several programs to establish commercial courts and use alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in order to reduce the time required for resolving business disputes.

5. Performance Requirements and Investment IncentivesShare    


Senegal has not submitted any WTO notifications on Trade Related Investment Measures.

Investment Incentives

Senegal's Investment Code provides for investment incentives, including temporary exemption from customs duties and income taxes for investment projects. Eligibility for investment incentives depends upon a firm's size and type of activity, the amount of the potential investment, and the location of the project. To qualify for significant investment incentives, firms must invest above CFA 100 million (approximately USD 165,000) or in activities that lead to an increase of 25 percent or more in productive capacity. Investors may also deduct up to 40 percent of retained investment over five years. However, for companies engaged strictly in "trading activities," investment incentives may not be available.

Eligible sectors for investment incentives include agriculture and agro-processing, fishing, livestock and related industries, manufacturing, tourism, mineral exploration and mining, banking, and others. All qualifying investments benefit from the "Common Regime," which includes two years of exoneration from duties on imports of goods not produced locally for small and medium sized firms, and three years for all others. Also included is exoneration from direct and indirect taxes for the same period.

Exoneration from the Minimum Personal Income Tax and from the Business License Tax can be granted to investors who use local resources for at least 65 percent of their total inputs within a fiscal year. Enterprises that locate in less industrialized areas of Senegal may benefit from exemption of the lump-sum payroll tax of three percent, with the exoneration running from five to 12 years, depending on the location of the investment. The investment code provides for exemption from income tax, duties and other taxes, phased out progressively over the last three years of the exoneration period. Most incentives are automatically granted to investment projects meeting the above criteria. The new tax code was published December 31, 2012 (law # 2012-31 of December 2012 published in journal # 6706 of 31/12/2012).

An existing firm requesting an extension of such incentives must be at least 20 percent self-financed. Large firms -- those with at least 200 million CFA (330,000 USD) in equity capital -- are required to create at least 50 full-time positions for Senegalese nationals, to contribute the hard currency equivalent of at least 100 million CFA (165,000 USD), and keep regular accounts that conform to Senegalese (European accounting system) standards. In addition, firms must provide APIX with details on company products, production, employment and consumption of raw materials.

Research and Development

U.S. and foreign firms are able to participate in government-financed research and development programs which often are supported by donor financing and technical assistance, particularly in the areas of agriculture and public health.

Performance Requirements

The Government does not, by statute, impose specific conditions or performance requirements on investment activities. However, the Government does negotiate with potential investors on a case-by-case basis to support local employment or ensure incentives for investors to meet their contractual commitments. The U.S. Bilateral Investment Treaty with Senegal includes provisions for companies to freely engage professional, technical and managerial assistance necessary for planning and operation of investments.

Acquiring work permits for expatriate staff is typically straightforward. Citizens from WAEMU member countries are permitted to work freely in Senegal. In May of 2004, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and WAEMU signed an agreement that, amongst other things, allows employment mobility between member countries.

Data Storage

Senegal does not have any requirements for the "forced localization" of data storage. The National Commission on Personal Data is responsible for oversight of the privacy of personal data.

6. Protection of Property RightsShare    

Real Property

The Senegalese Civil Code provides a framework, based on French law, for enforcing private property rights. The code provides for equality of treatment and non-discrimination against foreign-owned businesses. Senegal maintains a property title and a land registration system, but application is uneven outside of urban areas. Confirming ownership rights on real estate can be difficult, but once established, ownership is protected by law.

The Government has undertaken several reforms to make it easier for investors to acquire and register property. It has streamlined procedures and reduced associated costs for property registration. The government has developed new land tenure models that are intended to facilitate land acquisition by resolving conflicts between traditional and government land ownership. If the new models are widely adopted, the government and donors expect they will facilitate land acquisition and investment in the agricultural sector while providing benefits to traditional landowners in local communities.

The Government generally pays compensation when it takes private property through eminent domain actions. Senegal's housing finance market is underdeveloped and few long-term mortgage financing vehicles exist. There is no secondary market for mortgages or other bundled revenue streams. The judiciary is inconsistent when adjudicating property disputes. Senegal ranked 152out of 189 countries in the 2016 Doing Business indicator for Registering Property.

Intellectual Property Rights

Senegal maintains a legal framework for protection of intellectual property (IP), but has limited institutional capacity to implement this framework and enforce IP protections. Senegal has been a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since its inception. Senegal is also a member of the African Organization of Intellectual Property (OAPI), a grouping of 15 francophone African countries with a common system for obtaining and maintaining protection for patents, trademarks and industrial designs. Local statutes recognize reciprocal protection for authors or artists who are nationals of countries adhering to the 1991 Paris Convention on Intellectual Property Rights. In particular:

Patents: Patents are protected for 20 years. An annual charge is levied during this period. Trade secrets and computer chip design are respected.

