Senegal, the westernmost country on the African continent, is a nation of about 10.6 million people and is roughly the size of South Dakota. It has a hot, wet season from June to October; a dry, cooler season from November to February; and a spectacularly hot, dry season from March to May.
The Senegalese are about 94% Muslim. French is the official language, but most people speak multiple local languages, including Wolof, Pulaar, Pulafuuta, Jaxanke, Mandinka, and Seereer. Seventy percent of the labor force is involved in agriculture; groundnuts (peanuts) are the major crop.
Fifty-four percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The literacy rate is about 40% (50% for men and 30% for women). HIV/AIDS infection is estimated at 0.8%. Life expectancy is approximately 59 years.
Senegal is known for being one of the main cultural centers of West Africa, particularly for music—Baaba Maal and Orchestra Baobab are two who have gained international fame, and Youssou NDour is practically a national hero.
The Peace Corps has sent over 2,500 Volunteers to Senegal since 1963. Senegal PCVs work mainly in Agriculture, Business Development, Environment, and Health & HIV/AIDS programs.
BBC Country Profile: Senegal
CIA World Factbook: Senegal
Nations Online: Senegal
Gouvernement du S?n?gal official site (en français)
Political map of Senegal
Lonely Planet: Senegal
allAfrica.com: West Africa