The Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PES) aims to transform the country into an emerging nation by 2035.
The PES focuses on three priority objectives: bringing about a structural transformation of the economy, promoting human capital, and enabling good governance.
Under its first phase, 27 flagship projects encompassing six critical sectors including construction, logistics and mining, are being carried out.
Speaking to Energy Capital & Power, Ndeye Mareme Diop, Communication Officer at the PES’s Operational Monitoring Office, explained that, “The strategic recovery of the energy and infrastructure sectors, including first gas [production], is the backbone and the prerequisite for the successful implementation of the PES’s first objective. The money earned through exports and energy self-sufficiency would allow the country to achieve developing nation status and attract investors from all over the world.”
Already, several major projects are underway that promise new opportunities for economic growth.
Expanding the Gold Mining Sector
Senegal is particularly active in the exploitation of gold, with an estimated production of 510,336 ounces in 2021. The country has attracted international mining companies such as IAMGOLD, Barrick Gold, and more recently Fortuna Silver Mines, which announced in May 2023 a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of Chesser Resources’ shares in the Diamba Sud mine.
The entire sector saw a 128% increase in value between 2016 and 2020. According to the latest annual report from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, extractive activities contributed nearly 5% of the GDP in 2021, compared to only 3.4% in 2020. Progress can largely be attributed to the PES, which has incentivized investment across this high potential industry.
Falémé Integrated Iron Project
The Falémé Integrated Iron Project focuses on establishing a mining and steel complex in the Kédougou region by 2023. The project will be conducted in three phases, the first of which involves the construction of a steel rebar and wire factory using imported semi-finished iron. The second phase will replace imports with a local iron mine, blast furnace, converter and billet production unit, while the third will include further facility expansion to produce pellets and diversified steel products using resources from the country’s gas projects.
Various partners are interested in collaborating on the project, including Chinese steel producer Sinosteel. MIFERSO, the national iron ore company, is currently conducting surveys and reserve verification onsite.
Diamniadio International Industrial Park
The 40-hectare Diamniadio International Industrial Park (DIIP2) will include 235,000 square meters of hangar space, a building and a logistics park. The platform will house 17 hangars for companies and a housing estate accommodating 1,400 people.
The project, led by Chinese companies Sichuan Road and Bridge Group and CGCOC Group, is 80% complete and will be complete by October 2023.
The DIIP2 is inspired by Chinese industrial parks and is expected to enhance economic development, reduce imports and attract foreign investors, contributing to Senegal’s growth and urbanization.
Regional Air Hub
The expansion of regional airports including Saint Louis, Ourossogui/Matam, Ziguinchor, Tambacounda, and Kédougou is also underway, with Saint Louis airport ready to commence commercial operations before the end of 2023. Expansion has been enabled by the PES and is set to significantly increase the movement of people and goods across the region.
Additionally, Air Senegal, the national airline of Senegal established in 2016, has made efforts to reduce losses and improve operations. As such, the airline is making great strides to improve operational efficiency, thereby supporting economic growth through advancements in transportation.
Upcoming events such as the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 conference and exhibition, which will be held in Nouakchott on November 21–22 under the auspices of Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, presents an ideal chance to learn more about Senegal’s investment opportunities. A large number of regional and international investors are attending the conference, providing prospects for interaction and deal signing. Under the PES, Senegal is set to transform its economy, and investors are urged to seize the opportunities the growing market presents. For more information about the MSGBC conference, click here.