Trademarks: Registered trademarks are protected for a period of 20 years. Trademarks may be renewed indefinitely by subsequent registrations.

Copyrights: Senegal is a signatory to the Bern Copyright Convention. The Senegalese Copyright Office, part of the Ministry of Culture, attempts to enforce copyright obligations. The bootlegging of music cassettes and CDs is common and of concern to the local music industry. The Copyright Office has taken actions to combat media piracy, including seizure of counterfeit cassettes and CD/DVDs and in 2008 established a special police unit to better enforce the country's anti-piracy and counterfeit laws.

However, despite an adequate legal and regulatory framework, enforcement of intellectual property rights is weak. In general, the government has limited capacity to combat IPR violations or to seize counterfeit goods. Customs screening for counterfeit goods coming from China, Nigeria, Dubai and other centers of illegal production is limited and confiscated goods occasionally re-appear in the market. Nonetheless, the government has made efforts to raise awareness of the impact of counterfeit products on the Senegalese marketplace, and officers have participated in trainings offered by manufacturers to identify counterfeit products.

For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at

Resources for Rights Holders

Contact at Mission:

Country/Economy resources: The American Chamber of Commerce ( can provide additional information on services available in Senegal. A list of attorneys in Senegal can also be found on the Embassy website:

7. Transparency of the Regulatory SystemShare    

Senegal has made progress towards developing independent regulatory institutions, including regulators for the energy, telecommunication and financial sectors and increasing transparency of its regulatory system. The government has made good governance and transparency in the management of public affairs a high priority. While Senegal lacks established procedures for a public comment process for proposed laws and regulations, the Government frequently holds public hearings and workshops to discuss proposed initiatives.

The Commission for Regulation of the Electricity Sector (CRSE) was established in 1998 as an independent agency that regulates the electricity sector. The government is preparing to expand the CRSE’s role to include regulation of hydrocarbon fuels. The CRSE holds public consultations every three years as part of its technical process for reviewing electricity tariffs. The Agency for Regulation of Telecommunications and Posts (ARTP) is responsible for licensing and regulation of telecommunications in Senegal and the Central Bank for West African States (BCEAO) is responsible for regulation of financial institutions. In October 2013, Senegal was approved as a candidate country for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The government of Senegal has begun the process of implementing EITI requirements with completed its first EITI report for Senegal in 2015.

Senegal is a member of UNCTAD’s international network of transparent investment procedures Foreign and national investors can find detailed information on administrative procedures applicable to investment and income generating operations including the number of steps, name and contact details of the entities and persons in charge of procedures, required documents and conditions, costs, processing time and legal bases for procedures.

8. Efficient Capital Markets and Portfolio InvestmentShare    

In 2014 and 2011, Senegal issued two 500 million Eurobond offerings that increased Senegal's visibility on international financial markets. The government regularly issues bonds in local currency on the regional market with support from a regional debt office located in the regional central bank, BCEAO.

The West African Regional Stock Exchange (BRVM), headquartered in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire with local offices in each of the WAEMU member countries offers additional opportunities to attract foreign capital and access diversified sources of financing. However, through 2014, only one Senegalese company, Sonatel, has traded on the BRVM.

Legal, regulatory and accounting systems closely follow French models and WAEMU countries present their financial statements in accordance with the SYSCOA system, which is based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in France.

Money and Banking System, Hostile Takeovers

While Senegal's banking system is generally sound, domestic investment is constrained by an under-developed financial sector. Senegal's twenty commercial banks, primarily from France, Nigeria, Morocco and Togo, generally maintain conservative lending guidelines, high interest rates and collateral requirements that limit access to finance. Few firms are eligible for long-term loans, and small and medium sized enterprises have little access to credit. Citibank (United States) operates in Senegal as an investment bank. Senegal's banking sector is regulated by the regional central bank (Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest or BCEAO) and the regional banking commission for West Africa Economic and Monetary Union.

