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Senegal's 2024 Presidential Elections and Reflections on the State of Democracy in West Africa

March 27, 2024

Senegal went to the polls on March 24 for an election that almost didn’t happen. After an election delay that had several political twists and turns, and weeks of protests that shook the country’s reputation as a stable democracy, Senegalese citizens voted in an election to pick a successor to President Macky Sall, who had been in power for 12 years. Despite predictions of a possible run-off, the candidate from the ruling party conceded defeat to Bassirou Diomaye Faye, candidate from the leading opposition party. At 44-years old president-elect Bassirou Diomaye Faye is set to become Africa’s youngest president. Wilson Center Africa Program director, Oge Onubogu spoke to Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, respected Nigerian scholar-diplomat, who led the ECOWAS Elections Observer Delegation to Senegal to discuss his thoughts on the outcome of the elections and what it means for the future of Senegal and democracy in the coup-prone West Africa region. 

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Africa Program

The Africa Program works to address the most critical issues facing Africa and US-Africa relations, build mutually beneficial US-Africa relations, and enhance knowledge and understanding about Africa in the United States. The Program achieves its mission through in-depth research and analyses, public discussion, working groups, and briefings that bring together policymakers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to analyze and offer practical options for tackling key challenges in Africa and in US-Africa relations.    Read more