Coordinates: 14°N 14°W / 14°N 14°W
Senegal (/ˌ s ɛ n ɪ ˈ ɡ ɔː l, -ˈ ɡ ɑː l/ ( listen);  French: Sénégal ), officially the Republic of Senegal (French: République du Sénégal [ʁepyblik dy seneɡal]), is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal also borders The Gambia, a country occupying a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River, which separates Senegal"s southern region of Casamance from the rest of the country. Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Senegal"s economic and political capital is Dakar. It is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World, or Afro-Eurasia, and owes its name to the Senegal River, which borders it to the east and north. The name "Senegal" comes from the Wolof "Sunuu Gaal", which means "Our Boat". Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi) and has an estimated population of about 15 million. The climate is Sahelian, but there is a rainy season.
Cultures and influences [ edit ]
The territory of modern Senegal has been inhabited by various ethnic groups since prehistory. Organized kingdoms emerged around the seventh century, and parts of the country were ruled by prominent regional empires such as the Jolof Empire. The present state of Senegal has its roots in European colonialism, which began during the mid-15th century, when various European powers began competing for trade in the area. The establishment of coastal trading posts gradually led to control of the mainland, culminating in French rule of the area by the 19th century, albeit amid much local resistance. Senegal peacefully attained independence from France in 1960, and has since been among the more politically stable countries in Africa.
Senegal"s economy is centered mostly on commodities and natural resources. Major industries are fish processing, phosphate mining, fertilizer production, petroleum