Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Spring Textbooks

Its time to order books for Spring Semester at BU.  Requred texts for the next semester are:
-Classical & Modern Thoughts on International Relations by Robert Jackson
-Just & Unjust Wars by Michael Walzer
-Ethics and International Affairs by Joel Rozenthal
-The International Monetary Fund by James Vreeland
-Globalizing Capital by Barry Eichengreen
-How Markets Fail by John Cassidy
-States & Powers in Africa by Jeffery Herbst
-The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith

Last semester I used the Herbst and Meredith texts so I can save a couple bucks on books.  Another professor said no texts would be required as he would use materials from journals and current events in the news during the course.  Buying through Amazon and getting some Kindle editions I can get the books for about $150.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Passed first semester at BU!

After hearing a lot about grade deflation at BU I was worried about passing my classes this past semester. Turns out I did pretty well with a 3.75 GPA and my lowest grade was a B+.  Now I am looking forward to Spring semester and starting to write my thesis.  Potential thesis subjects are writing on Liberia or Uganda.  I was able to visit Liberia in the fall of 2010 and interviewed people at the UN, US Embassy, and at some private organizations.  But I have also been invited to travel to Uganda this coming summer and have the opportunity to interview people and conduct research there as well...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Classes next semester

Next semester I am registered for the following classes:

-Ethics and International Relations
-International Development and Finance
-Problems and Issues in Contemporary Africa
-Conflicts and State Building in Africa
-Tennis & Golf

While living in Africa I often wondered why people did what they did or if there we different ethical standards, so the ethics class should be interesting.  IMF and World Bank have featured prominently in classes on African history and I figured I should learn more. One of the main reasons I chose BU for grad school is the variety of Africa focused classes offered and I am looking forward to classes this spring discussing Truth & Reconciliation Commissions and conflict resolution in post-conflict societies.  Tennis should be fun- every embassy I visited in Africa had a tennis court so I am looking forward to learning how to play.  I played a couple rounds of golf in Kenya & Cameroon and could always work on my swing- why not?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Done with Finals!

Turned in my last final yesterday which gave an overview of politics in Africa, the current situation in Senegal, and policy recommendations for the government of Senegal.  The political situation in Senegal is getting interesting with more demonstrations and people setting fires in roadblocks around the university.  There are just over 60 days until the elections on 26 Feb 2012.  I hope it all goes well.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Senegalese Democratic Transition of the 1990s

