Senegal is a country opened to the world. Its geographical position makes it a special platform and gateway to West Africa. The country receives over 500,000 tourists per year and has facilities for visa and residential formalities for both tourists and foreign investors. The capital, Dakar, renowned for its quality of life, is a crossroads where many international meetings are regularly held.

A small  heavenly spot

Senegal is a beautiful country, a heavenly spot which one is always thrilled to discover. Its warm climate and sunny days throughout the year make it an exclusive destination. The spontaneous reception and legendary hospitality of its peoples is among the characteristic features of this inlet to West Africa.

Visa application formalities and establishment requirements

To enter Senegal, a valid passport (preferably expiring 3 months after the end of the stay) is required.

 

A Visa is also compulsory, except for ECOWAS and European Union nationals. Nationals of other countries should contact the closest Senegalese representation. Visas are issued by Senegalese Embassies and Consulates in various West African countries and in other parts of the world.

 

To obtain a residential permit, the following documents should be provided:

 

§         A hand-written (or typed) application addressed to the Interior Minister;

§         A photocopy of the valid visa, including the applicant's date of arrival in Senegal;

§         A police record from the applicant's country of origin, not more than 3 months' old;

§         A birth certificate ;

§         A medical certificate issued within the past 3 months;

§         A repatriation guarantee which varies according to the investor's nationality (75 000 CFA F for French nationals) * or a waiver of the said guarantee granted by the Interior Ministry. Technical assistants and NGOs are exempted from such a guarantee;

§         Fiscal stamps worth 15 200  CFA F;

§         3 passport-sized photos;

§         professional references (company status, companies' register, etc.)

 

The authorisation to establish in Senegal entitles the applicant to a foreign identity card.

 

 

The Investment Promotion and Major Projects Agency (APIX) facilitates registration with social organisations.  

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

* For other nationals : contact the Immigration Office/Ministry of Interior, 7 Place de l’Indépendance. Tel. 822 38 08.

 

 

Vaccination : the yellow fever vaccine is compulsory. It is highly recommended to take vaccines against hepatitis A and B and anti-malaria treatment. For animals, a rabies vaccination card and a certificate  of good health are required.

 

Local currency and foreign exchange

The currency used in Senegal is the  CFA  franc,  common to most West African countries. The CFA franc is pegged to the French Franc (100 CFAF = 1 FF). Its exchange rate in relation to other foreign currencies ( $ US, Pound Sterling, … ) is determined by that of the French franc to these currencies. Since 1994, the exchange rate has been subjected to slight fluctuations. With the advent of the single European currency, the CFA franc will be linked to this foreign currency at a fixed rate: 1 Euro = 655.957

 

Senegal is a member of the Franc Zone, and enjoys freedom to effect bank transfers and export liquid assets of up to 200,000 CFAF within the zone. Outside the franc Zone, transfers through intermediate banks are subjected to authorisation. 

 

Exchange rate

Following are the exchange rates currently in force:

 

 

Country

 

 

Foreign currencies

 

 

Rate

European Union

Euro

1 €= 659.957 CFA F

United States

Dollar

1 $US = 700 CFA F

France

French Franc

1FF = 100 CFA F

Canada

Canadian  Dollar

1 $Can = 373 CFA F

Belgium

Belgian Franc

1 FB = 16 CFA F

 

Switzerland

Swiss Franc

1FS = 406 CFA F

Great Britain 

Pound sterling

1£ = 948 CFA F

Foreign exchange counters can be found in most banks. There are many banks in  Senegal: CITIBANK, BICIS, CBAO, CLS, SGBS, BHS, BST, CNCAS, etc. headquartered in the capital, Dakar, with branches in major cities. International currencies such as the US dollar and the pound sterling (in notes and travellers' checks) are easily exchanged. 

 

Credit cards and international transfers

Credit cards may be used to shop  as well as to settle bills in major hotels, car rental agencies and travel agencies. The main international credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, etc.) are accepted in many hotels, restaurants and businesses in Senegal. These cards can also be used to withdraw cash from automatic telling machines found in all the major cities.

 

If you need extra money, your bank will inform you about possible bank to bank transfers (agreements for such operations exist between banks). Besides, the  Western Union Money Transfer  company has representatives in most of the country's major cities.

 

Telephone, Fax and Internet   

Senegal has a reliable postal service, and letters and parcels to and from the country generally arrive without difficulty. You can receive or send mail through the post office which opens from 8.30 a.m. to 4 p.m., or use mailboxes in hotels, restaurants ...

