The following is the “Executive Summary” of the Special Report on Senegal published by Deloitte
Senegal offers a stable political environment, a favourable geographic position and strong institutions with growing opportunities for foreign investment. The Government of Senegal welcomes foreign investment and has prioritised efforts to improve the business climate in what is one of Africa’s fastest- growing economies.
With a GDP growth rate of 6.6% in 2016, Senegal is classified among the top three fastest-growing economies in Africa, behind Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania. With a low inflation rate of only 1% in 2016, Senegal’s monetary policy mirrors the objectives of economic stability and growth. Since 2004, its regional currency, the CFA franc, has been stable at a peg of 655.96 CFA franc per euro. According to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimations, a stronger and sustainable annual growth rate is anticipated up until 2021, estimated to be 7-8%. This is underpinned by exports, as well as foreign and local investments.
Senegal has also put in place a series of economic reforms as part of the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP) adopted in 2014 to accelerate progress towards becoming an emerging economy by 2035. The ESP aims to promote fiscal consolidation, increasing public savings to support higher public investment in human capital and public infrastructure; and envisages structural reforms to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), boost private investment and drive export diversification. It focuses on four key sectors to unlock inclusive growth, including energy, agriculture and land, ICT and transport.
The government is focusing on infrastructure projects to reduce transaction costs, setting up the country to become a regional business hub for logistics, services and industry.
According to the 2016 World Bank Doing Business report, the country is one of the world’s top business reformers and among the top ten business environment improvers for two consecutive years.
Senegal is also actively involved in several international investment-related organisations, and is a member of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). In addition, Senegal created an investment arbitration centre in 1998, which is administered by the Dakar Chamber of Commerce. The country has bilateral investment treaties with Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Romania, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the US. Senegal has also concluded tax treaties with France, Mali and the French-speaking African states of the ‘Organisation Commune Africaine et Malgache’ ( Joint Afro-Malagasy Organization).
As part of Senegal’s regulatory framework, an investment incentive regime is in place that aims to improve the business environment and gives support to private and foreign investments. The basic guarantees that the code assures is the protection against nationalisation, a stable currency, free repatriation of profits and funds, and equal treatment between local and foreign entities with access to raw materials, customs and tax incentives.
Tax incentives include a three-year exemption on customs duty for capital goods imports and VAT exemption on production and purchase of local products and services.
Recent findings of oil and gas could see Senegal’s energy sector enter a new area and impact the structure of Senegal’s economy. Recoverable reserves of oil are estimated between 350 and 500 million barrels. This corresponds to more than 65 000 barrels of oil per day. Gas reserves are estimated at about 590 billion cubic meters.
Despite its laudable economic performance over the past two recent years, some improvements are required to strengthen the achievement of a sustainable and rapid growth path. Senegal still experiences a notable infrastructure gap, and rural communities have little access to socio- economic facilities (water, transport, energy and economic services) with wide regional disparities. Also, the country has one of the highest electricity production costs in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): about US$0.30 per kWh. In addition, the agriculture sector, which employs 60% of the population, still depends on rain-fed crops, which are vulnerable to adverse weather conditions.
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About Dr Martyn Davies
Dean: Deloitte Alchemy School of Management
Managing Director, Emerging Markets and Africa
Dr Martyn Davies is the Managing Director of Emerging Markets & Africa at Deloitte and is the Dean of Deloitte’s Alchemy School of Management. Martyn is also the Africa Automotive Industry Leader of the Firm. Over his career, he has been a trusted advisor to executives at a large array of multinational firms on their market entry & engagement strategies in emerging markets and Africa. He has also conducted a large amount of advisory work on behalf of the public sector having advised a number of governments in numerous regions.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Martyn founded Frontier Advisory, a strategy and corporate finance advisory firm that was subsequently acquired by Deloitte. Dr Davies has previously been ranked the # 1 analyst in South Africa in the “African Economies & Markets” category as awarded by the Financial Mail in its prestigious Annual Analysts of the Year awards.
He is a Global Fellow at the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth – a group comprising leading international economists which works on subjects relating to macro-economy and inclusive growth.
Martyn was selected in 2010 as a Young Global Leader, an honour bestowed by the World Economic Forum each year to recognise distinguished young leaders. He is also a member of the global Young President’s Organisation (YPO).
He is a Visiting Professor at IE Business School, Madrid, Spain and is a Non-Executive Director of the NEPAD Business Foundation.
Martyn has been educated at Wits University, Yonsei (Seoul) Harvard, Yale and Oxford Universities.