Senegal has a population of 16.2 million in 2019, about a third of whom live in Dakar and its suburbs. The country has a population growth rate of 3.07% per year and ranks 202nd out of 228 on the Human Development Index (HDI). 44% of the Senegalese population lives in urban areas and 60% of the population is under the age of 20.


The enrollment rate for children between 6 and 12 years old is 80% but almost half of the children enrolled leave school during the year for various reasons (family, economic, health, etc.), mainly girls (1). Almost half of the Senegalese population (46.7%) is poor despite an economic growth rate of 6.8%.

According to UNICEF (2) great strides have been made in access to education in the country in recent years. In spite of these, challenges persist, such as :

. A large number of children and young people still excluded from the education system, especially in disadvantaged areas or those resistant to the traditional school model;
. Weaknesses of early childhood care models in preparing children to enter primary school;
. Inadequate learning outcomes for pupils, which jeopardize their adequate transition between cycles;
. The level of training and qualification of teachers is still insufficient;
The under-financing of Integrated Early Childhood Development (DIPE), which receives less than 1% of the national education budget.

In addition, the situation and living conditions of child talibé beggars continues to be a difficult issue, as does the inclusion of daraas (Koranic schools) in a holistic education system.

Senegal: Quality education helps build the future

Global Partnership for Education / Video >

Despite great progress made in the areas of access to education, significant needs continue to exist in the country. The country has an active civil society with a wide range of social actors, particularly in the field of children and education, as well as local organizations with extensive experience in the management of development projects.

1 Terre des Hommes Switzerland, Special Senegal, n°135, September 2019

Current projects

Improving access to school in Senegal thanks to bicycles

Bikes to reduce the travel time of distances to get to school and to help improve the academic performance of young schoolchildren.

Strengthen the agri-food production unit

From the purchase of equipment for the production unit and the training of out-of-school young girls in the agri-food industry, to the creation of an additional work space and the creation of two training courses…

Completed projects

Improving the conditions of Jamono Sheikh Wade Pre-school

… and contribute to a better care of students to increase their chances for a successful scolarity.