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Senegal Information - Page 2
The Portuguese arrived in Senegal in the 1440s.

Towards the end of the sixteenth century the Dutch established a slave port on the island of Goree; Saint-Louis was founded as a French slave port in 1659.

During the late nineteenth century the French extended their influence over Senegal.

In 1895 Senegal became part of French West Africa (Afrique Occidentale Francaise - AOF). French West African possessions were governed from Senegal, first from Saint-Louis, then from Dakar.

Senegal became part the French Union in 1946, and an autonomous republic within the French Community in 1958.

Independence was achieved in 1960.

The agricultural sector provides a living for a large number of the working population but earns the smallest percentage of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

Agricultural products are maize, millet, rice, sorghum, tomatoes, vegetables, and cotton. Groundnuts (peanuts) and fish are exported. Cattle, pigs and poultry are reared.

Mining, including phosphate, accounts for a proportion of the country's foreign earnings. Other industries are petroleum, fertilizer, construction materials, ship construction and repair, and agricultural and fish processing.

Tourism and money remitted from Senegalese working abroad are important sources of foreign exchange. (2008)

Crafts include weaving, pottery and jewellery. Examples of Senegalese arts and crafts can be seen at the IFAN museums (Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire).

The Daniel Sorano National Theatre hosts a variety of plays, concerts and performances by music and dance troupes. Resident performers are the Troup National Dramatique, the Ensemble Lyrique Traditionnel and the Ballet National.

Football is a popular team sport in Senegal. The national team is known as the Lions of Teranga. Basketball is also played.

Traditional wrestling is a favourite spectator sport.

Water sports include scuba diving, surfing, water-skiing and deep-sea fishing.

All religious festivals are celebrated. Independence Day (from France, 1960) is on 4 April.

News from Senegal is available from Newslink.

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