In 1959 the French Sudan
and Senegal merged into the Mali Federation which went on to achieve
independence in 1960.
However this arrangement was short lived with the French Sudan breaking away to
form the Republic of Mali, and Senegal reverting to its former name the same
In 1982 Senegal formed another brief confederation with the
Gambia to form Senegambia however seven years later this to was dissolved.
Following peaceful elections in 2000 the rule of the
Socialist Party came to an end ushering in a new period of multi-party politics,
however the country faces many challenges from increasing desertification in the
north, widespread poverty reaching 75% in rural areas, many of the country's
young leaving to seek employment elsewhere particularly Europe, poor healthcare
and educational provision and the ongoing conflict in Casamance region in the
south of the country where there is a strong separatist movement.
Senegal is in 154th place out of 186 countries and
territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to
knowledge and the living standards of a country.