Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation: Senegal Country Case Study

Since the late 1990s it has become a priority of Senegal to reduce inequality and poverty. The catalysts are the structural adjustment policies, which have had disastrous consequences on the living conditions of populations. The policies undertaken since then by the state are rising up to the urgent social problems related to poverty and social justice. Senegal has been facing many economic and social challenges – despite its political stability- which often lead to regular interventions of the government. Even if the country’s development strategies largely influence its economic performance, the economy currently seems affected by the adverse international environment, particularly by the socio-political situation in Mali. It is not surprising that sometimes a State has other than social priorities, while its economy is in recession; this explains why developing countries often cut in social expenditures during times of crisis. The objective in this paper, is to illustrate the extent of the different forms of inequality (economic, social and political) in Senegal, to analyze their current drivers and dynamics, the strategies to address them, in the context of the current development and transformation processes. The aim is to identify lessons learnt and possible key policy areas for future engagement. The study will focus on social and economic inequalities, taking into account their decomposition according to gender, regions, rural and urban areas and ethnics. We respectively treat the disparities of unemployment, education, illiteracy, access to infrastructures such as health facilities, education, drinking water, transportation and income inequality.