Last updated in February 2018
Germany and Senegal enjoy good political relations. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Senegalese President Macky Sall last met in July 2017 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg. The two countries share common interests, such as supporting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali or the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Senegal is one of the partner countries in the Compact with Africa initiative, which was launched during the German G20 Presidency in 2017 and is aimed at promoting economic development on the African continent by improving the framework conditions for investment.
There are a number of German organisations operating in Dakar, including five political foundations – the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), the Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBS), the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS) – as well as the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).
Germany has been an important development cooperation partner for Senegal since its independence in 1960. The German Government has so far undertaken projects worth approximately 800 million euros in Senegal and in 2006 it provided nearly 120 million euros in bilateral debt relief to the country. Germany’s current level of commitments for development cooperation with Senegal amounts to around 20 million euros per year, with a particular focus on renewable energy. Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Gerd Müller visited Senegal in August 2016.
Trade between Germany and Senegal is relatively modest. In 2016, Germany imported goods worth approximately 7.9 million euros from Senegal and exported goods worth 128.9 million euros to Senegal. Senegal’s main exports to Germany are food and raw materials. Its main imports from Germany are machinery, motor vehicles and vehicle parts as well as chemical products.
A bilateral investment protection agreement has been in place since 1966. There is no German Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Senegal, nor are there any Delegate Offices of German Industry and Commerce.
The principal cultural intermediary is the Goethe-Institut in Dakar. Cultural programmes featuring music (participation of German musicians in Senegalese festivals), photography, the visual arts and modern dance are just some of the facets of the lively exchange in this area. Cooperation in higher education, such as through the scholarship programmes of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) also plays an important role in cultural exchange between the two countries, as do town twinning arrangements and school partnerships as well as partnerships between parishes and dioceses (for example between Thiès and Bamberg).
German ranks fourth among the foreign languages taught in Senegalese schools. There are German Departments at the Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis and the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar. The DAAD has a lector working in Dakar.
Bridges between the two countries are also forged through sports, especially football and track and field athletics. German engagement here includes donations of equipment and courses for Senegalese coaches in Germany.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.