     The “Third Wave of Democratization” that washed across Africa in the 1990s didn’t result in a radical regime change in Senegal.  According to Samuel Huntington, the Third Wave began just after midnight on 25 April 1974 in Portugal with the launching of a military coup[i].  This coup in Portugal inspired other coups that caused political change in many cases leading to democratization.  Democratic change was already underway in Senegal with the creation of the Parti dèmocratique sénégalaise (PDS) by Abdoulaye Wade in 1974 as an opposition party to contest the only authorized political party, the Union progressiste sénégalaise (UPS), led by President Senghor and in power since independence in 1960[ii].  In 1976 the Senegalese constitution was amended to allow three political parties based on ideology: liberal, socialist, and Marxist-Leninist as an introduction to limited multiparty democracy.  The constitution was amended again in 1978 to allow a fourth political party based on Islamic purity[iii].  President Senghor voluntarily retired at the end of 1980 and was peacefully succeeded by the Prime Minister, Abdou Diouf as the second president of Senegal.  Six months after taking office, President Diouf allowed all political parties in 1981[iv].
            Huntington described Senegal since the introduction of political parties in 1974 as a “semi-democracy” as by the 1990s only one political party, originally the UPS renamed the Parti Socialiste (PS) in 1976, had controlled the government since independence[v].  By 1990 some liberalization in Senegal had occurred but real regime change did not occur until 2000 when longtime opposition leader Abdoulaye Wade was elected president[vi].  President Diouf came to power in 1980 not by election but under a provision of the 1975 Second Constitutional Reform that allowed the Prime Minister to assume the presidency and complete the presidential term if the President left office prematurely[vii].  In 1983 Diouf won his first election as President thanks in part to an “ndigel” or religious command by the religious leaders of the Mourid and Tijan Islamic Brotherhoods to vote for the PS.  One effect of allowing multiple political parties in 1981 was to split the opposition, which was not able to coalesce around a single coalition candidate in 1983.  Elections in 1988 were similar in process and result and Diouf’s rejection of international election observers and the secret ballot increased tensions between the PS and opposition groups.  The Senegalese government was also under pressure from opposition groups and the general population for an economic crisis as well as a border war with Mauritania, secessionist movement in the Casamance, and the collapse of the Senegambian Federation (short-lived federation of Senegal and the Gambia)[viii].
            The 1988 Senegalese elections featured four presidential candidates and six party lists for the National Assembly, which turned into a three-week television war of the PS against all opposition.  The 1982 electoral code mandated half of the time or space allocated to elections to be given to the government, and the remaining half of the space was divided amongst the opposition.  However, the state newspaper “Le Soleil” gave the most space to the PS.  President Diouf also campaigned throughout the country on official state trips where he promised state resources as part of his reelection bid[ix].  Registration was a difficult process and only adults over the age of 21 were allowed to vote so much of the youth movement that supported the opposition were not able to vote.  59% of registered voters participated and Diouf won the 1988 election with 73.2% of the vote, causing widespread rioting due to reports of fraud.  PS leaders were reported to have distributed extra voting cards and many voting stations were staffed only with PS workers who supervised the vote, which was conducted in the open.  Rioters attacked buses, set cars on fire, and ransacked state offices, resulting in the imposition of a three-month curfew in Dakar[x].
            In 1990 the opposition boycotted local elections and Diouf offered to create a Government of National Unity with opposition groups in response to national and international criticism.  The Second Administrative Reform of April 1990 turned control of local finances to the local chief executives, who now had the right to elaborate and manage local government budgets and expenditures.  Local budgets had previously been administered by the central state with limited local input[xi].   The 1991 electoral code reform attempted to diminish the PS advantage in elections by banning the use of state resources by political parties, mandated voter identification and the use of a voting booth, as well as required bipartisan supervision of the voting process[xii].  The devolution of powers to the local governments and 1991 electoral code convinced the opposition to participate in the February 1993 Presidential elections and organize in previously ignored rural areas.  Diouf won the 1993 elections with 58.4% of the vote, which despite claims of fraud by the opposition, more accurately reflected voter sentiment.  In response, the government created the National Election Observatory (ONEL) in 1997 to monitor elections[xiii]
            The 2000 election marked the end of the Diouf era and the transfer of power from the PS political party to the Wade’s PDS.  Longtime opposition candidate Abdoulaye Wade was able to build a coalition and force a second round of presidential vote by denying Diouf over 50% of the vote (Diouf: 41%, Wade: 31%).  In the second round, Wade was able to consolidate support from the rest of the opposition and won the presidency with 58% of the vote[xiv].

