Updated: Mar 20

Senegal is one of the most stable and safe places in West Africa but recent unrests have thrown the country into turmoil. Caryzma produced a music video for the well know Senegalese group S.Z.Crew demanding more political freedom and economic justice for Senegal.

director|camera Caryzma, producer Iris Stark

#FreeSenegal is a movement that aims to stop corruption and nepotism in Senegal. In the beginning of March 2021 unrests were triggered by the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko. While President Macky Sall secured a reelection with the promise of stability and economic growth in 2019, he is now trying to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third term.

Senegal faces many challenges. It is hard hit by the lockdown due to COVID. Tourism as one of the major sources of income has come to a standstill. As a result of overfishing by Russian, Chinese, and E.U. trawlers off its coast the once plentiful catches of local fishermen have dwindled. Furthermore the whole Sahel region is under extreme threat by the change in climate, resulting in rising sea levels, droughts and stronger, more frequent sandstorms.

Migration is a major problem, both within the country from the rural areas to the Dakar region as well as to Europe. Hundreds have died in recent years trying to reach the Canary Islands (Spain) in fishing boats. Particularly the younger population is placing hope in Mr. Sonko. In March 2021 they made their growing frustration know in a series of violent protests throughout all major cities.

©2021Caryzma, Pirrogge boats line the harbour in the city of Saint Louis

However, there is also brighter news, as Senegal leads Africa in planting trees and environmental consciousness is on the increase. New no-fishing zones are being established and the plastic pollution is finally being addressed. New projects covering infrastructure, public transport, energy, agriculture, education, water and health are under way but often fall short of their goals because of the widespread corruption.

©2021Caryzma, young men playing soccer on the beach in Warang

Senegal is in mourning for the victims of the protests:

more about migration: http://www.migration4development.org/en/projects/profiles/senegal



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