Switzerland and Senegal enjoy excellent bilateral relations, characterised by numerous shared interests. The efforts of Switzerland and Senegal to take initiatives at the multilateral level, in particular within the UN and the International Organisation of La Francophonie, demonstrate their shared interest in developing common solutions for a number of global issues.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Senegal
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland has defined a strategy for sub-Saharan Africa for the period 2021–24.
Senegal is a "lion economy", making it one of the African countries that harbour high economic potential, particularly in terms of investment and trade, and that are characterised by dynamic growth.
Switzerland and Senegal maintain extensive and wide-ranging contacts, and high-level meetings between the two countries are frequent.
They have concluded agreements in the areas of trade, aviation, investment protection, technical cooperation, and climate change (art. 6, Paris Agreement).
In 2020, trade volume amounted to CHF 485 million, making Senegal Switzerland's 10th largest trading partner on the African continent. This 2020 figure was down by 22% compared to 2019, a decline mainly due to an equivalent 22% drop in Senegalese gold imports during the same year. Switzerland's exports included non-electrical machinery, pharmaceuticals, textiles and vehicles.
About 20 Swiss companies are currently active in Senegal. The Swiss embassy in Dakar notes however growing interest from Swiss firms seeking to invest in and/or export to Senegal.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Senegal can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
Measures to promote peace and human security
Security and stability across West Africa are of concern to Switzerland. Multilateral cooperation with Senegal is particularly fruitful, especially in the areas of water, peace and security and the prevention of violent extremism.
Swiss citizens in Senegal
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, 356 Swiss citizens were living in Senegal at the end of 2020 and 1,514 Senegalese citizens were living in Switzerland.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland opened a consulate in Dakar in 1928. At the time, there were almost 100 Swiss nationals living in Senegal. Switzerland recognised the new state of Senegal as soon as it gained independence from France in 1960, and established diplomatic relations with Senegal the following year. Switzerland provided development assistance to Senegal from 1962 to 2010.