Senegal: what will Dakar look like in 2035?

The Mamelles lighthouse is the highlight of Dakar. At night, its light shines 147 meters above sea level and is visible around fifty kilometers around. William de Lesseux / RFI

Text by: RFI Follow

The development plan for the Senegalese capital and its suburbs was presented on Monday, February 17. The Minister of Town Planning, Abdou Karim Fofana, projects himself in fifteen years. Main challenge: urban sprawl and especially demographic growth, two factors that will change the face of the city. The population will more than double.


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With our correspondent in Dakar, William de Lesseux

Nearly seven million Dakar residents compared to just over three million today. The Dakar of the future will have to absorb these four million more inhabitants, in an already well occupied space.

What city planners see is the inevitable development of the city from the capital and its existing suburbs. Expansion towards the coast to the south-east and to the east towards the town of Thiès. It's mechanical: homes and infrastructure will be built along the highway, like an oil stain that has already started spreading.

With the new city and the pole of Diamniadio - for the moment in its infancy - the authorities are betting a lot on this flagship project of President Macky Sall. They even predict, on the maps, that the Diamniadio center will accommodate the equivalent of half the inhabitants of Dakar.

All of this draws a portrait of a saturated city, almost a megalopolis and it will therefore be necessary to free up spaces. Some functions will disappear or be regrouped or relegated further. For example, the gigantic Mbeubeuss landfill to the east will be closed, according to ministry plans.

Also read: " Senegal: pollution alert in Dakar "

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  • Architecture and urbanism
  • Senegal