Canadian development assistance in Senegal
Senegal is one of the world’s poorest countries. In 2016 it ranked 162nd out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index. Wealth distribution in the country is very unequal, with a higher poverty rate in rural areas.
In 2015 Senegal currently has approximately 15.13 million inhabitants (2015). The population is young with an estimated 62% of Senegalese under the age of 25. 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
- disappearance of vegetation
Drought in the Sahel is exposing Senegal to recurring food and nutrition crises.
Senegal has considerable socio-economic potential despite the existence of challenges that slow down its development. On the economic front, after a cycle of weak growth over the period 2006-2013, the last three years have been marked by interesting progress with growth rates above 4.5%. Senegal is now the second largest economy in French-speaking Africa after Côte d'Ivoire. According to the latest data (IMF, April 2017), GDP growth was more than 6% in 2016, a first in twelve years. Senegal aspires to become an emerging country by 2035.
Senegal plays a leading role on the African continent. It is an example of democracy and political stability in West Africa. The transition to power following the March 2012 presidential elections and the July 2012 parliamentary elections demonstrates the maturity of Senegal's democratic tradition. The next presidential election is due to take place in 2019.
In its new strategy for economic growth and poverty reduction, the "Senegal Emerging Plan" (PES), launched in 2012, Senegal has defined its development priorities according to the following three main axes:
- growth and development of new sectors that generate wealth, jobs and social inclusion
- improving living conditions for the populace and addressing social inequalities
- governance, institutions, peace and security (including human rights)
Our international development assistance
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Canada is a long-standing partner of Senegal with investments in development assistance of more than $ 1.3 billion since 1962. Our activities in the country aim to reduce poverty and promote inclusive economic growth and development that will benefit all Senegalese and particularly Sengalese women. This objective is consistent with the Emerging Senegal Plan. To do this, Canada is focusing support on targeted actions in three areas:
- Invest in the future of Senegalese children and youth, especially girls, so that they have access to quality education and training that respond to labor market needs and can study in a safe and secure environment that is respectful of their rights
- Enhance food security and nutrition by supporting agriculture modernization, adaptation to climate change and better water management, and facilitating agricultural and rural entrepreneurship for women and youth
- Promote inclusive and accountable governance to create an enabling environment for implementation, decentralization and civic and political participation
Delivering help and achieving results
Canada supports the Government of Senegal so that girls and boys have access to quality education and vocational training. Canada is also working in partnership with the Senegalese government and with multilateral and Canadian organizations to enhance the protection of those who are marginalized by the education system to create a school environment that is safe and respectful of their rights, including girls’ rights. The main expected rights are:
- Increased elementary school completion rates for boys and girls owing to inclusive, safe, violence-free and gender sensitive schools
- Delivery, by Senegalese ministries, of a more inclusive, fairer and higher quality education program for youth, particularly for girls and women
Canada's Senegal Development Program also seeks to increase food security by promoting sustainable agricultural development and improving nutrition and health for mothers and children. Canada, with the support of its partners, aims to strengthen the capacity of farmers, especially women, to acquire better inputs, new technologies to increase productivity, Climate-friendly agriculture. The main expected results are:
- Increased productivity, including of nutritious food, by farm producers
- Increased consumption of nutritious agricultural products by the Senegalese population, particularly women and children
Finally, in the area of governance, Canada is supporting Senegal in the implementation of the Emerging Senegal Plan to engage the country in a strong, inclusive and job-creating growth dynamic. In order to stimulate sustainable economic growth in Canada, Canada supports the implementation of reforms to improve public financial management and create an enabling environment for investment in key sectors of the Senegalese economy. The main expected results are:
- Increased effectiveness of Senegal’s institutional framework in implementing public programs and policies
Ensuring aid effectiveness
Senegal adheres to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action. 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.
In Senegal, Canada is showing leadership in coordination and consultation with other donors, governments and partners. For example, since February 2017, Canada has assumed the co-chairmanship of the G50. This is the main coordination group of technical and financial partners in Senegal, and the leading role of the Technical and Financial Partners in Vocational and Technical Training.
Canada also chairs the G7 group supporting the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. Finally, Canada is the donor coordinator of the "Scaling-up Nutrition" movement in Senegal, and it is the largest bilateral donor in education, giving it the opportunity to further contribute to improving Organization and harmonization of aid in this important sector.
Education, vocational and technical training
- In the education sector, Canada’s assistance has helped distribute 3.3 million textbooks to date and improve access to and the quality of primary education for 1.8 million Senegalese girls and boys
- With Canada’s support, significant progress has been made in the education and vocational training sector to improve gender equality in Senegal. In 2015-2016, 141 women were appointed to positions of responsibility within Senegal’s Ministry of National Education and Ministry of Vocational Training, Learning and Craft Industries
- Advances have been made in promoting girls’ access to vocational training in traditionally male sectors. As part of the Canada-funded Support to Learning Development and Integration Project, 126 young girls were trained in various career-developing occupations, including in primarily male-dominated sectors, representing an important lever for reducing access, integration and retention inequalities
Agricultural development, female entrepreneurship and innovation in rural areas
- With Canada’s support, the creation of a major investment fund made available to rice producers in the Senegal River Valley helped 1,735 women acquire equipment and infrastructure better adapted to their needs, allowing them to increase their processing capacity and improve the quality and market value of marketed rice
- The introduction and use of innovative technologies is also an important breakthrough for Senegalese women. Thanks to the Economic Development of Casamance Program, a Canada-supported initiative of Senegal’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, today, 1,581 women are using higher performing technologies that are helping them increase the productivity of their agricultural activities and better respond to market requirements
Economic governance and public financial management
- Canada supported the Government of Senegal in implementing the Emerging Senegal Plan and key reforms to enhance the performance of its public institutions and the growth of its economy. Canada contributed to the creation of the National Office for the Fight Against Fraud and Corruption, improved the functioning of the Court of Auditors (equivalent to the Auditor General of Canada) and assisted the Government’s efforts to improve public financial management.
- Canada supported the efforts of the Government of Senegal to improve its fiscal transparency practices. The availability of state budgetary and financial reports has enabled citizens to be better informed about the allocation and use of public funds, marking a new milestone in the pursuit of effective and accountable management of Public finances in Senegal
- Fact Sheet: Senegal – Canada’s Priority Market
- La Francophonie
- The Embassy of Canada to Senegal
- United Nations Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index
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