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Senegal is a West African country south of the Senegal River, with the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the North, Mali to the east and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the South.

Eastern Senegal was once part of the Ghana Empire. In the 13th and 14th centuries the area came under the influence of the Mandingo Empire and the Jolof Empire of Senegal was founded during this time.

In the 15th Century various foreign powers struggled for a foothold in Senegal such as Portugal, Netherlands and Great Britain. In 1677 France was in control of the Island of Goree near modern day Dakar – that was the departure point for a lot of West African slaves who were shipped from the island.

In January 1959, Senegal and the French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation, which became independent on June 20th 1960 and a transfer of power agreement was signed with France on April 4th 1960.

The Federation broke up and in 1982 Senegal joined up with The Gambia and formed the Senegambia on February 1st 1982 – this then was dissolved in 1989.

Senegal is now a republic. Senegal’s industries include mining, food processing, artificial fertilizer, chemicals, textiles, refining imported petroleum and tourism. It also exports fish, cotton fabric, groundnuts, calcium phosphate and chemicals

Some of Senegal’s foreign markets include India, USA, UK and Italy. Senegal has over a population of 11million and to date most African and Portuguese communities have thrived together  - infact the Cape Verdeans speak the native Creole and standard Portuguese

The Flag

The flag of Senegal derived its origin from the former Mali Federation whose flag had a black silhouette in the middle of the flag and comprised of the Pan African colours being green, gold and red. In place of the black silhouette though is a green star! The flag as we know it today was adopted in August 20th 1960

The Coat of Arms of Senegal dates from the 1960s and reads Un Peuple Un But, Une Foi which translates from French to One People, One Goal, One Faith

Did you know that Youssou N’Dour the great singer comes from Senegal and has performed at three of the Live 8 concerts (in London, Paris and Cornwall)?

Did you also know that in 2006 Youssou N’Dour played the Africa –British abolitionist Olaudah Equiano in the movie Amazing Grace which chronicles the efforts of William Wilberforce to end slavery in the British Empire?

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