9. Competition from State-Owned EnterprisesShare    

Senegal has progressively reduced government involvement in state-owned companies during the last three decades, so that only a handful of state-owned enterprises remain involved in the energy, agriculture and industrial sectors. The state-owned electricity company, SENELEC, retains control over power transmission and distribution, but relies increasingly on independent power producers to generate Senegal's power supply. The government has also retained control of the state-owned oil company Petrosen which is involved in hydrocarbon exploration in partnership with foreign oil companies and operates a small refinery dependent on government subsidies. The government of Senegal has limited and declining involvement in agriculture, including a state-owned company involved in rice production. Senegal is not party to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of SOEs

The Direction du Secteur parapublic ( is the entity that exercises ownership rights for each of the SOEs and the agencies. The budget includes financial allocations to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) (annex 10), including subsidies for the state-owned power company (SENELEC). SOE revenues are not projected in budget documents, but actual revenues are included in quarterly reports by the Finance Ministry office responsible for SOEs. Senegal’s supreme audit institution (Cour des Comptes) and Inspector General Office (Inspection Générale d’Etat) conduct audits of the public sector and SOEs and posts reports on the Cour des Comptes and IGE websites ( and These reports are only published with a significant delay. Under its Policy Support Instrument with the International Monetary Fund, Senegal plans to develop performance contracts for SOEs.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

In 2012, Senegal established a sovereign wealth fund (Sovereign Strategic Investment Fund or FONSIS) with a mandate to leverage public assets to support equity investments in commercial projects supporting economic development objectives. Senegal maintains several taxes and funds allocated for specific purposes such as expanding access to transportation, energy and telecommunications, including the autonomous road maintenance fund and the energy support fund. For these funds, some information is included in budget annexes; these funds are subject to the same auditing and oversight mechanisms as ordinary budgetary spending.

10. Responsible Business ConductShare    

The government participates in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). In 2015, Senegal completed its first annual EITI report, providing a check on the official government revenues for extractive industries and also expanding the information available on natural resource concessions. Completing the first year of the EITI process, and publication of Senegal’s first EITI report in 2015, has helped to strengthen interagency cooperation and establish procedures for improved tracking and reporting of natural resource revenues. Under the EITI process, the GOS has made progress in collecting and publicizing information on natural resource concessions.

The Government of Senegal publishes some information about natural resource concessions in its official journal (, including details of the geographic area, resources under development, the companies involved and the duration of the contract, in practice this reporting does not cover all natural resource concessions. Specifically, between 2008 and 2015, the Official Journal website contains relevant information about four natural resource concessions, including those available at[1].

11. Political ViolenceShare    

Senegal has long been regarded as an anchor of stability in a West Africa region that is vulnerable to political unrest. It is the only mainland West African country that has never had a coup d’etat since gaining independence in 1960. Senegal experienced sporadic incidents of political violence during the lead up to national elections in March 2012 due to strong opposition to former President Wade's decision to seek reelection for a third term. However, the 2012 election reinforced Senegal’s reputation as the strongest democracy in West Africa. Public protests occasionally spawn isolated incidents of violence when unions, opposition parties, merchants or students demand better salaries, working conditions or other benefits. Sporadic incidents of violence as result of petty banditry continue in the Casamance region, which has suffered from a three-decade-old conflict ignited by a local rebel movement seeking independence for the region, but the level of violence has declined in recent years as the government and rebel groups have engaged in negotiations to resolve the conflict.

12. CorruptionShare    

Since taking office in 2012, President Macky Sall has emphasized his commitment to fighting corruption, increasing transparency and promoting good governance. He reactivated the Court of Repossession of Illegally Acquired Assets to investigate corruption by former government officials. Sall also created new institutions such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission (OFNAC) and procedures to require asset declarations from public officials. OFNAC is composed of twelve members appointed by decree with a mission to fight corruption, embezzlement of public funds and fraud. The government of Senegal has also taken steps to increase budget transparency in line with regional standards. Senegal ranked 61th out of 168 countries, in Transparency International's 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), representing a substantial increase over Senegal's 99th place ranking in 2011.

Notwithstanding Senegal's positive reputation for corruption relative to regional peers, investors continue to report corruption as an issue at lower levels of the bureaucracy where officials with modest salaries may demand “tips” for advancing permits and other official paperwork. It is important for U.S. companies to assess corruption risks and develop an effective compliance program or measures to prevent and detect corruption, including foreign bribery. U.S. firms operating in Senegal can underscore to interlocutors in Senegal that they are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the U.S. and may consider seeking legal counsel to ensure compliance with anti-corruption laws in the U.S. and Senegal.

Senegal's financial intelligence unit, Cellule Nationale de Traitement des Informations Financières (CENTIF) is responsible for investigating money laundering and terrorist financing. CENTIF has broad authority to investigate suspicious financial transactions, including those of government officials.

The U.S. Government seeks to level the global playing field for U.S. businesses by encouraging other countries to take steps to criminalize all acts of corruption, including bribery of foreign public officials, and requiring them to uphold their obligations under relevant international conventions. A U.S. firm that believes a competitor is seeking to use bribery of a foreign public official to secure a contract may bring this to the attention of appropriate U.S. agencies.

