H.E. President Macky Sall, Senegal
Also available in French
Like many countries globally, Senegal endured a particularly difficult 2020-2021 due to disruptions wrought by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, thanks to a number of important reforms that Senegal has been implementing over the past five years, the country is on track to continue a strong post-pandemic economic recovery in 2022, with an even more robust phase of growth anticipated in 2023 and 2024, when Senegal’s large offshore oil and gas discoveries begin production.
Prior to the participation of a Senegalese delegation at Africa Energy Week 2021 in Cape Town earlier this month, another high-level contingent of Senegal’s leadership showcased the country’s achievements to date at Expo 2020 Dubai that kicked off in October. During a special event hosted by Senegal at the global expo, H.E. President Sall discussed some of the large-scale projects that have been the hallmarks of his administration, including road, rail and maritime infrastructure, the Regional Express Train (TER) to be inaugurated in December 2021, and the ongoing construction of the Port of The Future to be located at Ndayane.
According to H.E. President Sall, the Senegalese pavilion in Dubai represented “a mere sample for the world to see what Senegal does best in terms of progress and development, particularly the Smart Senegal Project, the TER or the Port of the Future. Three modern connectivity projects that are linked to the theme of Expo 2020 Dubai… The universal exposition offers a unique meeting point for commercial exchanges that are conducive to economic and commercial exchanges as well as fostering investment. That is why our private sector is actively represented here.”
H.E. President Sall stated that the best result that Senegal could hope to achieve from Expo 2020 Dubai would be “to make Senegal even better known than it already is today, for the quality of the country’s human resources, the talents and the products that we export, from arts and crafts to tourism, or the many investment opportunities. Senegal wants to attract FDI to the key sectors that will support our economic development priorities as articulated in the Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE).”
The PSE is another salient achievement of H.E. President Sall, putting in place crucial timelines and benchmarks for Senegal to achieve its multiple and ambitious economic development objectives. The administration of H.E. President Sall has focused first and foremost on tapping Senegal’s rich human capital resources, supported by a number of good governance initiatives, increased transparency and accelerated digitalization and modernization of Senegal’s economy.
Complementing the achievements attained thus far under the PSE, a number of other progressive initiatives are being undertaken by the private sector to stimulate economic growth and improve overall quality of life of Senegal’s citizens. Caisse Nationale des Depots Et Consignations (CDC), one of Senegal’s largest institutional investors, is currently looking for partners to accompany it in a number of strategic projects, and has already forged partnerships in areas set for rapid growth, such as helicopter transportation for offshore oil rigs. The CDC also recently invested in a photovoltaic project located in Bokhol, one of the first of its kind in West Africa. In addition to CDC, there are several players in Senegal’s financial sector that are eager to tap potential private sector investment to capitalize on the forthcoming oil and gas boom that Dakar is set to experience.
Another crucial pillar upon which Senegal has built its success over the past decade is a firmly-rooted democratic tradition, serving as a crucial bastion of stability on the borderlands of an oftentimes volatile Sahel region. Senegal is playing an essential role in fighting regional security threats such terrorism and transnational crime that has shaken the stability of some of the weaker states that border Senegal, or those in the wider sub-region. The country has very capable armed forces and is also strategically located in the heart of West Africa. As a result, Senegal has facilitated successful military operations with international partners, as was the case a few years ago, when it prevented neighboring Mali from being overrun by extremists.
It is not a coincidence that Senegal will soon be playing an even more important role in sub-Saharan Africa as H.E. President Sall assumes the chairmanship of the African Union at the start of 2022. The country aims to continue its long track record of successfully using diplomacy not just to ensure security and promote national interests, but also to support regional economic growth and development.
As Minister of Petroleum and Energy H.E. Sophie Gladima recently emphasized during the Senegal Country Spotlight that took place during Africa Energy Week 2021, major cross-border oil and gas projects like Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA), the massive offshore natural gas project located on the border between Senegal and Mauritania, is an excellent example of what can be achieved with strong and sustained efforts to promote regional cooperation.
Senegal and other member countries of the MSGBC Basin (Mauritania, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry) are all eager to maintain the positive interest and momentum that was on display at Expo 2020 Dubai. Accordingly, these countries and their leading national companies will do so by engaging with regional and international investors at the upcoming MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021 Conference & Exhibition taking place in Dakar on December 16-17.