Located in the far west of Africa, Senegal, the land of Teranga (Friendliness, Hospitality), is one of the most stable countries on the continent, with three peaceful political transitions since its independence in 1960. At the macroeconomic level, since 2015, GDP growth rates has increased to the nearly 7% mark. Real GDP growth was projected at 4.4 percent in 2019. The sector of services is the main driver of GDP growth. The country is engaged in infrastructure development in many areas throughout the country. 90% of the workforce is employed in the informal sector, mainly in the agricultural sector, with small and medium-sized non-agricultural enterprises and the artisanal sector accounting for 50% and 40% respectively.

Country fast facts

  • Area: 196 722 Km²
  • Population: 16  millions
  • Capital city: Dakar

Swisscontact in SENEGAL 

  • since 2020


Sustainable agriculture
SIFA: a pathway to local empowerment and the prevention of illegal immigration
The SIFA (Integrated Agricultural Training Sites) represent a response to the major challenges faced by Senegal, including rural exodus, clandestine migration, and the impacts of climate change. This migration, difficult to quantify due to its illegal nature, sees thousands of young people leaving the country each year, leaving behind families and communities in difficulty. At the same time, climate change is worsening the situation with more frequent droughts and floods, affecting agriculture and food security. Investing in professional training and sustainable agricultural practices is crucial to strengthen the resilience of these youth to these challenges.
Initial vocational education and training
Sahel Opportunités: Comprehensive training for a better future
For the past two years, the Sahel Opportunités project has been active in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, offering young people training and job placement schemes. In Senegal, the project focuses on strengthening vocational training to offer young people viable prospects for the future, thereby improving their living conditions in the long term.
Country Director
Ibrahim Maiga

Swisscontact in Senegal

The sustainable integration of young people into the economic and social fabric is by far the main challenge to be addressed massively and urgently by the governments of Sahel countries.

The issues of migratory pressure and the rise of violent extremist movements that Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and, to a lesser extent, Senegal are currently experiencing are largely the consequence of this very strong and pressing demand for social recognition, expressed by a large proportion of Sahel youth, struggling for their rights and in need of reassurance about their future.

There is no official training and qualification system for the trades and professional branches of the informal handicraft and agricultural sectors.

Swisscontact, with its project "Training and opportunities: improving the economic integration of young people and women in the Sahel" proposes to respond directly to the following challenges: employment or self-employment; the issue of socio-economic integration of young people; as well as food security. It aims to promote the introduction of innovations in vocational training and integration systems in Sahel countries (Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali), by supporting local and national public and private actors in the development of efficient vocational training systems adapted to market demand and local contexts: dual apprenticeship training in the craft industry and agricultural training through SIFA-type systems (Integrated Agricultural Training Sites). In the same vein, financial inclusion schemes for youth and women will also be supported.

Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali
Labour market insertion
Education for opportunities – Empowering young women and men in the Sahel region
The aim of the project is to integrate young adults into the national labour market as well as to facilitate the development of income generation activities. This will make gainful professional activities within their reach so that they can improve their living conditions sustainably.

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Sénégal Swisscontact

8, Route du Méridien Président
Les Almadies