Independence Day in Senegal

On 4 April, 1959 Senegal and French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation. Exactly one year later, Senegal separated from the Federation to became a separate state with a transfer of power agreement signed by France.

Léopold Sédar Senghor was Senegal’s first president, serving from 1960 to 1980, when he was followed by his hand-picked successor, Abdou Diouf.

Diouf encouraged broader political participation, reduced government involvement in the economy, and widened Senegal’s diplomatic engagements, particularly with other developing nations.

In the presidential election of 1999, opposition leader Abdoulaye Wade defeated Diouf in an election deemed free and fair by international observers. Senegal experienced its second peaceful transition of power, and its first from one political party to another.

In 2012 Macky Sall of the Alliance for the Republic won the presidential election, and Wade conceded the election to Sall. This peaceful and democratic transition was hailed by many foreign observers, such as the EU, as a show of “maturity”. Senegal is considered one of the more successful post-colonial democratic transitions in Africa.

On 19 September 2012, lawmakers voted to do away with the Senate to save an estimated $15 million. It retained its National Assembly, as a unicameral parliament.

Summarized from Wikipedia.

Slave traders in Gorés, by Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur

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