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Faith Nyasuguta

In a decisive move, Senegal’s newly elected government has implemented measures to curb the rising cost of living faced by its citizens. With essential commodities witnessing skyrocketing prices across many African nations, President Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who assumed office after a March election, vowed to address this pressing issue.

Senegal, heavily reliant on imports, grapples with high unemployment and inflation rates, making the need for action urgent.

A Senegalese 🇸🇳 market /UN University/

Key Measures to Relieve Burden:

  1. Price Reductions:
    • The government swiftly announced price cuts on essential food items.
    • The most widely consumed type of rice will see a 40 CFA reduction per kilogram.
    • Baguettes will now cost 15 CFA less.
    • Similar reductions apply to cement and fertilizer prices.
  2. Budget Impact:
    • Implementing these measures comes at a cost of 53.3 billion CFA (approximately 81 million euros or $87 million).
    • Budget Minister Cheikh Diba clarified that the government would waive taxes and customs duties on importers to subsidize the price cuts.
  3. Challenges Ahead:
    • Bakers have expressed concerns about the reduction in bread prices, emphasizing the need for balanced economic policies.
    • Negotiations with Indian authorities aim to stabilize rice prices further, providing relief to Senegalese consumers.
  4. Oil Production Milestone:
    • Senegal recently joined the ranks of oil-producing countries with the commencement of production in its first offshore project by Australian group Woodside Energy.

A Closer Look at the Measures:

Rice Price Reduction:

The reduction in the cost of the most widely consumed rice variety aims to ease the burden on families. With rice being a staple food, this move directly impacts Senegalese households, allowing them to allocate their budgets more efficiently.

Baguette Affordability:

Baguettes /Cookido/

Baguettes, a beloved part of Senegal’s culinary culture, will now be more accessible. The 15 CFA reduction per loaf ensures that even the simplest pleasures remain within reach for all citizens.

Cement and Fertilizer:

Beyond food, the government’s intervention extends to construction materials and agriculture. By lowering prices for cement and fertilizer, Senegal aims to boost infrastructure development and support its vital agricultural sector.

Balancing Economic Policies:

While the price cuts are welcomed by many, bakers have raised concerns. They emphasize the need for comprehensive economic policies that consider the interests of all stakeholders. Finding this delicate balance remains a challenge for the government.

Senegal’s Oil Journey:

Senegal’s entry into the league of oil-producing nations marks a significant milestone. Woodside Energy’s offshore project promises newfound revenue streams, which President Faye pledges to manage wisely for the benefit of all Senegalese.

As the nation adapts to these changes, citizens eagerly await further updates from the government. The path to sustainable relief lies not only in immediate measures but also in long-term strategies that uplift the entire population. 


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Faith Nyasuguta

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