Industry Thought Leadership

Digitalization of the Senegal Economy

January, 2017
Fatou Kamara
Brand and Digital Director

Expresso Sénégal

In Africa, Senegal is classified 1st African country for the weight of Internet in the economy (I-PIB) estimated at 3.3%, due in particular to a very good international connectivity and a good domestic network of transmission.

The Senegal GDP shows that 91% of its value are due to private consumption while other dimensions such as the contribution of the private sector investments, public and export remain low.

Senegal undertook a large program of digitalization of the centralized and decentralized public administration. And the country intends to consolidate the furnished efforts because of a report of the World Bank entitled « Development in the world 2016: the Numeric dividends » which highlights the importance for Senegal to adopt and implement quickly its strategy and its program of reform in the sector of communication and information technologies in order to generate the digital dividends.

Those will be beneficial for the whole Senegalese economy via an accelerated development of the generating activities of employment.

The development of the digital sector is consigned within the Senegal Digital Plan which is an axis of the Emerging Senegal Plan, which directs a structural transformation of the Senegalese economy currently in hand.

The Digital Senegal Plan is made up by the prerequisite and priority angles articulated around the slogan “the digital for all and all the usages in 2025 in Senegal with a dynamic and innovating private sector, in a powerful ecosystem”.

The total costs of these reforms and the projects over the period 2016/2025 that this plan aims, are of 1,361 billion F CFA and 300 million; 73% will be financed by the private sector, 17% by the public and 10% in PPP mode.

This plan will offer real digital opportunities in the long term. Those are consigned in a chapter devoted on the promotion of an industry of digital innovating and creative of value articulated around three points.

The first aims at the improvement of the environment of support for the local private sector. Thus the Contribution to the Development of Telecommunications and Energy (CODETE) will be re-examined so that the resources planned for the development of the universal service of Telecommunications will increased, and the rationalization of the taxes applied to the sector will be committed.

A program “Start-up Senegal” and funds of support to ‘’the entrepreneurship and the promotion of digital’’ will be also launched.

The second point relates to the promotion of the investment and the export of services.

With the Digital Park of Technologies (PTN) of the new city close to the capital, Diamniadio, a space will be dedicated to encourage the digital by the means in particular of a program of incubation. It is also envisaged a development of digital poles of activities near to the university campuses in order to constitute zones of economic activities arranged with adequate infrastructures, to create an engine of growth, layers of employment and facilities for the activities of Business Outsourcing Process/Information Technology-Enabled Services.

The last point refers to the creation of access terms to the market in order to reduce the obstacles weighing on the local Small and medium-size companies for the access to the public order.

In the medium term, 50% of the public contracts TIC will be dedicated to the local companies or companies in the neighbour countries, and 3000 qualified jobs will be created a year by 2025.

In addition, with the project « Start - Up Sénégal », 100 companies a year will be incubated and a billion ( F CFA a year will be devoted to the promotion and the entrepreneurship.

In the long term, the plan of digitalization of Senegal by 2025 will make it possible to support priority economic sectors: agricultural productivity, security and maritime safety, e-commerce and financial services, E-health and telemedicine, education system, cultural industry ...

For that, the State of Senegal will continue its extensions of network and will optimize the existing one.

As its General Manager underlines it, the Agency of the data processing of State (ADIE) aims to modernize the Senegalese administration by placing at its disposal a coherent and evolutionary information system with an aim of offering a qualitative public service to the users. This agency will have soon nearly 4500 km of optical fibre through Senegal.

This project of deployment of the national backbone whose phase 3 started in January 2016, reached an interesting threshold of national coverage to which is added a cellular network of the CDMA type and a wireless networking of the WiMax type.

This high-speed coverage is carried by infrastructures which are supplemented or accompanied by private operators which makes Internet and its associated services, more and more accessible to the Senegalese citizens.

Among these services, it is necessary to quote the on-line means of payment, via mobile and all the digital electronic banking which allowed the creation and fast development of number of companies of Money transfer, sites of on-line purchases, but also the development of solutions of digital banking transactions.

In addition to the electronic money, the increasingly powerful digitalization in Senegal made it possible to gradually stabilize Digital terrestrial television (TNT) but also all the audio-visual platforms with services with strong added value.

This potential of digitalization of the offer, and all the chain of creation of value of the companies, should be more accompanied by a legal and lawful framework which impels competition in this sector at high rate of development.

It is a situation well taken into account by Senegal.