 

Senegal's telecommunications services are among the most efficient and competitive  in the sub-region. It has good quality telephone lines throughout the country, and international calls from/to Senegal are very clear. 

 

Telephone and fax : You can telephone and send fax messages from the public offices set up by SONATEL (national telecommunications company), as well as in your hotel. Besides, there are public telephone booths (using cards or coins) throughout the country, as well as public and private telecentres most of which stay open until late at night.

To call a number in Senegal, dial  00. 221 followed by your correspondent's seven-digit number.

 

Internet : Senegal is among the most developed African countries in terms of the Internet with its band width of 42 megabytes. There are 150 public access points in Dakar and all over other major cities. On the other hand, if you wish to send e-mail messages, many hotels and tour operators allow their clients to use their computers for a modest fee.

 

Local time and working hours

 

Senegal falls within GMT. There is a difference of an hour between France and Senegal in winter and two hours in summer. There is a time difference of four to five hours between Dakar and Washington and eight hours between Dakar and Tokyo. .

 

In Senegal, the public administration and ministries work from Monday to Friday from 7. 30  a.m. to  1 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Private sector companies and international organisations work stretch from 7.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a mid afternoon break. Banks open only from Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 11a.m. and from 2.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Department stores and supermarkets open from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to midday and from 4 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., while small shops remain open till late at night. However, during Ramadan (fast month) the public administration and businesses change their working hours. 

 

Some Senegalese Embassies around the world

 

Senegalese diplomatic missions and APIX can provide useful information.

 

Belgium : Tel / 02-673 00 97 , Avenue Franklin Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles

 

Canada :Tel / 613-238 6392, fax  238 2695 ; 57, Marlborough avenue, Ottawa ON KIN

 

France : Embassy  Tel / 01 47 05 39 45 , fax 01 45 56 04 30 ; 14 avenue Robert Schuman, 75007 Paris.

Consulate :Tel : 01 44 05 38 48 , 22 rue Hamelin, 75016 Paris

 

Switzerland  : Consulate Tel / 21 6  52 18 42,  25 route de berne 1010 Lausanne

 

USA : 210 Fifth Avenue suite 3118, New York NY 10118 Tel:212- 279 1953; Fax 212-279 1958;e-mail : Senegal@okcom.net

 

Senegal also has diplomatic representations in Addis-Ababa, Algiers, Berne, Brasilia, Geneva, Cairo, Libreville, New Delhi, Rabat, Rome, Stockholm, Tunis and Yaounde, as well as Consulates in Bordeaux , Lyon, Marseille, Melbourne, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienne and Zurich. 

 

Hotels

Senegal has many first class hotels  (4 and 5 stars) both in the capital, Dakar, and in other cities. These hotel complexes are often members of international hotel chains, such as:

 

In  Dakar :

Méridien President

Hôtel Sofitel Téranga

Hotel Novotel Dakar

Hotel Savana Dakar

 

 

Senegal online 

 

www.primature.sn : It is the official site of the Government of Senegal. it has a lot of information about the government and various ministries. 

 

http://www.minfinances.sn  : the official site of the Ministry of Finance and the Economy in which useful information on the Senegalese economy can be obtained.

 

http://www.tpsnet.org : : Very interesting site containing a directory of Senegalese companies. It also provides information on business opportunities.

 

www.affaires.sn : This site provides very practical information on how to do business in Senegal.   

 

www.izf.org : the site of the Franc Zone, giving detailed economic information on each member State.

 

www.homeviewsenegal.sn : site for general information on Senegal.

 

www.senegal-online.com : Discovering Senegal through all its aspects: geography, history, politics, population, culture, Dakar Practical Guide.

 

www.ausenegal.com : all sorts of information about the country, its major cities and its traditions. It also presents the key housing infrastructure.

www.senegalaisement.com very detailed general, practical and cultural Information.

 

www.gites-senegal.com : : Renting villas and apartments in Senegal: in Saint Louis,  Dakar, Goree Island, Popinguine,  Somone or Saly Portudal.

 

www.senegalhotel.sn : Presenting hotels of the Senegal Hotels chain;  Sali Princesse ,  Savana Cap , Royal Cap,  Diola,   Kabrousse, etc.

 

www.afric-network.fr On-line bookstore for works on literature, arts, history of the African continent.

 

www.casamance.net Presentation of the history, culture, practices and tourism sites of Casamance