History in Senegal

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Archaeological findings throughout the area indicate that Senegal was inhabited in prehistoric times. Islam established itself in the Senegal River valley in the 11th century--95% of Senegalese today are Muslims. In the 13th and 14th centuries the area came under the influence of the great Mandingo empires to the east; the Jolof Empire of Senegal also was founded during this time.

In January 1959 Senegal and the French Soudan merged to form the Mali Federation which became fully independent on June 20 1960 as a result of the independence and the transfer of power agreement signed with France on April 4 1960. Due to internal political difficulties the Federation broke up on August 20 1960. Senegal and Soudan (renamed the Republic of Mali) each proclaimed separate independence. Leopold Sedar Senghor internationally renowned poet politician and statesman was elected Senegal's first president in August 1960.

Since assuming the presidency in 1981 Abdou Diouf has encouraged broader political participation reduced government involvement in the economy and widened Senegal's diplomatic engagements particularly with other developing nations. Even in it's 4th

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