Senegal ( (listen); French: Sénégal; Wolof: Senegaal; Arabic: السنغال As-Sinighal), officially the Republic of Senegal (French: République du Sénégal; Wolof: Réewum Senegaal; Arabic: جمهورية السنغال Jumhuriat As-Sinighal), is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest. Senegal nearly surrounds The Gambia, a country occupying a narrow sliver of land along the banks of the Gambia River, which separates Senegal's southern region of Casamance from the rest of the country. Senegal also shares a maritime border with Cape Verde. Senegal's economic and political capital is Dakar.
It is a unitary presidential republic and is the westernmost country in the mainland of the Old World, or Afro-Eurasia. It owes its name to the Senegal River, which borders it to the east and north. Senegal covers a land area of almost 197,000 square kilometres (76,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 16 million. The state was formed as part of the independence of French West Africa from French colonial rule. Because of this history, the official language is French. Like other post-colonial African states, the country includes a wide mix of ethnic and linguistic communities, with the largest being the Wolof, Fula, and Serer people, and the Wolof and French languages acting as lingua francas. Senegal is classified as a heavily indebted poor country, with a relatively low Human Development Index. Most of the population is on the coast and works in agriculture or other food industries. Other major industries include mining, tourism and services. The climate is typically Sahelian, though there is a rainy season.
Senegal is a member state of the African Union, the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States.
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