Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal (République du Sénégal, ), is a country in West Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north. Senegal is externally bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Mauritania to the north, Mali to the east, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south; internally it almost completely surrounds the Gambia, namely on the north, east and south, except for Gambia's short Atlantic coastline. Senegal covers a land area of almost , and has an estimated population of about 13 million. The climate is tropical with two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.
Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, is located at the westernmost tip of the country on the Cap-Vert peninsula. About 500 kilometers (300 mi) off the coast lie the Cape Verde Islands. During the 17th and 18th centuries, numerous trading posts belonging to various European colonial empires, were established along the coast. After French colonization of the territory it called French West Africa (Afrique occidentale française, or AOF), the town of St. Louis was the capital; in 1902 it was succeeded by Dakar. At the time of independence from France in 1960, Senegal affirmed its capital as Dakar.
The country is part of The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Integrated with the main bodies of the international community, Senegal is also a member of the African Union (AU) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. Since 2 April 2012, the country's president has been Macky Sall.