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Canada-Senegal relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and Senegal established diplomatic relations in 1962, after the independence of Senegal in 1960. Relations between the two countries are close and touch on a wide range of activities. Already considering Senegal an important and reliable partner, Canada takes measures to further develop its relations with this country, which acts as a reference regarding democratic governance and sustainable economic development measures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Canada and Senegal work closely together in order to promote peace and regional security. The relations between the two countries also contribute to the economic and commercial growth in key sectors, such as: education, mines, gas, oil, clean energies, security and IT.

In Senegal, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Dakar.

Senegal is represented in Canada by the Embassy of Senegal in Ottawa (French only). Honorary Consuls are also present in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Winnipeg (Saint-Boniface), and Vancouver.

Senegal’s students in Canada

As of March 30th, 2021, 4,083 Senegalese students were in Canada.

Trade relations

In 2021, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Senegal totaled $184.1 million, including $179.2 million in exports and $4.9 million in imports. Canada's commercial involvement in Senegal features a significant growth potential, including in the mining, agriculture, oil, gas, clean energy and digital sectors. Agricultural and marine products, phosphate mining, oil refining and construction materials are the country's main industrial sectors. Canadian companies are strategically important in other sectors, such as education (textbooks), agriculture, the industry and transport sectors, as well as in the fields of consultation and engineering. There are Canadian mining companies presently active in Senegal.

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Development and humanitarian assistance

Canada is a long-standing partner in Senegal's development, having provided nearly $1.3 billion in official development assistance since 1962 and playing a significant role in reducing poverty in Senegal. In 2020-21, Canada's official development assistance to Senegal surpassed $78 million (all funding channels combined). Through its bilateral assistance program, Canada supports the implementation of the Plan Sénégal Émergent, Senegal's national strategy for economic and social development, with investments in several key sectors including: education and vocational training, climate-smart agricultural development, health and nutrition, and inclusive governance.

Canada is also supporting Senegal in its efforts to reduce gender inequalities, strengthen the rights of girls and women, and promote their full participation in society. In addition, Canada contributes to development efforts in Senegal through strong institutional support to multilateral organizations, including UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the World Food Program. Flagship initiatives implemented by international organizations, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Nutrition International, the Movement for Scaling Up Nutrition and the Global Partnership for Education.

Canada also supports initiatives implemented by Canadian partners, including Canadian non-governmental organizations, universities, colleges and CEGEPs. Canadian NGOs, professional volunteers, and youth interns are particularly active in the country, sharing expertise, exchanging knowledge and learning from the Senegalese, building strong bridges between Canada and Senegal every year.

See the Project Browser for more details on programming in Senegal.

Peace and security

Canada and Senegal work in close collaboration to promote peace and security in the region. The two countries participated in many peacekeeping initiatives. Senegal's Armed Forces (SAF) are involved in Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP).

As a part of the Elsie Initiative for the Significant Participation of Women in Peace Operations, Senegal helps define and promote the initiative as a member of the contact group. Canada is also supporting Senegal in implementing its Armed Forced Gender Integration Strategy in order to increase the number of women in its ranks. The Senegalese police and gendarmerie were some of the first beneficiaries of the Elsie Initiative Fund to eliminate the barriers that women face in the organization and to participate in peace operations.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Senegal work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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