Senegal is one of the most stable countries in West Africa and a favoured destination for European travellers. Senegal owes its name to the Senegal River that borders the country to the east and north. The most urbanised regions of the country include the capital city of Dakar, Ziguinchor and Thies-Saint Louis.
Senegal is well-known for its musical and storytelling heritage and the tradition of historical, cultural or political commentary performed in music, poetry and song by the griots, or bards, who hold respected positions in society.
Since the 1990s, Senegal has increasingly positioned itself as a hub for shipping, finance and transportation in West Africa. Senegal is a member of the Western African Economic and Monetary Union, which is working toward regional integration. The GDP of Senegal has been steadily increasing since the 1980s. Modern Senegalese economy relies mainly on fishing tourism, phosphate mining and groundnuts.
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