Senegal’s possible new foreign policy direction

Senegal’s possible new foreign policy direction

Serigne Ndiaye, who worked as a political consultant at the African Union, evaluated the elections in Senegal and their possible consequences for UWI.

The new President of Senegal, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, has been sworn in and taken office. What are the new president’s political leanings in terms of foreign policy?

Senegal’s geographical position makes for a complex situation. Located at the very tip of West Africa, it naturally watches over the Atlantic seaboard and regional maritime security as far as the Gulf of Guinea. From a geostrategic point of view, the country is also the last military lock against the breakthrough of jihadist armed groups to the south.

In terms of regional integration, it will undoubtedly be able to act as a bridge between ECOWAS and AES, thanks to the aura of Prime Minister Ousmane SONKO and his Excellency Bassirou Diomaye FAYE.

An anti-French political wave is rising in Africa, notably in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso… Can the results of the elections in Senegal be evaluated as part of this political wave in Africa?

You know, beyond its long democratic tradition, Senegal is an old country, which in the past, knew how to take its responsibilities during the decisive moments of its history. It was a question of turning the page on retrograde governance and electing new, modern leaders capable of helping the country better integrate into the complex, changing global economy of the 21st century.

Consequently, I think that an objective reading would suggest “pro-Senegalese” and “pro-change” political waves.

What steps will Senegal take to become fully economically independent? Is the exit from the French franc (CFA) the order of the day?

The first step was to promote the ECO of ECOWAS, i.e. to move towards greater monetary integration, as already advocated in the constitutional act of the OAU since its creation in 1963.

It would then be a community currency pegged to a basket of currencies. And only when such negotiations fail could the country, with a view to the effectiveness of its economic policies, consider moving towards a national currency.

The world is moving forwards towards multipolarity. Western influence is waning. How is the African continent as a whole affected by this change?

I believe that multipolarism, supported by the emergence of China and emerging countries in general, is naturally leading to an unprecedented redistribution of the cards. It makes the waves of change in Africa even more complex, but opens up great prospects for the continent’s economic development.

How would you assess relations between Türkiye and Senegal? In what areas can Türkiye and Senegal expand their cooperation?

In 2018, the volume of trade between Türkiye and Senegal was already valued at $400 million, and has grown by 42% in 2021, despite the COVID-19 crisis. In the coming years, the previously announced target of one billion dollars could be realized through investment in promising sectors such as agriculture, energy, industry and infrastructure.

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May 2024