Third Wave in Africa
            Meanwhile on the rest of the continent, democratization continued in a more aggressive fashion with coups and the overthrow of governments.  By the 1990s, regular multiparty elections became the norm for sub-Saharan Africa with the exception of a few states characterized as semi-authoritarian regimes despite multiparty elections[xv].  Of the 45 multiparty systems in Africa, only four were parliamentary.  Most were highly presidential with various rules that weakened the legislature and allowed the president to act independently[xvi].  By the end of the 1990s it became clear that a multiparty system and an elected president did not ensure democracy.  The old parties that used to exist as the only allowed party have adapted to the new multiparty environment in a way to maintain control of the executive[xvii].
            The economic level of the country is another key factor in the effect of the third wave of democracy.  Transitions to democracy were most likely to occur in middle and upper-middle class countries and neither poor nor wealthy with an income between $1000 and $3000 per capita[xviii].  Senegal was considered at the low end of the middle-income countries with a per capita GNP of $520[xix].  However, Senegal also had an average annual GDP growth rate of more than 3% from 1980 to 1988 so it was favorable for democratization[xx].
            Côte d’Ivoire is an example of a country that turned to multiparty competition in 1989 during the third wave.  Côte d’Ivoire was a nondemocratic country in the same economic band as Senegal with a per capita GNP between $500 and $1000 with a substantial rate of economic growth so it had potential for political change[xxi].  President Houphouët-Boigny first began to expand political competition in 1980 with a change from single-party list voting to multicandidate single-party elections.  The electoral system was liberalized in response to general strikes by the people of Côte d’Ivoire.  Later in April 1990, the government sanctioned a multiparty system[xxii].  Presidential elections were held a few months later in November 1990 and Houphouët-Boigny won his seventh term as President.   During the election campaign the state did make some media available to the opposition, but airtime was limited to hours late at night.  Magazines and newspapers critical of the government were banned[xxiii].  President Houphouët-Boigny died in office in December 1993 after 33 years in office[xxiv].     
In other countries the political change of the 1990s resulted in rising levels of political disorder as African political elites transformed their political institutions from multiparty to single party or removing all political parties.  In some cases civilian governments were replaced with military regimes[xxv].  Contemporary political changes were conditioned by the mechanisms of rule ingrained by ancien régime.  Authoritarian leaders in power for long periods of time establish the rules regarding who participates, and what level of competition is allowed in politics[xxvi].  Democratization may also fail because of ethnic conflict or may be retarded by personalism, patrimonialism, rent seeking and corruption[xxvii]
            In Senegal there was no large ethnic divide as most of the population is uniform as Wolof and Muslim.  Rent seeking politics were also not a factor, due to the lack of valuable resources such as oil or diamonds.  Clientalism or patrimonialism politics gradually became less of a factor in Senegal as the leaders of the Islamic Brotherhoods focused more on their role as spiritual guides and eschewed politics.  The last ndigel from Khalif Abdou Lahatt in support of President Diouf was issued in 1988. Khalif-Général Salilou Mbacke inherited the leadership of the Mourides upon the death of Khalif Lahatt and avoided politics.  The new Khalif refused to implicate himself in the vulgar affairs of electoral politics and remained politically silent in the elections of 1993 and 2000[xxviii].  Other lesser Marabouts continued to issue ndigels but were often disregarded, such as Modou Kara Mbacke who was booed by the crowd at Demba Diop stadium in Dakar when he spoke in favor of the candidacy of Diouf in December 1999[xxix].
            In contrast to other countries where the third wave of democratization caused radical governmental reform, Senegal passed through a more gradual process of democratization.  President Diouf ruled over Senegal from 1980 until his defeat in 2000 when he peacefully transitioned with the opposition party led by Abdoulaye Wade.  During Diouf’s presidency powers were devolved to local governments, multipartyism was introduced, the media was liberalized, and election reform was passed which eventually gave rise to a transition of power.  These changes took place in an environment where the leaders of the Islamic brotherhoods withdrew from politics and economic conditions steadily improved and Senegal became a middle-income economy, ripe for democratization.



Bates, Robert H. 2004. “The Impulse to Reform in Africa,” in Economic Change and Political Liberalization in Sub-Saharan Africa. Edited by Jennifer A. Widner. John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, MD.


Bates, Robert H. 2008. When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa. Cambridge University Press: New York, NY.


Beck, Linda J. 2008. Brokering Democracy in Africa. Palgrave MacMillan: New York, NY.


Behrman, Lucy Creevey. 1977. Muslim Politics and Development in Senegal. The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun 1977), pp. 261-277.


Bratton, Michael & Van De Walle, Nicolas. 1994. Neopatrimonial Regimes and Political Transitions in Africa.  World Politics Vol. 46, No. 4 (Jul 1994). pp. 453-489


Gellar, Sheldon. 2005. Democracy in Senegal. Palgrave MacMillan: New York, NY.

Huntington, Samuel P. 1991. The Third Wave: Democratization in the late Twentieth Century. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, OK.

Kessler, Richard J. 1980. Senegal in Transition.  The World Today, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Feb 1980), pp 59-64.

Meredith, Martin. 2005. The Fate of Africa. Public Affairs: Kindle Edition.

Van de Walle, Nicolas. 2003.  Presidentialism and Clientelism in Africa’s Emerging Party System. The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 41, No. 2 (Jun 2003). pp. 297-321.

Widner, Jennifer. 1994. Two Leadership Styles and Patterns of Political Liberalization. African Studies Review, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Apr 1994). pp. 151-174.

Young, Crawford & Kante, Babacar. 1992. “Governance, Democracy, and the 1988 Senegalese Election” in Governance and Politics in Africa.  Edited by Goran Hyden & Michael Bratton. Lynne Reinner Publishers: Boulder, CO.

