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Senegal eyes emerging economy status by 2035
March 12, 2014Article by Ray Withers
Senegal continues to be in the news as an exciting investment destination for 2014. Having recently attracted investment from US President Barack Obama and the Bill Gates Foundation, now the Senegalese Minister has visited Washington DC to discuss ongoing development plans.
30+ projects to boost growth to over 7%
Senegal’s Minister of Budget, Mouhamadou Mactar Cisse, met with business representatives in Washington to present the country’s development and investment plan for the West African nation.
The National Strategy for Economic and Social Development (SNDES) includes in excess of 30 projects in agriculture, infrastructure, tourism, education, information technology and more. One aim is to boost growth from 4.6% to 7%+ within the next 4 years and the country hopes to achieve official emerging economy status by 2035.
$7.8 billion USD investment in Paris
The Washington meeting was a prelude to a World Bank and United Nations Program for Development – supported Paris Consultative Group. At the donor conference in Paris, investors pledged $7.8 billion USD to kick-start Senegal’s growth plan.
Minister Mouhamadou Mactar Cisse said: “We presented a plan of action that paves the way for more investment, but there are other things in the project that are very attractive. There are 17 reforms in the business environment, from fiscal reform to land ownership and intellectual property. Everything has been thought of and put into a package.”
President Macky Sall leads “systemic trajectory of growth”
He continued: “We had a 5-year planning process and we’re looking at a 20-year strategic plan. It takes more than one term to create real change. The first 5 years will put together the precondition for the systemic growth and place Senegal into a trajectory of growth. The second innovation is how we’re strengthening our monitoring strategies. The third innovation is time and it is the president himself who is leading the way.”
Senegal’s President, Mickey Sall, has been praised for anti-corruption measures he has implemented since winning office in 2012. This has made the area one of West Africa’s most stable democracies.
China and Senegal build long-term partnership
President Macky Sall also recently met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as they build a long-term cooperative partnership. The partnership will promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges, plus enhance mutual understanding and trust.
China is also willing to increase imports of Senegal’s agricultural products and help with plantation and processing. The Asian tiger will encourage more companies to invest in Senegal and also lists the country as a tourism destination for Chinese citizens. Sall said he wanted “the African nations to learn from China’s successful development.”
A top 10 investment and business location
Authorities predict the “Emerging Senegal” plan will cost just over $21 billion and will eventually double economic growth. The country is already among the 10 most competitive in Africa and is set for a top 10 ranking in Doing Business in Africa 2015.
Ray Withers, CEO of Property Frontiers, comments: “Over the last year or so, there has been a vast programme of reforms for the business environment in Senegal. I’ve had my eye on Senegal for a few years now, but a lot of investors were initially put off by the somewhat archaic business environment. But since the recent reforms, including all paperwork going digital, it’s easier than ever to invest in Senegal.”