Washington DC — A briefing for investors and policymakers focusing on Senegal, hosted by AllAfrica on April 17, drew capacity attendance from private equity funds, companies, financial institutions and government agencies.
A high-level government delegation provided an overview on Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE) - or Emerging Senegal Plan - a development blueprint developed by President Macky Sall and his team to accelerate the country's progress toward emerging-market status and address inequities in income and opportunity.
The two-hour session was moderated by Dr. Mima Nedelcovych, president and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development, an organization of major global corporations committed to poverty alleviation, and included opening statements by Alain Ebobisse, global head of InfraVentures of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group and Peter Barlerin, director of the Economic Policy Staff in the Africa Bureau of the U.S. State Department.
Two ministers from President's Sall's Cabinet - Amadou Ba (Economy, Finance and Planning) and Abdul Aziz Tall, (Implementation of Plan Senegal Emergent) delivered remarks on the government's economic strategy and the objectives of the Plan, which is built on three pillars:
- structural transformation of the economy, including development of new sectors to create wealth, jobs, and social inclusion, with a strong capacity to export and attract investment.
- significant improvement in the well-being of the population, including a more sustained struggle against social inequality, while preserving the resource base and supporting the emergence of viable regions ; and
- reinforcement of security, stability, governance, the protection of rights and liberties, and the consolidation of the rule of law in order to create better conditions for social peace and the fulfilment of potential.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde called Plan Senegal Emergent "an ambitious yet feasible path towards emerging economy status," during an address to the National Assembly in Dakar earlier this year. "Accelerating and broadening the reforms required by this plan are integral to this vision - a vision that Senegal shares with many of its African peers," she said in her speech.
Details of the plan were outlined at the briefing during in-depth presentations by three senior officials - Director Generals Pierre Ndiaye (Planning & Economic Policies), Mamadou Moustapha Ba (Finance & Planning) and Mountaga Sy (Investment Promotion Agency - APIX). Audience members joined the discussion during several question-and-answer segments.
Goals for the first five-year phase of the Plan, which was adopted in 2014, include growth rates of 7.1% annually through 2018 and reduction of the fiscal deficit from 5.3% in 2013 to 3.9% in 2018.
Senegal has issued a 'shopping list' of projects for which international participation is being solicited. Planned projects span a range of sectors, including infrastructure, mining, agriculture, tourism, education and health.