[i] Huntington, p. 3
[ii] Behrman, p. 270
[iii] Kessler, p. 61
[iv] Meredith, sec. 3220
[v] Huntington, p. 12
[vi] Beck, p. 67
[vii] Beck, p. 58
[viii] Beck, p. 60-62
[ix] Young & Kante, p. 65
[x] Young & Kante, p. 69
[xi] Gellar, p. 56
[xii] Beck, p. 65
[xiii] Gellar, p. 82
[xiv] Gellar, p. 83
[xv] Van de Walle, p. 298
[xvi] Van de Walle, p. 311
[xvii] Van de Walle, p. 315
[xviii] Huntington, p. 63
[xix] Huntington, p. 60
[xx] Huntington, p. 314
[xxi] Huntington, p. 63
[xxii] Widner, p. 153
[xxiii] Widner, p. 165
[xxiv] Meredith, loc. 4609
[xxv] Bates (2008), p. 52
[xxvi] Bratton & Van de Walle, p. 454
[xxvii] Bates (2004), p. 19
[xxviii] Beck, p. 97
[xxix] Beck, p. 67

The Senghor Era of Senegal

      The first twenty years of independence in Senegal (1960 to 1980) were presided over by President Leopold Senghor, who was instrumental in the movement for independence and set the course for the country.  Senghor was unusually successful in his peer group of African leaders and Senegal enjoyed a mostly peaceful existence during his reign due to his cooperation with local religious leaders and with France.  Senghor had advocated close ties with France during independence and retained French economic and technical advisors as well as several French garrisons in Dakar.  Senghor faced several crises during his tenure as President but emerged from the 70s in relatively good form and became the first African president to voluntarily retire on 31 December 1980.

The first internal crisis for Senghor was a power struggle that resulted in a foiled coup attempt.  Leopold Sedar Senghor was elected President in 1960 along with Mamadou Dia who became the Prime Minister.  Both were active in politics in Senegal and French West Africa and once in office Senghor continued to focus on exterior issues and Dia focused on the economy.  Dia was more of a socialist and began to implement the radical social economic policies he had advocated in his book Réflexions sur l’Économie de l’Afrique Noire published in 1960.  Dia’s new autocratic socialist reforms affected groundnut production, the principle export of Senegal, by creating rural cooperatives that cut European and Lebanese traders out of the peanut business.  Dia also offended religious leaders by suggesting that Islamic leaders shouldn’t be in politics and should focus instead on being spiritual guides (Diouf, 118).  As the struggle between Dia, Senghor, and the Marabouts intensified the parliament prepared to vote to censure Dia in 1962.  In order to prevent the vote Dia called upon the Senegalese Army to lock the assembly building.  Senghor was notified and ordered the Senegalese Army, who was loyal to Senghor, to instead arrest Dia who was later sentenced to jail “in perpetuity” for treason.  Dia was pardoned 12 years later in 1974 (Whiteman, 2009).

The presence of French armed units in Dakar convinced the Senegalese military to not disobey Senghor during the crisis as the French threatened to intervene and restore Senghor to power if Dia was successful in his coup.  The French military also pressured the Senegalese parliament to support Senghor despite their prior loyalty to Dia (Diouf, 118).

Marabout Key to Success
The Mouride Islamic order was established by Sheik Amadou Bamba in the 1880s and remains the most powerful Islamic order in Senegal and is patronized by all political groups, including current President Wade.  The Mourides are known for devotion to their marabouts (religious leaders) and were used by French colonists to economically and politically control the population.  Marabouts under colonial times established pioneer settlements for the cultivation of peanuts, which evolved into ordinary villages dedicated to the production of peanuts (Barker, 30).  Initially, the villagers would give their crop to the marabout in exchange for blessings and charity.  With time the villagers began to cultivate their own peanut fields but also continued to provide free labor to the marabout.  The marabouts formed an elite network that controlled the economies of villages and exercised political and religious control of a large part of Senegal.  Other Islamic Brotherhoods like the Tijaniyya founded by Malick Sy also economically dominated their followers and top leaders managed large tracts of land used for agriculture and settlement (Ibid, p. 34). 

Upon independence Senghor and Dia won the support of marabouts by promising to allow the marabout economic system to continue as well as that of the traders in Dakar who wanted to maintain close ties to France (Ibid., p. 35).  The government gave the marabouts “access to publically subsidized inputs: fertilizers, mechanical equipment, land carved out from forest reserves, and above all massive amounts of government credit” (Bates, p. 111).  Post-colonial policies allowed the marabouts to continue to exploit their devout followers in peanut production and traders attempted to use the Marketing Board to increase their profits from the trade of peanuts.  The Senegalese economy was based on groundnut production and taxes from peanut trade provided most of the income for the government, which tried to manipulate peanut trade to increase revenues.  After independence in 1960 the government seized control of trade between the oil presser and peanut producer but still allowed small producers to operate independently and trade with French firms (Barker, p.36). 

