Senegal’s President unveils comprehensive economic ‘action plan’

Senegalese President Bassirou Diomaye Faye has issued a directive to his prime minister, instructing the formulation of an urgent “action plan” to bolster the nation’s struggling economy and finances, as stated by his office in a press release.

At 44 years old, Faye secured a landslide victory in last month’s election on a platform of comprehensive reform, marking his ascent as the country’s youngest president despite lacking prior elected experience.

On Tuesday he gave his prime minister and former mentor Ousmane Sonko until the end of the month to draw up an “action plan”, said the statement, released after Faye’s first cabinet meeting.

He ordered Sonko to “carry out a general review of programmes and plans” and report on “the general situation of the public finances”, international cooperation and public-private partnerships, it said.

He ordered the government to finalise the plan by the end of the month and to implement “without delay, with the (Senegalese) private sector, a bold policy to relaunch the national economy”.

He told ministers he had been elected to ensure a “profound breakaway” and a “transformation at all levels of economic and social life” in the country.

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One person in three of Senegal’s 18 million-strong population lives in poverty and the unemployment rate is around 20 percent.

Its economy has also suffered from the Covid pandemic and the effects of the Ukraine war.

Debt and inflation are running high while the past three years of social and political tension have dented investment.

Unveiling his cabinet on Friday, Sonko said the government’s priorities would include employment for young people, lowering the cost of living and protecting human rights.

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