Definition of Youth

Senegal’s 2012-2017 Plan of Action on Youth targets youth between the defined age range of 15-35 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • --
  • XX
  • Female
  • 16
  • --
  • XX

  • Senegal´s Family Code (1989) includes no provisions for marriage age with parental consent. Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Procedural Code of Senegal

Majority Age


Source: National Defense Law (2008)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 78.00% Male (15-24) %
  • 68.06% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 23.60%Male %
  • 18.05% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 20.40% Male (13-15) %
  • 9.60% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Senegal has a 2012-2017 Plan of Action for Youth.

The Plan of Action for Youth identifies three strategic areas: 1) Animation and mobilization of youth; 2) Employment inclusion & creation; 3) Promotion of civic values.

The Plan includes the following tools:

  • National Fund of the Promotion of Youth, which supports young people´s entrepreneurial projects;
  • Programme for the Promotion of Youth, focusing on health and HIV prevention;
  • National Civic Service, developing citizenship and volunteering.
It aims “to elaborate an integrated youth policy, calling for cooperation and coordination on youth issues: education, employment, training, culture, health."

However, the Plan notes that the above initiatives are operating under budget and capacity constraints. Programmes will be subject to evaluation to determine whether they will continue in 2014.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth, Employment and Promotion of Civic Values is responsible for youth affairs. Within the Ministry, responsibility is split across three main structures: the Directorate for Youth and Socio-educational activities, the National Fund for the Promotion of Youth (FNPJ), and National Agency for the Youth Employment (ANEJ).

The Plan of Action for Youth notes that the Ministry is responsible for the national youth policy, the implementation of the national employment strategy, and civic values.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The National Youth Council of Senegal (CNJS) is the government’s main partner in the field of youth, and plays a coordinating role for the youth movements, as well as uniting CSOs and interacting with development partners.

The CNJS operations through Regional, County, Municipal and Local youth councils and the Board of District Youth.  CNJS is active in the following areas: Youth capacity and organisations; Reproductive health; Socio-economic inclusion; Education and culture; Culture of peace, citizenship and integration; Youth participation.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
XOF 8.1 billion
USD 16.9 million
The 2014 Budget Finance Law allocated XOF 8.1 billion (USD 16.9  million) to the Ministry of Youth, Employment and the Promotion of Civic Values. According to a press release on 10 December 2012, this was a 120% increase in spending. According to the World Bank, Senegal spent 20.72% of its government expenditure and 5.60% of its GDP on education provision in 2010.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background


From a 2012 youth unemployment briefing:
The initiatives undertaken by the state and its domestic and foreign partners have not yet yielded the results that had been hoped for in terms of the numbers and quality of the jobs created for young people. In recent years there has been a stagnation in formal employment, with the result that the informal sector is estimated to supply between 80% and 97% of jobs, in particular new ones. Accordingly young people aged between 15 and 24 find work in businesses run by families or individuals which are engaged in farming, trade and urban-based services.

The sheer numbers of young people mean that getting them into the labour market presents a challenge. In this respect the need to match skills to jobs compels the state and its partners to put greater emphasis on an education and training system that looks to meeting present and future labour market needs while contributing to the development of a spirit of enterprise and a sense of initiative and innovation. In the light of the findings of the inquiries mentioned above and the aims of public policies, it is a question of integrating better qualifications of young people, in terms of experience, professional skills, operational know-how and basic training, into strategies for rural and urban development. The co-ordination of public policies and employment policy, in particular youth employment, should be the key to the success of the new national policy adopted in 2011 and of the new high council for youth employment and training also established in 2011 and answering to the prime minister.
Sexual health

The USAID report (2003) outlines the health and sexual health challenges:

In December 2001, the president of the Republic signed a decree based on the creation of the National Council for the Fight Against AIDS. Led by the prime minister, this group brings together members of the government, NGOs, persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), as well as development partners to support the fight against AIDS. Youth are represented in this forum by the CNJS and participate in the conception, coordination, follow-up, and multilateral negotiations on financial issues of the committee’s programs, and they have now become part of the national strategy 2002-2006 in the fight against AIDS.

With the help of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Ministry of Youth has promoted issues that are important to youth since 1990. As a result, it has installed 10 RH centers across the country. These centers address many issues that concern youth, including RH in a more broad scope and STI/HIV/AIDS.