In 1963 following the attempted coup by Dia Senghor addressed the Mourides in their holy city of Touba and expressed his thanks for their support from the beginning and through the crisis with Dia. Senghor is quoted as saying that he had “always found comfort, advice, and support next to you” (Behrnman, 262). 

Economic Difficulties of Peanuts
Manipulations by the Marketing Board and several years of drought in the 1960s increased hostility of the peasant producers against the state.  During the 1960s the French stopped peanut subsidies to Senegal causing peanuts to be sold at lower prices on the world market (Martin, 3199).  In 1967 the state reduced prices to producers by 15%, implemented a chit system that where producers were only paid after the crop was sold in France (not when the crop was delivered to the Senegalese government or traders), increased debt repayment requirements, and forced proscription of all private peanut buyers in order to shift costs to the producers and away from the government and traders.  Peasants were also under increased financial burdens after following advice from development administrators to invest in animal drawn production (Barker, p.38).  Despite shrinking incomes, increased debt, and decrease in production repayment for loans was required and sometimes coerced through SONAGRAINES, the parastatal that distributed seed and fertilizer and collected the crop for SONACOS, the Senegalese parastatal that processed peanut oil and oil cake (Golub & Mbaye, p. 21). 

Weather challenges continued to challenge the cultivation of groundnut with a series of droughts or insufficient rainfall cutting production. Low rainfall during the 1978-9 season cut production to 50% of the 1976-7 output (Kessler, 60).  In addition valuable agricultural land was lost due to increased desertification and the southern expansion of the desert. 

On 22 March 1967, at the feast of Tabaski, Mustapha Lo attempted to assassinate President Senghor.  Later at his trial Lo claimed he knew the pistol wouldn’t fire and only wanted to show the President he wasn’t as popular as he thought.  Lo, who was related to an imprisoned marabout, was executed on 15 June 1967 (Mbow, 2011). 

Generally given the religious control of groundnut production most resistance was gradual and minimal but by 1970 had reached noticeable levels.  Increasing numbers of producers were selling their crops in Gambia or shifting production to other crops like millet.  In 1970 only 85% of peanut fields in production in 1967 were planted for peanuts and fertilizer use on peanuts had dropped to 13% of the 1967 use.  Marabouts, who rewarded the free service of their followers in their peanut fields with counsel, advised their followers to first look after the care and feeding of their families then their other obligations (Barker, 38).  Social unrest deepened in 1968 with a general strike in 1968 by students and unionized workers.  The strike was suppressed by the military but was followed sporadically by further strikes (Ross, 550). 

In order to buy political favor the government used money from an EEC loan in 1970 to increase the price of peanuts, forgave debts for the year, and abolished the chit system and returned to former system of cash payment on delivery of peanuts (Barker, 38).

Political Evolution
Senegal operated as parliamentary democracy from independence until the Dia coup of 1962, following which the government was reorganized to eliminate the Prime Minister and consolidated powers under the president.  In 1970 the position of Prime Minister was reestablished and Abdou Diouf was selected as Prime Minister (Adamolekun, p. 544).  Diouf later followed Senghor as the second President of Senegal on 1 January 1981. 

The succession of leadership among the Mouride Kalifs (the Kalif is the head of the Mouride brotherhood, directly descended from Shaik Amadou Bamba) has also influenced Senegalese politics as the older Sheiks that supported Senghor died and were replaced by younger leaders who were more hostile to the government.  The Grand Kalif and head of the Mourides, Abdou Lahat, tried to appear more aloof and above government politics in the late 1970s and separate himself from Senghor (Behrman, p. 273).

In 1974 the Parti dèmocratique sénégalaise (PDS) was formed with Abdoulaye Wade as its leader to contest the dominant and only authorized political party, the Union progressiste sénégalaise (UPS).  In response President Senghor asked for a constitutional amendment to allow multiple political parties (Behrman, p. 270).  The constitution was amended in April 1976 to allow three political parties based on ideology: liberal, socialist, and Marxist-Lenninist.  The UPS became the Parti Socialiste (PS), Wade’s PDS assumed the role of the liberal party, and the communist party was legalized as the Parti Africain de l’Indépendance (PAI).  Another constitutional amendment in 1978 expanded the multiparty system further with the addition of the Mouvement Républicain Sénégalais (MRS), a right wing party for Islamic purity (Kessler, pp. 60-61).  In addition there were several illegal opposition groups that were later allowed when President Diouf allowed full multi-party democracy in 1981 (Martin, 3220). 

