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Senegal - Selling and buying

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Reaching the consumers

Marketing opportunities

Consumer behavior: The Senegalese have a habit of using mostly imported products such as rice and sugar which are basic ingredients. This anchorage to foreign products is explained by a "complexity" and a lack of education towards local consumption. In principal, the local Senegalese prefers to buy imported products which he judges to be of the best quality.
The women from Senegal are big consumers of beauty and skin-care products and are attracted by American brands.
Consumer profile: The average Senegalese consumer has a very limited purchasing power. However, the emergence of an upper-middle class has lead to the development of supermarket chains, mostly international ones. Here, the consumer with a high purchasing power can buy foreign products, with a preference for American and French products. The clientele of these supermarkets is mostly composed of a fraction of the population that disposes a fairly high income, in particular the expatriates.
Main advertising agencies:

Distribution network

Evolution of the sector: There are more than 12000 shops in Senegal, located mostly in the big cities (Dakar, Saint-Louis, Thies). There is a strong presence of shopping chains in the Capital.
Since 1997, big malls  (Centre commercial l'Espace, Centre commercial EL Malick, Centre commercial Khelkom, Centre commercial Dakar-Plateau, Centre commercial Toua-Sandaga, etc. ) have started mushrooming in the Capital.

The big and medium-sized malls have in no way overthrown the traditional stores which remain a majority. The mini-stores are quite successful with the Senegalese consumers since they offer a variety of products, of a good quality as well as competitively priced.

The three supermarket chains (Score, Bon Prix and Leader Price) in the Capital, all belonging to the Damag Group have less than 10% of the market share, because their brand positioning (for products that are largely imported) corresponds to a clientele with a strong purchasing power (European expatriates, Lebanese residents and Senegalese from the privileged class).

The informal sector holds an important place in distribution. The small retailers especially sell food products. They represent the biggest volume of business, because they target the biggest section of the Senegalese population. It is very difficult to quantify this type of trade because this type of distribution is very often in the informal sector.

Types of outlet: The three supermarket brands (Score, Bon Prix and Leader Price) in the capital, all belonging to the Damag Group, occupy a market share of less than 10%. The informal market dominates the distribution sector.

Market access procedures

Economic Cooperation: Senegal is a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of Western Africa (UEMAO) and also adheres to the Franc Zone
Non tariff barriers: - tardiness and administrative complexity
- corruption
Average Customs Duty (excluding agricultural products): There are four levels of taxation: 0%, 5%, 10% and 20%.
For more information, visit the site of the Senegal Customs
Customs classification: Senegal uses a system of classification in accordance with the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
Import procedures: The required documents are:
- An Invoice made out in duplicate
- certificate of origin


For more information, consult the website of the Senegal Customs

Customs website: The Senegalese Customs

Organizing goods transport

Organizing goods transport to and from: The Dakar Port Authority occupies a privileged position in the maritime traffic of West Africa. It is not only the central point of the country's traffic but also that of the region, in particular with Mali.
Senegal is equipped with three airports open to international traffic: the L.S. Senghor (Dakar) Airport, Cap Skirring and Saint Louis and 12 other airports open to domestic traffic.


The railway network is composed of two principal lines:
- Dakar - Thies - Louga - Saint-Louis;
- Dakar - Thies - Diourbel - Tambacounda - Bamako, with a branch line towards Kaolack. This line ensures the international traffic with Mali.

These two lines are open for the transport of merchandise and people.
The Railways is used not only for transporting most of the mineral products and fuels but also a part of the agricultural produce.

Sea transport organizations:

Domestic business directories

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