Senegal - Country Commercial Guide
Investment Climate Statement
Last published date:

The U.S. Department of State’s Investment Climate Statements provide information on the business climates of more than 170 economies and are prepared by economic officers stationed in embassies and posts around the world. They analyze a variety of economies that are or could be markets for U.S. businesses.  The Investment Climate Statements are also references for working with partner governments to create enabling business environments that are not only economically sound, but address issues of labor, human rights, responsible business conduct, and steps taken to combat corruption.  The reports cover topics including Openness to Investment, Legal and Regulatory Systems, Protection of Real and Intellectual Property Rights, Financial Sector, State-Owned Enterprises, Responsible Business Conduct, and Corruption.

Executive Summary

Senegal’s stable democracy, relatively strong economic growth, and open economy offer attractive opportunities for foreign investment.  Senegal’s macroeconomic environment remains generally stable, although aggressive measures to counter the economic impact of COVID-19 and rising commodity costs are pushing public debt to nearly 70 percent of GDP, the internal debt distress threshold of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The currency – the CFA franc used in eight West African countries – is pegged to the Euro and remains stable.

The Government of Senegal (GOS) welcomes foreign investment and has prioritized efforts to improve the business climate, and many companies choose Senegal as a base for operations in Francophone Africa.  Since 2012, Senegal has pursued an ambitious development program, the Plan Senegal Emergent (Emerging Senegal Plan, or “PSE”), to improve infrastructure, achieve economic reforms, increase investment in strategic sectors, and strengthen private sector competitiveness. The GOS expanded the “single window” system to provide services to companies, opening new service centers across the country, harmonizing more than 60 GOS websites, and digitizing dozens of government services and payment mechanisms.  The national digital agency, ADIE, plans to lay 4,500 kilometers of additional fiberoptic cable to increase internet access.  Senegal has plans to transition power plants from fuel oil to domestic natural gas starting in 2023, when two recently discovered oil and gas fields come online. A new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) law entered into force in November 2021, modernizing and clarifying PPP procedures and encouraging local content.

With good air transportation links, a modern airport, expanding seaports, availability of mobile money and other financial technologies, and improving ground transportation, Senegal aims to become a regional commercial and services hub.  Three Special Economic Zones offer investors tax exemptions and other benefits. Repatriation of capital and income is generally straightforward, although the regional central bank sometimes limits the number of “offshore accounts” for companies registered in Senegal and engaged in project finance.  Although some companies report problems, Senegal scores favorably on corruption indicators compared to other countries in the region.

Despite Senegal’s many advantages, significant challenges remain. Investors at times cite burdensome and unpredictable tax administration, complex customs procedures, bureaucratic hurdles, opaque public procurement practices, an inefficient judicial system, inadequate access to financing, and a rigid labor market as obstacles.  High real estate and energy costs, as well as high costs of inputs for manufacturing, also constrain Senegal’s competitiveness.  High levels of unemployment and underemployment, especially among the country’s large youth population, represent a long-term macroeconomic challenge.

Senegal hosts a large of stock of FDI compared to its region.  The GOS is leading an active policy to encourage FDI inflows.  According to the UNCTAD 2021 World Investment Report, Senegal was among the few economies on the continent that received more FDI inflows in 2020, up 39 percent to USD 1.5 billion, compared to USD 1.1 billion in 2019, despite the global economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The stock of FDI stood at USD 8.7 billion at the end of 2020.  The increase in FDI is the result of investment in energy, both the traditional oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.  A U.S. - Senegal Bilateral Investment Treaty went into effect since 1990.  Senegal’s stock of FDI increased from $3.4 billion in 2015 to $6.4 billion in 2019, according to UNCTAD data.  U.S. investment in Senegal has expanded since 2014, including investments in power generation, renewable energy, industry, and offshore oil and gas.  The IMF reports that U.S. FDI stock in Senegal was approximately $114 million in 2019 (Table 1; up from $91 million in 2018).  Although France is historically Senegal’s largest source of FDI, China overtook France as Senegal’s largest bilateral trade partner in 2019.  Turkish economic influence is also rising, particularly in construction.  Other important investment partners include Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf States, as well as the EU.  Sectors attracting substantial investment include petroleum and natural gas, agribusiness, mining, tourism, and fisheries.  

Investors can consult Senegal’s investment promotion agency (APEX) at for information on opportunities, incentives, and procedures for foreign investment, including a copy of Senegal’s investment code.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings




Website Address

TI Corruption Perceptions Index


73 of 180

Transparency International

Global Innovation Index


105 of 131

Global Innovation Index

U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions)


$114.0 million

U.S. Foreign Direct Investment

World Bank GNI per capita



World Bank Gross National Income

Source: Compiled by Dakar Post


To access the ICS, visit the U.S. Department of Department of State’s Investment Climate Statements website.