Senegal's Democratic Journey

Farewell to President Macky Sall: Assessing Senegal’s Democratic Journey


After 12 years at the helm, Senegal’s President Macky Sall bids farewell, leaving behind a democracy facing increasing fragility.

Sall’s ascent to power in 2012 marked a pivotal moment for Senegal, following a hard-fought electoral battle against his former mentor, President Abdoulaye Wade. In his inaugural year, Sall delivered an inspiring address at Harvard University, advocating for democracy and development across Africa.

However, as his tenure concludes on April 2, questions arise about the robustness of Senegal’s democratic institutions, especially as presidential elections loom. Despite promising good governance and social justice, Sall’s legacy is marred by controversies, including financial scandals, curtailed civil liberties, and economic challenges.

While Sall’s administration prioritized infrastructure development and economic growth, allegations of corruption and nepotism tarnished his reputation. Notably, a scandal involving his brother’s business dealings underscored concerns about transparency and accountability.

Moreover, Sall’s second term saw a crackdown on dissent, particularly targeting opposition leader Ousmane Sonko. Protests erupted over Sonko’s arrest, reflecting broader dissatisfaction with rising unemployment and living costs.

Furthermore, Sall’s decision to postpone the presidential election stirred accusations of undermining democracy, prompting concerns about his commitment to peaceful transitions of power. Despite his attempts at reconciliation through a proposed amnesty law, critics view it as a means to evade accountability for past actions.

As Senegal grapples with youth unemployment and economic disparities, Sall’s departure leaves behind a nation seeking stability and progress. While his tenure saw strides in infrastructure and economic development, challenges remain in addressing systemic issues and restoring faith in democratic principles.