The network of the Hungarian Trade and Cultural Center (HTCC) has been expanded with a new office in Africa.

According to GLOBS Magazine, Dakar is considered the cultural and business center of the francophone West Africa. The local office can assist Hungarian enterprises to get into the market of Senegal and the whole region. Senegal plays a special role in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to Botswana, this is the only independent country in Africa that has been successful in avoiding wars, military coups, ethnic and religious tensions. In French-speaking Africa, Senegal is one of the exemplary countries of democracy and stands out with its internal stability and good security.

After 2011, several countries in the region were destabilized by the side effects of the Arab Spring and waves of Islamists from Libya. However, Senegal maintained its stability and thus played an important role in the pursuit of regional security. Measured by African standards, the economy is performing well. Although infrastructure within the country is still in poor condition, rapid development is already visible near the coast.

The opportunities in the country are enormous, which was confirmed by Assane Dieng, Regional Manager at HTCC.

The most important area to focus on will be agriculture. On the one hand, there are many Hungarian specialists who have great experience and wide expertise in plant cultivation in arid and semi-arid areas. On the other hand, agriculture is the basis of earning in Senegal. However, the possibilities are far greater than what is currently being utilized: in theory, there are enormous areas in the country that can be cultivated by planting suitable drought-tolerant species with appropriate techniques. However, these lands are not cultivated currently. There is an ongoing production in other sectors, but with traditional methods and with species that do not provide the maximum level of harvest that soil and climate would allow.

With the participation of the Hungarian experts, therefore, demonstration farms can be established, that would pass on the knowledge accumulated in Hungary and significantly increase the country’s food security.

For instance, Senegal is in need of significant import of rice which is the main source of nutrition at the moment.

The other area, which the Regional Manager considers to be an important point of contact between the two countries, could be the extractive industry.

Senegal has so far been less involved in world trade of raw materials than other African countries because its sites are largely unexploited. It is because they are located in the remote parts of the country where infrastructure is poorly maintained. The other reason is that these sources are just recently discovered and utilization is not yet started. The case of oil fields near the old capital, Saint Louis, is a good example. In this regard, the participation of Hungarian companies and specialists is expected.

The third important area, mentioned by Mr. Dieng, is tourism.

Senegal is one of the culturally most interesting countries in Africa. At the same time, few areas have such an excellent climate in Africa as Dakar and its surroundings, the so-called Coast of Petite Cote. Throughout the year, eternal spring, sunshine and the wonderful sea await tourists. In a relatively small area, we can visit a desert, a tropical bird sanctuary, ancient cities and one of the most unique pink lakes in the world. Hungarian tourists have already started to visit Senegal in the recent years.

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As the Regional Manager said, however, there are still plenty of opportunities left unexploited.

The office will be open in the center of Dakar soon.

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Source: by Tamás SZŰCS, Journalist specialized in foreign politics – Globs Magazine

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