October – July (for primary to post-secondary education)
Literacy rate (15+ years old)
Primary school – 63%
Lower secondary school – 33%
Upper secondary school – 15%
Children (6 – 11 years) – 585,518
Adolescents (12 to 14 years) – 667,148
Youth (15 – 17) – 597,940
Senegal’s educational system faces many challenges. While the country offers free, compulsory education up to age 16, many students drop out due to poverty and a lack of resources. This is particularly true of female students, who often begin working at an early age, marry young, or become pregnant. A general inaccessibility of educational materials only worsens the situation — for instance, only 25% of the population have reliable access to the internet.
Construction on a new school in the village of Soupa Serere began in November 2018, with the help of 20 Acronis employees and the local community members. Half a year later — with help from the company’s sports partners, ROKiT Williams Racing Formula One team and Arsenal Football Club — the Acronis Cyber Foundation opened the Soupa Serere Elementary School, providing a safe learning environment to local children who previously had to walk four kilometers every day to attend a school in a nearby village.
In February 2021, the Acronis Cyber Foundation and its partner CREATE! — an Oregon-based nonprofit organization that helps rural communities in Senegal implement and take ownership of sustainable development initiatives — opened a digital classroom in Soupa Serere. This project enables computer literacy and STEM classes for children in Soupa Serere as well as the nearby villages of Toukar and Kish, helping students to build key skills for future success.
News from the project
About the country
Republic of Senegal
16 million people
West African CFA franc
French; in Soupa Serere – Wolof, Serer
Senegal has a tropical climate with pleasant heat throughout the year and well-defined dry and humid seasons. The dry season (December to April) is dominated by hot, dry wind. Dakar’s annual rainfall of about 600 mm (24 in) occurs between June and October when high temperatures average 30 °C (86 °F) and lows average 24 °C (76 °F); December to February high temperatures average 26 °C (78 °F) and lows average 18 °C (64 °F).
Richly decorated on the interior and exterior, the Grand Mosque was designed by French and Moroccan architects and opened in 1964.
The House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) and its Door of No Return is a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade on Gorée Island, 3 km off the coast of the city of Dakar, Senegal. It memorializes the final exit point of slaves from Africa.
It is named for its pink waters caused by Dunaliella salina algae and is known for its high salt content, up to 40% in some areas.
The site consists of four large groups of stone circles that represent an extraordinary concentration of over 1,000 monuments in a band 100 km wide along some 350 km of the River Gambia. Some of them reveal material that suggest dates between third century BC and 16th century AD.
Situated in the Senegal River delta, the Djoudj Sanctuary is a wetland of 16,000 hectares, comprising a large lake surrounded by streams, ponds, and backwaters. It forms a living but fragile sanctuary for some 1.5 million birds, such as the white pelican, the purple heron, the African spoonbill, the great egret, and the cormorant.
Fathala Wildlife Reserve in Senegal is an area that consists of approximately 6,000 hectares of protected forest, providing guests with the opportunity to visit an original stretch of the African wilderness in its original condition.
Thies: Residence Blue
Dakar: Radisson Hotel Dakar Diamniadio, Hotel Lagon 2
Places to eat
Le Ngor, La Calebasse, Djinkoumé House, L’endroit
Best souvenirs from the country
Bold and vibrant textiles (aprons, purses, make-up bags, pillows, men’s ties), wood objects, masks and sculptures, mansala sets, woven baskets, shea butter, tuareg metal pieces (chests, letter openers, spears)
Proposed one week tour
Day 1: Tour Dakar (Monument de la Renaissance Africaine, Mamelles Lighthouse, Mosque of the Divinity, Village Des Arts, Grande Mosquée de Dakar, La Galerie Antenna)
Day 2: Tour Dakar (Palais du Président, Musee de l’Ifan, House of Slaves)
Day 3: Lac Rose Lake
Day 4: School visit
Day 5: Djoudj park
Day 6: Fathala Reserve. Overnight in Fathala
Day 7: Senegambian stone circles