Canada and Senegal established diplomatic relations in 1962. Since then, Canada is represented in Senegal by the Embassy of Canada in Dakar. Senegal has maintained a diplomatic presence in Canada since 1975, through its embassy in Ottawa.
Canada's bilateral relations with Senegal are strong and wide-ranging. Senegal is a major partner for Canada within multilateral institutions, such as the Francophonie and the United Nations.
Many high-level visits in both countries have contributed to the development of the relationships. In November 2013, Christian Paradis, Minister for International Development and La Francophonie, visited Senegal. In October 2012, during a working visit, the Prime Minister Stephen Harper met President Macky Sall. Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, paid a State Visit to Senegal in 2010. Senegal also played host to the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association in October 2011,
Canada and Senegal cooperate closely to promote peace and regional security. Both countries have participated in numerous peacekeeping initiatives. Furthermore, Senegal's armed forces are beneficiaries of the Canadian Forces Military Training and Cooperation Program.
Canada and Senegal have well-established commercial relations. Over sixty Canadian companies are active on the Senegalese market and Canadian investments in the mining sector are considerable. In 2013, trade between Canada and Senegal reached $29.4 million, of which almost $26.7 million were exports and approximatively $2.8 million were imports from Senegal. In 2001, Canada and Senegal signed a Double Taxation Agreement and a Customs Duties Exemption Agreement in 2004. An Air Transport Agreement was signed between Canada and Senegal during Prime Minister Harper's visit to Dakar in 2012. Furthermore, during the same period, Canada and Senegal concluded negotiations for a Canada-Senegal Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA). Letters of intent for a FIPPA were signed in 2012 with a view to a final signature to the agreement.
Canada has been a development partner of Senegal for a long time, investing over $1.2 billion as part of the Official Development Assistance since 1962. As part of Canada’s Aid Effectiveness Agenda, Senegal was designated as one of 20 target countries. A Mutual Responsibility Framework for Development Cooperation was signed between Canada and Senegal in November 2013. The framework confirms the partnership and support that Canada is offering Senegal to achieve its development objectives. The disbursements of the Official Canadian Aid to Senegal in 2011-2012 amounted to $77.98 million. This amount was allocated to priority themes such as children and youth (education), food security (agricultural production, microfinance and nutrition), and to sustainable economic growth (public funds management). Governance, the environment and gender equality are approached transversally across all Canadian interventions in Senegal.
In 2013-2014, the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives funded two projects equivalent to $46,600 in Senegal. The first ($21,800) was for a national campaign against corruption and abnormal practices. The second ($24,800) was for a support program for 8,000 prospective women candidates in the 2014 local elections.
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