President Senghor’s cooperation and patronage of the Mourides and the other Islamic marabouts was key to his success in avoiding radical political, social, and economic upheaval in Senegal in the first two decades of independence.  Nearly equally important was the close connection that Senghor maintained with the French that saved him from a coup in 1962 and provided economic support and trade.  However, the withdrawal of  French subsidies in the late 1960s and declining returns on the primary export increased the debt of the Senegalese and the country’s foreign debt necessitating economic reform in the 1980s. 


Adamolekun, ‘Ladipo (1971). Bureaucrats and the Senegalese Political Process.  The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Dec 1971), pp. 543-559.


Allen, Chris (1995).  Understanding African Politics.  Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 22, No. 65, ROAPE Review of Books (Sep. 1995), pp. 301-320.


Barker, Jonathan (1977). Stability and Stagnation: The State in Senegal. Canadian Journal of African Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1 (1977), pp. 23-42.


Bates, Robert H. (2005).  Markets and States in Tropical Africa.  University of California Press: Berkeley. 


Behrman, Lucy Creevey (1977).  Muslim Politics and Development in Senegal.  The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun 1977), pp. 261-277.


Diouf, Moustapha (1992). State Formation and Legitimation Crisis in Senegal.  Review of African Political Economy, No. 54, Surviving Democracy? (Jul 1992), pp. 117-125.


Golub, Stephen and Mbaye, Ahmadou Aly (2002). Obstacles and Opportunities for Senegal’s International Competitiveness.  World Bank; Africa Region Working Paper Series No. 37, September 2002.


Kessler, Richerd J. (1980). Senegal in Transition.  The World Today, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Feb 1980), pp. 59-64. 


Mbow, Aboulaye. Retour sur la tentative d’assassinat de Senghor et le meurtre de Demba Diop en 1967 : Quand la peine de mort était encore une réalité au Sénégal.  L’Office, Posted 30 Apr 2011 to http://www.loffice.sn/Retour-sur-la-tentative-d.html

Meredith, Martin (2005).  The Fate of Africa. PublicAffairs: Kindle edition. 

Ross, Eric S. (2008).  Culture and Customs of Senegal.  Greenwood Press: Westport, CT, Kindle Edition. 

Van de Walle, Nicholas (2001).  African Economies and the Politics of Permanent Crisis, 1979-1999.  Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK.

Whiteman, Kate. Mamadou Dia: First Prime Minister and key figure in the politics of Senegal. The Guardian, Posted 2 Feb 2009 to www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/03/mamadou-dia-obituary-senegal

Impact of the Colonial Legacy in Senegal

Colonial Rule in Senegal
French colonial rule of Senegal has had a profound and enduring impact on the political and economic development and has set it apart from most of its neighbors and African peers.  Although Senegal’s main resource is peanuts it has obtained a prominent role for itself as serving under French colonial rule as the capital of French West Africa and the site for penetration into the interior of the former French colonial territory. 
Senegal has been shaped by its interactions with explorers and traders throughout its formal history, which began in the 11th century with its first recorded encounters with Muslim traders that introduced Islam.[i] Over the course of the next several centuries’ African empires fought for control over the land as well with Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, British, and French explorers.  By 1891 the entire territory of modern Senegal was brought under French control and the French Colonial Period commenced.[ii]
French colonial policy was guided by the concept of the superiority of the French culture and civilization over all others and the colonists sought to assimilate the local population into greater France.  Schools for assimilation were opened in Senegal by 1816 to indoctrinate the population.[iii]  Democracy was already in exercise in Saint Louis by the 18th century as citizens held election for mayor.[iv]
In French West Africa the French took an indirect approach to control of the territory and established cantons ruled by French educated nobles who served as chiefs.  The chiefs were selected by the French for their loyalty and displaced the indigenous leaders and were subject to the French authorities.  As long as the chiefs executed their missions and provided their quotas they were given free reign over their areas.  For example, during World War I the chiefs had quotas for troops to go fight for the French in Europe.[v]  Often acting as puppets weakened the position of the chiefs and further eroded their legitimacy with their people.  The government of French West Africa was based in Dakar and allowed local assemblies for each territory and a federal assembly for all of French West Africa.[vi]  The Mauritania and Senegal territories were administered in Saint Louis.
French colonial rule in Senegal was unique as the four major cities of Saint Louis, Dakar, Gorée, and Rufisque were granted special status as French Municipalities and the men were considered full French citizens and not merely subjects since the 1880s.[vii]  As such these French communes elected representatives to the government in Paris and participated in the greater French government.  In 1914 the first deputy elected from Senegal arrived in Paris.[viii]  Black citizens of the four special communes had access to France and many students were sent to study in Paris.  The political parties in France were directly linked to African parties in Senegal.  Eventually the Loi Cadre in 1956 granted suffrage to every Senegalese citizen.[ix]
The first President of Senegal, Leopold Senghor, serves as an example of the freedoms and opportunities as citizens many Senegalese enjoyed under French colonial rule.  Senghor was from the minority Serer group and was educated in Senegalese schools before traveling to France where he assimilated French culture to the extent where he became a teacher and celebrated poet.  After returning to Senegal he was elected to represent Senegal in the Constituent Assembly of 1945.[x]  Nine Africans participated in the Constituent Assembly and gradually more Africans were involved in French political decisions.  In 1956 thirty-three African deputies were sent to Paris and by 1957 there were four Africans in ministerial positions or serving as Secretaries of State in France.
The French West African territories benefited tremendously from their relationship with France and in the period between 1946 and 1958 70% of the public investment came from France for the building of school, bridges, roads, hospitals, and other important infrastructure.  France also provided 30% of the budget cost for the maintenance of such items.[xi]  Senegal’s peanuts provided 35% of the trade in 1956 for French West Africa.[xii]

