Black History Month 2018: Senegal’s Stagnation


Senegal is one of the most interesting countries in Africa.

It is interesting because it is a counterpoint. It is exceptional in the sense that it has been far more stable than the vast majority of African countries. Uganda had Idi Amin. Zimbabwe had Robert Mugabe. The Central African Republic had Emperor Bokassa. Ethiopia had Mengistu Haile Mariam.

The story of post-colonial Africa is largely the story of colorful dictators, military coups, civil wars, famines, corruption, genocides, massacres, anarchy, collapse, etc. Senegal is remarkable in that has never experienced a coup d’état, a foreign invasion or a civil war. The closest thing it has experienced to this is the Casamance conflict which is a low level separatist movement.

In Senegal, the usual explanations for why Black Africa isn’t Wakanda breakdown. It is ethnically and linguistically diverse, but it is a stable country. It hasn’t suffered military coups, foreign invasions or civil war. It hasn’t groaned under the tyranny of a monster. It hasn’t failed due to any lack of democracy, muh constitution or chronic corruption. Senegal was represented in the French parliament from the late 19th century until the German invasion in the Second World War and afterwards. It has held democratic elections since independence in 1960.


Léopold Sédar Senghor, the first president of Senegal, was the Senegalese equivalent of Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana. He dominated Senegal for 20 years. In some ways, Senghor was like Nkrumah. He was the philosopher of négritude and an African socialist who favored state intervention in the economy. In other ways, he was very different. Senghor was a Francophile and maintained a close relationship with France. He kept trained French civil servants in Senegal and married a French woman.

How is Senegal ranked #162 in the UN Human Development Index? In spite of its relative stability, it is a poorer country and thus a bigger shithole than Ghana. Perhaps this is due to the legacy of slavery in Senegal or the terrible legacy of French colonialism?

In 1960, the average GDP per capita in Ghana, Senegal, Malaysia and South Korea was $182.98, $247.24, $234.92 and $158.24. Senegal was richer than Ghana, Malaysia and South Korea in 1960. In 2016, the average GDP per capita in Ghana, Senegal, Malyasia and South Korea was $1,513, $952, $9,508 and $27,538. Senegal is now by far the poorest of the four countries.

In 1960, South Korea, Malaysia, Senegal and Ghana were on the same economic level. In 2016, South Korea is a First World country with advanced manufactured and the fastest internet in the world. Malaysia is a middle income country. Ghana and Senegal are Third World countries. The cause of this is that the rest of the world outside of Africa has grown richer since the 1960s while Ghana and Senegal have stagnated. There was never a rise in sub-Saharan Africa comparable to East Asia.

In Senegal, the economy stagnated while the population soared after independence, which is the reason why it has remained such a poor country. The same was true of Haiti after the Haitian Revolution. The case of Senegal suggests that even if none of these other disasters had happened in post-colonial Africa – the coups, civil wars, evil dictators, genocides, famines, terrorism and religious sectarian conflict – the outcome might have been the same in spite of Western ‘good governance’.

What if there had been religious tolerance in Sudan or Nigeria? In Senegal, Léopold Senghor was a Roman Catholic who governed a 90% Muslim country for 20 years. What if African countries were ethnically homogeneous? Contrast ethnically homogeneous Somalia with ethnically heterogeneous Senegal and Cameroon. What if African countries weren’t so corrupt? Senegal is perceived as less corrupt than Spain and Portugal. What if African countries weren’t cursed by their natural resources? Unlike Sierra Leone, Liberia or Ghana, Senegal is known for peanuts instead of gold and blood diamonds. What if African countries had avoided slavery and colonialism? Senegal is better off than Liberia and Ethiopia. What if African countries were democracies? Senegal is a stable democracy.

African countries could do everything right and become stable democracies like Senegal … and they would still stagnate and be left in the dust by the rest of the world. As the contrast between Senegal and Ghana and South Korea and Malaysia shows, global inequality is getting worse.

About Hunter Wallace 12371 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. Senghor may have been tolerated once, but Islam is what it is, even if quiescent. He would not be tolerated now, he would be executed on sight, as he would be in Sudan or the Islamic half of Nigeria. As for “legacy of slavery”, Senegal is is a Muslim country. Islam approves of slavery, and it is not hard to find imams lamenting that Muslim households don’t have the slaves they deserve because the West hasn’t yet been conquered for Islam.

  2. When Africans move to the West-they’re just Africans. They’re usually bad news and have very little to give.
    If they’re going to be a burden on the welfare system-meant to benefit whites during temporary misfortune-then why import them?
    If they’re prone to violence and gang activity, then why import them?
    If we must waste time and money on assimilation programs at our expense, then why import them?
    If they’re outbreeding us 6 to 1?3, present as a demographic threat and will lower our average IQ by 20 points, then why import them?
    People who don’t want them shouldn’t have to explain themselves, and should have a right to say no. Africa’s problems are not ours. Even if they bought something useful to our nation’s-we don’t want them.

  3. Sometimes I actually feel sorry for these people. They can’t create a better society AND hate us when we try to do it for them. The latter part of my statement is the reason why my sympathy quickly fades.

Comments are closed.