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Senegal

Artists Take the Long Road to Dak'Art

The 13th edition of Dak'Art, a key contemporary African art exhibition, has opened in Senegal. Six of the artists chose to take the longest route to Dakar in a rusty yellow bus. Senegalese President Macky Sall welcomed hundreds of artists, critics, curators and dignitaries representing Africa and the diaspora at the opening ceremony at the National Grand Theatre. The six artists from across West Africa and Germany had set off from Lagos in Nigeria two weeks ago, aboard a rusty faded yellow school bus that may have seen better days.

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The women and girls in Senegal pushing through the tech industry’s gender barriers

The first time Binta Coudy Dé left Senegal was in 2011, when the then 22-year-old computer engineer was invited to participate in a tech competition organised by Microsoft in New York. Amongst the groups from all around the world participating in the competition, Dé’s group from Senegal was the only all-female team. “We knew that in Senegal we were the only women’s tech team, but being the only all-women’s team in that competition was surprising. American people were very happy to see that there were black girls competing, so everybody wanted to talk to us,” recalls Dé. “It was very interesting to us, but also very insulting, because we knew there were other women in the tech field, but nobody knew about them.”

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Neither borders nor boundaries stop this executive from Senegal

Anta Babacar had just returned to Senegal from Paris, where she was studying at prestigious universities and working for a multinational company. At the time, she thought that her experience abroad would help build Sedima, her family’s poultry business back home. But a meeting with Sedima’s general director – her father – ended unexpectedly. Instead of being assigned a desk, she was sent to a farm to learn the basics of raising chickens. “I was really convinced I was getting an office job,” says Anta Babacar. “I had an MBA, a master’s degree, I knew the business, was born with the chickens. What else he could ask for?”

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Senegal – another big rebasing to GDP

BY

We think Senegal is one of the good news stories in sub-Saharan Africa, which will be reinforced as GDP is revised up by perhaps 30% in 2018.

Senegal was one of only two sub-Saharan African countries to be upgraded in 2017

Senegal is the only sub-Saharan African country we follow to get upgraded in 2017, from B1 to Ba3 by Moody’s in April. This put it one notch above the B+ S&P rating which is unchanged since 2000. In the rest of sub-Saharan Africa over 2017, only Burkina Faso received an upgrade from B- to B; it is also in the West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). There are IMF programmes with virtually every one of the WAEMU member states, which may be helping this positive trend. We have assumed no further change in Senegal’s ratings, but after this week’s visit to Dakar, we see upside risk to ratings in 2018-2019.

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