In September 1958 President de Gaulle dissolved French West Africa and circulated a referendum amongst the French African Colonies where he offered immediate independence or a continued cooperative relationship with France.  De Gaulle sought “such a way as to bring to France not only a reduction in costs (of maintaining colonies) that have become unjustifiable, but also fruitful promises for the future.”[xiii]  Senegal voted to reject independence and sought to maintain strong ties to France.[xiv]  Senghor said French capital was essential for further growth of Senegal but on 4 April 1960 Senegal declared its independence as part of the Federation of Mali and on 20 August 1960 split from Mali as a separate country.[xv]
France’s decolonization process perpetuated dependency by the newly independent countries. The model cooperative agreements of 1973 to 1977 and French promises of economic, political, and monetary support allowed France to continue to assert its cultural dominance.[xvi]  In order to protect the new loyal states de Gaulle adopted a ‘benevolent stand’ and agreed to provide technical and financial assistance, military advisors, and civilian staff.  The French Franc backed the African regional currencies and France warned other powers to not interfere in the region.[xvii]
In the process of decolonization Senegal agreed to allow 1200 French troops to remain on their base by the international airport in Dakar.  In other former colonies the garrisoned troops helped maintain pro-French governments and intervened as France saw necessary to protect its interests.  In Senegal the French troops served mainly an advisory and training role and in 2010 at the request of Senegal all but 300 of the French troops were withdrawn.[xviii]  A rapid deployment airborne force of 13,000 French Soldiers is on standby to intervene in the interest of France.[xix]

Effects on Post-Colonial Political and Economic Development

The Senegalese constitution of 1963 was loosely modeled on de Gaulle’s 5th Republic of France and President Senghor continued to maintain strong political and economic ties to France.[xx]  Meredith Martin argues that the changes to post-colonial Senegal were largely ceremonial as the country continued to be ran by an elite group separate from the masses.  However one impact of independence was the loss of markets and cohesion with other former French colonies as there were now more trade barriers as each country established its own systems of laws.[xxi]  Senghor resisted calls for the nationalization of French companies comparing it to killing ‘the goose that laid the golden egg.’[xxii] 
After independence the priorities of the government changed and four years after independence 47% of the budget was set aside for civil service salaries.[xxiii]  The post-colonial government did not invest in expanding the road network of the country as indicated by no increase in road density from 1963 to 1997.[xxiv]  Many of the roads far from the capital are in very poor condition and have not been maintained in years.
Senegal remains among one of the ‘privileged friends’ of former colonies that receive the majority of French trade in Africa.  In 1972 France was the destination of 58% of Senegalese exports and provided 49% of Senegalese imports.[xxv]  The pro-Franco African community of Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Senegal, and Togo account for 17% of African exports to France and 21% of French exports to Africa in 1983.  French bilateral assistance to Senegal was $294.4 million in 1982.[xxvi]

