International development projects in Senegal

Map of projects in Senegal
International Development Project Browser

2012-2013 CIDA Disbursements in Senegal

CIDA Disbursements in Senegal
CIDA Disbursements$M
Long-Term Development Assistance67.09
Humanitarian Assistance3.3


Senegal is one of the world’s poorest countries. In 2011, 29.6 percent of its inhabitants lived on less than US$1.25 per day. It ranked 163 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2013 Human Development Index. Wealth distribution in the country is very unequal, with a higher poverty rate in rural areas.

Senegal currently has approximately 14.13 million inhabitants, 53 percent of whom are under the age of 20 and 55 percent of whom live in rural areas. The country has low productivity and very high levels of unemployment and underemployment, especially among youth. Not everyone has access to basic education, and illiteracy is widespread, especially among women and girls. Environmental degradation is hindering development in some regions, where food security is threatened by such things as accelerating soil erosion, salinization and the disappearance of vegetation. Drought in the Sahel is exposing Senegal to recurring food and nutrition crises.

Senegal plays a lead role in Africa. It is an example of democracy and political stability in West Africa. The transition of power following the presidential elections of March 2012 and the legislative elections of July 2012 demonstrates the maturity of Senegal’s democratic tradition.

In its new strategy for economic growth and poverty reduction—the Emerging Senegal Plan—introduced in February 2014, Senegal outlined its development priorities based on the following three key areas:

  • growth and development of new sectors that generate wealth, jobs and social inclusion;
  • improving living conditions for the populace and addressing social inequalities; and
  • governance, institutions, peace and security (including human rights).

Development assistance

Senegal is one of the Government of Canada’s 25 countries of focus for international development efforts. Since 1969, Canada has been one of Senegal’s development partners and has invested more than $1.2 billion in official development assistance there.

Canada’s activities in Senegal are aimed at reducing poverty and fostering sustainable and inclusive economic growth for all Senegalese. This is in line with the objectives set out in the Emerging Senegal Plan.

The country strategy for Senegal (2009) guides Canada’s development assistance support, and activities focus on Canada’s priority themes: children and youth, and food security. Governance, the environment and gender equality are crosscutting themes in all of Canada’s interventions in Senegal. Sustainable economic growth is also an increasingly large component of Canadian intervention.

On November 12, 2013, Canada and Senegal signed the Mutual Accountability Framework for development cooperation. This agreement is the first of its kind for Canadian cooperation. The goal of the framework is to reaffirm the foundations of transparent, effective and sustainable cooperation. The framework includes clear commitments, anticipated results and rigorous monitoring processes.

Development assistance priorities

Children and youth

Canada contributes to achieving the following objectives of improving:

  • quality of education; and
  • management of, and access to, basic education, especially for girls.

Key anticipated results

  • The gross enrolment rate of girls and boys in Senegal’s basic education system will be higher.
  • A higher percentage of girls and boys will finish primary school.
  • A greater number of teachers will receive skills-based-approach training.
  • The new basic education curriculum will be implemented in the country’s 7,500 schools.
  • The school environment will be safer and more conducive to learning.

Food security

Canada contributes to achieving the following objectives of:

  • increasing the output of small-scale farmers;
  • increasing product diversification and commercialization; and
  • improving access to microfinance in rural areas.

Key anticipated results

  • Agri-food production, diversification and marketing will be increased by improving the productivity of 16,000 small-scale producers in the Casamance, Niayes and Senegal River regions.
  • Access to markets, including more lucrative markets, will be improved for agricultural producers and processors.
  • Farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs, both women and men, will have better access to microfinance.

Progress on Aid Effectiveness

Under the leadership of Senegal’s government, donor harmonization and coordination is improving from year to year, prompting the government to take more and more responsibility for development, and leading to increasingly effective donor cooperation.

There is a well-organized division of labour among the donors that are contributing to Senegal’s development. Canada chairs the group of donors providing conditional budget support to Senegal, as well as the G-7 group supporting the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. Canada is also coordinating the donors of the “Scaling Up Nutrition” Movement in Senegal and is one of the leading bilateral donors in the field of education, which provides Canada with the opportunity to further contribute to improving aid coordination and harmonization.



Achievements 2013-2014

Children and youth

  • In 2013, 1.8 million Senegalese children were enrolled in school.
  • More Senegalese children now finish primary school, with a completion rate of 66.5 percent (2013). This is particularly true among girls (70.8 percent of girls versus 60.9 percent of boys). The reasons for this include a better distribution of education availability and a decrease in the dropout and repetition rates.
  • All 53,000 primary school teachers, including 17,500 women, and some 7,809 principals received training in the skills-based approach, a Canadian model.
  • Canada also contributed to a more direct improvement of the learning conditions of more than 75,187 students, including 36,332 girls, in 451 schools by improving the physical environment and providing food rations.
  • Activities to promote gender equality have also been successful, so much so that the number of girls at the primary level is now higher than the number of boys (98.6 percent of girls compared with 89.5 percent of boys).
  • The growing number of students receiving vocational and technical training hit 48,000 in 2013, compared with 37,516 in 2011, in such areas as mechanical and electrical fields, computers, refrigeration and air conditioning, food services, hairdressing and the sewing industry, to name but a few.
  • Canada helped the Government of Senegal to modernize its textbook-procurement procedures. This support provides for the distribution of some 4.5 million textbooks over four years to 1.8 million students at all elementary school levels in Senegal, ending the chronic shortage of textbooks throughout the country. For the beginning of the 2014 school year, Canada contributed to the entire process of procuring and nationally distributing more than 1.4 million French and mathematics textbooks.
  • In addition to radically improving teaching conditions at the elementary level, textbooks have been shown to be one of the tools that have the most impact on the quality of student learning.

Food security

  • Canada provided some form of support to 102,000 producers, including more than 54,400 women, in Niayes, Casamance and the Senegal River valley.
  • In total, Canada helped provide training to some 12,000 producers, including more than 6,500 women, to improve their farming practices in several production sectors, including honey, cashews, mangoes, forest fruits and casuarina wood.
  • Canada helped increase rice paddy production in the Senegal River Valley delta from 25,000 tons in 2008 to 56,917 tons in 2013, generating a 53-percent increase in revenues for farmers over that period (from 255,971 to 391,431 CFA francs per hectare).
  • This production increase accounted for 17 percent of Senegal’s domestic production in 2013, narrowing the self-sufficiency gap. This increase is the equivalent of the annual consumption of about 400,000 people and 3.6 percent of the self-sufficiency gap.
  • Canada helped create 461 jobs, 272 of which are held by women, in the apian, cashew and fruit-processing sectors in Casamance.
  • Canada helped create 2,617 jobs, 1,496 of which are held by women, in the agricultural operations and processing sectors.
  • Canada helped computerize a total of 72 microfinance institutions at 226 locations, with some 190,000 members, all told.
  • Canada helped distribute food vouchers to 58,613 recipients, including 31,065 women, and set up 160 grain banks, benefiting 96,000 recipients, including 59,520 women, improving access to foodstuffs and increasing the household food consumption score from 6 percent to 34 percent in the regions of Ziguinchor, Kolda, Sédhiou, Matam, Tamba, Kédougou, Kaolack, Fatick, Louga and Saint Louis.
  • Canada helped treat 2,850 children under the age of 5 suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and 38,504 children between 6 and 23 months of age suffering from moderate acute malnutrition.