UN Anticorruption Convention, OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery

Senegal is a signatory of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption but it is not a signatory of the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Nafy Ngom Keita
OFNAC (Office National de Lutte Contre La Fraude et la Corruption)
37, Avenue du Président Lamine Gueye
+221 33 889 98 38

Mouhamadou Mbodj
Coordinateur General
Forum Civil
40 Avenue Malick Sy (1er étage) – B.P. 28 554 – Dakar
+221 33 842.40.44

13. Bilateral Investment AgreementsShare    

Bilateral Taxation Treaties

Senegal and the U.S. have a Bilateral Investment Treaty, which provides for Most Favored Nation treatment for investors, internationally recognized standards of compensation in the event of expropriation, free transfer of capital and profits, and procedures for dispute settlement, including international arbitration. A copy of the Bilateral Investment Treaty can be found at:

Senegal has signed similar agreements for protection of investment with France, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Romania, Japan, Australia, China, Iran, Morocco, and Sudan. Senegal has concluded tax treaties with France, Mali, and West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) member states. There is currently no tax treaty and no imminent prospect of one between the United States and Senegal.

14. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance ProgramsShare    

OPIC has an agreement in Senegal and offers financing and investment insurance to support U.S. investment projects in Senegal. OPIC is currently supporting several investment projects in Senegal including two energy projects, one microfinance project and an agro-business project. Senegal is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), an arm of the World Bank.

15. LaborShare    

Senegal has an abundant supply of unskilled and semi-skilled labor, with a more limited supply of skilled workers in engineering and technical fields. While Senegal has one of the best higher educational systems in West Africa and produces a substantial pool of educated workers, limited job opportunities in Senegal lead many to look outside of the country for employment.

Relations between employees and employers are governed by the labor code, industry-wide collective bargaining agreements, company regulations and individual employment contracts. There are two powerful industry associations that represent management's interests: the National Council of Employers (CNP) and the National Employers' Association (CNES). The principal labor unions are the National Confederation of Senegalese Workers (CNTS), and the National Association of Senegalese Union Workers (UNSAS), a federation of independent labor unions.

Senegalese law permits all workers to form unions with limited exceptions for security force members, including police and gendarmes, customs officers, and judges. The labor code requires prior authorization from the Ministry of Interior by giving the ministry discretionary power to issue a document recognizing a trade union before it can exist legally. The law allows unions to conduct their activities without interference and provides for the right to bargain collectively. Collective bargaining agreements, however, apply only to an estimated 44 percent of union workers. Trade unions organize on an industry-wide basis, very similar to the French system of union organization, though most workers are involved in informal sector occupations where they are often self-employed and not subject to the labor code.

The inflexibility of the Labor Code, the complexity of labor issues and arbitrary court rulings in labor cases are often high on the list of complaints by investors and foreign companies. Foreign firms are often sued in the Senegalese courts by terminated employees to recover damages and return to their former positions. Although adverse court decisions are sometimes overturned on appeal, the appeals process is costly and time consuming.

16. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade FacilitationShare    

Senegal plans to develop the Dakar Integrated Special Economic Zone (DISEZ), under direction of the Export Promotion Authority (APIX) on a designated area adjacent to the Blaise Diagne International Airport currently under construction outside of Dakar. The government plans to develop additional energy and port infrastructure in areas near the DISEZ project site. Once completed the DISEZ project expects to offer industrial development sites with expedited administrative procedures, long-term tax and customs incentives and a package of associated utilities and logistical services. An earlier initiative, the Dakar Free Industrial Zone (ZFID), provided licenses and limited support services for another designated industrial zone, but ZFID stopped issuing new licenses in 1999. Firms already located in ZFID may continue receiving benefits until 2016. Senegal wants to develop additional Special Economic Zones in other cities, including Ziguinchor in the southern Casamance region. For details on DISEZ, see:

17. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment StatisticsShare    

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy


Host Country Statistical source

USG or international statistical source

USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

Economic Data






Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD)


$13.42 billion


$15.66 billion

Foreign Direct Investment

Host Country Statistical source

USG or international statistical source

USG or international Source of data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)





Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions)





Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP






Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI in 2014

Source: IMF’s Coordinated Direct Investment Survey

Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data

From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)

Inward Direct Investment

Outward Direct Investment

Total Inward



Total Outward






Burkina Faso












Cote d’Ivoire















"0" reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.

Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment

Data not available.

18. Contact for More InformationShare    

Youhanidou Wane Ba
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Embassy, Route des Almadies, B.P. 49, Dakar, Senegal
Phone: +221 33 879 4238

[1] Fiscal Transparency Assessment FY 2016 for Senegal