Comparison to Peer Group

Guinea stood out in opposition to maintaining strong ties to France and sought immediate independence and was cut off from France politically and economically.  Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea rallied Guinea to vote 95% in favor of immediate independence and were cut off from all further business relationships with France.  All French aid was immediately terminated, French doctors, administrators, technicians and other staff departed and destroyed what they could not take with them.  President Touré then turned to the Soviet Union for support and encouraged other countries to break away from France.[xxvii] Toure also pursued nationalization.[xxviii]
Côte d’Ivoire was considered the wealthiest of the colonies at independence and also sought close ties with France.  Felix Houphouet-Boigny, the first president of Côte d’Ivoire, was a minister in the French government along with Leopold Senghor from Senegal and was also a staunch advocate of the ‘Union Française.’[xxix]  Côte d’Ivoire experienced great growth post independence due to its exports of coffee and coco and close collaboration with France.  It experienced more than 7% growth per year for the first 20 years after independence and an industrial boom through the 1980s, due mainly to dependence and cooperation with France.[xxx]

The French doctrine of assimilation and the early establishment of democratic institutions and citizenship granted to members of the four French communes in Senegal created a deep sense of belonging and desire to maintain relationships with France.  The pro-France sentiment shaped post-colonial relations and garnered Senegal a beneficial trade and economic relations.  President Senghor sought close relations with France and resulted in more favorable economic conditions than others like Guinea that demanded immediate independence and were shut off from economic relations.  Côte d’Ivoire’s close ties to France were economically beneficial as well.  However other issues like peaceful regime change and political infighting had a significant impact on the former French colonies. 

Works Cited
Bon, Daniel and Mingst, Karen. 1980. French Intervention in Africa: Dependency or Decolonization. Africa Today, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 5-20.
Drake, Bill. 2008. Cultural Dimensions and Expatriate Life in Senegal. Cultural Dimensions Press, Kindle edition.
“France closes Senegal military bases,” BBC, last modified June 9, 2010, http://bbc.co.uk/news/10273849.
Herbst, Jeffrey. 2000. States and Power in Africa. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 
Martin, Guy. 1985. The Historical, Economic, and Political Bases of France’s African Policy.  The Journal of Modern African Studies. Vol. 23, No. 2, 189-208.
Meredith, Martin. 2005. The Fate of Africa. New York, NY, Public Affairs. Kindle edition.
Ross, Eric S. 2008. Culture and Customs of Senegal. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press. Kindle edition.
Wallerstein, Immanuel. 1965. “Elites in French-Speaking West Africa: The Social Basis of Ideas.” The Journal of Modern African Studies. Vol. 3, No.1, 1-33. 

[i] Ross, Eric S. 2008. Culture and Customs of Senegal. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press. Kindle edition. Location 158.
[ii] Ibid., Location 452.
[iii] Drake, Bill. 2008. Cultural Dimensions and Expatriate Life in Senegal. Cultural Dimensions Press, Kindle edition. Location 154.
[iv] Ross, 494.
[v] Ibid., 452.
[vi] Meredith, Martin. 2005. The Fate of Africa. New York, NY, Public Affairs. Kindle edition. Location 190.
[vii] Ibid., 466.
[viii] Meredith, 190.
[ix] Ross, 480.
[x] Meredith, 715.
[xi] Ibid., 784.
[xii] Ibid., 727.
[xiii] Bon, Daniel and Mingst, Karen. 1980. French Intervention in Africa: Dependency or Decolonization. Africa Today, Vol. 27, No. 2, p. 7.
[xiv] Ibid., 809.
[xv] Ibid., 830.
[xvi] Martin, Guy. 1985. The Historical, Economic, and Political Bases of France’s African Policy.  The Journal of Modern African Studies. Vol. 23, No. 2, 191.
[xvii] Meredith, 841.
[xviii] “France closes Senegal military bases,” BBC, last modified June 9, 2010, http://bbc.co.uk/news/10273849.
[xix] Martin, 204.
[xx] Ross, 538.
[xxi] Martin, 845.
[xxii] Ibid., 3196.
[xxiii] Ibid., 1992.
[xxiv] Herbst, Jeffrey. 2000. States and Power in Africa. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 166.
[xxv] Bon, 17.
[xxvi] Martin, 199-200.
[xxvii] Ibid., 840.
[xxviii] Ibid., 1702.
[xxix] Ibid., 701.
[xxx] Ibid., 3412.