Senegal is the most advanced Western African country along the Atlantic Ocean, with major sea and air routes to Europe, other African countries and the Americas.
Covering an area of 196,722 km², it is bordered on the north by Mauritania, east by Mali, south by Guinea and Guinea Bissau, west of the Gambia and a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean for 500 km. Senegal is a flat country with sandy soil not exceeding 130m except at the south-eastern border of Republic of Guinea. Three rivers cross the country from east to west: Senegal (1700 km) north, Gambia (750 km) and Casamance (300 km) south. Senegal consists of 14 administrative regions: Dakar, Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Kedougou, Kolda, Louga, Matam, Saint-Louis, Sedhiou, Tambacounda, Thies and Ziguinchor. The population as at July 2018 was estimated at 15.02 million inhabitants, with a literacy rate of 57.7% (CIA World Factbook). Fifty five percent of the total population is between 15 and 64 years of age. Dakar (550 km²), the capital, is a peninsula in the far West with a population of 3.63 million (ANDS Report 2018). The official language is French, with English being used in business. The national languages include Diola, Malinke, the Pular, Serer, Soninke and Wolof.
The Republic of Senegal is a secular, democratic and social country. It ensures equality before the law for all citizens, without distinction of origin, race, sex or religion. GDP is primarily driven by services, industry and agriculture. Its natural resources include: petroleum, gas, iron ore, zircon and gold.
Senegal has a good telecommunication infrastructure and Internet access is cheaper than in other African countries. International bandwidth for Internet access is currently 12.4Gbps. There are 3 mobile providers (Orange, Tigo and Expresso). According to figures published by L'Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes (ARTP), as at September 2018 there were 299,774 fixed phone lines (287,980 September 2017) and 16.403 million mobile phone subscriptions (15.556 million September 2018) with mobile penetration at 107.52%. There were 10.447 million Internet subscribers as at September 2018 compared with 9.354 million in September 2017. The major of Internet users are mobile Internet users (2G & 3G) with 17,961 fixed internet lines, 130,612 ADSL lines and 115,978 mobile internet key users as at September 2018.
In terms of ICT Infrastructure, three submarine cables (Atlantis 2, SAT3/WASC/SAFE and Africa Coast) connect Senegal to the rest of the world. The national backbone is under construction. All regions and Departments in Senegal are connected via optical fibre. The Senegal Internet Exchange Point (SENIX) was launched on 29 August 2017.
There are six public Universities (Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, Université de Thies, Université Alioune B. Diop de Bambey, Université de Ziguinchor and Université Virtuelle du Sénégal), two more under construction where courses will start in 2018 (Univertité Amadou Mahtar Mbow de Diamniadio and Université du Sine Saloum El hadji Ibrahima Niass), seven private Universities, six public Institutes or Schools of Higher Education and 141 private Higher Education Institutions.
The Government of Senegal wishes to make Senegal a regional leader in the production of value-added services supported by ICT, in order to improve its position in the global economy. To achieve these objectives, Senegal has developed a multitude of programs related to Information Technology and Communication (ICT). In fact, for over two decades, State Authorities have considered ICT as an essential part of development.
Since 2000 a national strategy for developing ICT was defined and a State Computer Science Bureau and Ministry responsible for ICT has been established.
ICT is used widely in secondary and third level institutions. There is good interconnection in Government and administration buildings to facilitate the provision of services. The Universal Service Fund considers Internet and telephony to be an integral part of a universal service.
After strengthening the infrastructure, the Senegal authorities prepared the legislative and regulatory component of new technologies to create a legal environment favourable to their development. The first step was the establishment by law No. 2001-15 of December 27, 2001, as amended, of the Code of Telecommunications and the Regulatory Agency for Telecommunications and Posts (ARTP) responsible for providing the telecommunications sector with an effective and transparent regulatory framework, promoting fair competition to the benefit of users of telecommunications networks and services.
Another key step in the mentoring process of ICT development in Senegal was the creation of the State Information Technology Agency (ADIE). Decree N° 2004-1038 of 23 July 2004 mandates ADIE to stimulate public action in the treatment and dissemination of information in accordance with international legal and technical standards for quality, availability, safety and performance. For this purpose, ADIE launched a process that led to the adoption of appropriate laws and regulations in 2005.
Several laws were adopted and promulgated.
- Law No. 2008-10 of January 25, 2008 on orientation law on information society
- Law No. 2008-08 of January 25, 2008 on electronic transactions
- Law No. 2008-11 of January 25, 2008 on Cybercrime
- Law No. 2008-12 of January 25, 2008 on the protection of personal data
- Law No. 2008-49 of September 23, 2008 establishing a voluntary contribution of one percent (1%) on public procurement of goods and digital services
- Law No. 2008-46 of September 3, 2008 establishing a royalty on access or use of public telecommunications network (RUTEL)
- Law No. 2008-41 of August 20, 2008 on cryptology.
The Privacy Protection Commission (CDP) is an Independent Administrative Authority (IAA) established under Law No. 2008-12 of 25 January 2008 on the protection of personal data.
2011 marked the adoption of a telecommunication code implementing most of the directives adopted by the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) and additional acts that the Treaty of the Economic Community of African States (ECOWAS) to create a legal environment conducive to the emergence of a regional market.
A National Commission of Cryptology, attached to the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, and whose permanent secretariat is provided by the Central Technical Services of Numbers and Security of Information Systems (STCC) was established.
The "Senegal Digital 2025" strategy was drawn up on the basis of the orientations set by the PES. It embodies Senegal's ambition to maintain an innovative leading position in Africa in the digital field. It consists of three prerequisites and four priority axes articulated around the slogan "the digital for all and for all uses in 2025 in Senegal with a dynamic and innovative private sector in an efficient ecosystem".