Senegalese Diaspora: A Growing Demographic and Electoral Force

The Senegalese diaspora, estimated at more than 700 thousand people, or 4% of the population (Agence Ecofin), represents a constantly increasing demographic and electoral force. Its participation in Senegal’s elections has increased significantly in recent years, highlighting its growing importance in the country’s democratic process.

Significant electoral participation

Between 2000 and 2012, the number of Senegalese voters registered abroad doubled, but the global distribution has changed significantly. Western Europe has gradually supplanted Africa to become the majority within the electorate externally, while North America and the Middle East saw strong growth in the number of voters. Asia and Latin America remain largely absent from the external electoral map.

According to Étienne Smith, lecturer in political science at Sciences Po Bordeaux, explains that the diaspora represented 4.6% of those registered for the 2019 presidential election and 3.3% of voters. This may not seem like much, but it is the equivalent of an average region of Senegal, which is not negligible. The participation rate of the diaspora reached 46% for the 2019 presidential election (Jeune Afrique). This positive trend confirms the growing commitment of Senegalese abroad in the choice of their leaders and the future of their country.

Significant financial and political impact

In addition to its growing involvement in voting, the Senegalese diaspora plays a crucial role in financing electoral campaigns. His financial commitment was demonstrated concretely during the recent fundraising organized by Ousmane Sonko’s Pastef party. The Senegalese diaspora contributed significantly to Pastef’s fundraising, mobilizing 47,888,000 CFA francs, or approximately 73 thousand euros. This financial windfall represents an essential source of financing for political actors, thus influencing the strategies and results of elections.

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