Senegal’s Sall Aims for 7% Annual Growth by Bolstering Mining

Senegal will focus on luring more investment in mining to help its economy expand at an average rate of 7 percent for a decade, President Macky Sall said.

“Mining will be one of Senegal’s pillars of development,” Mall said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 24 that will be broadcast on Feb. 1. “We’re committed to putting all the conditions in place to attract companies, have an adequate working environment, a renewed mining code.”

Sall, 52, has pledged to boost growth in the West African nation from an estimated 4.6 percent in 2013 after increasing investments in water and power projects, shutting or combining 59 state agencies and conducting an audit of state workers. The former prime minister, a geology engineer by training, assumed office in 2012.

“Growth of 5 percent is very good, but our ambition is much larger,” Sall said. “I’ve launched an economic reform program that aims to have at least 7 percent over a period of 10 years.”

Senegal’s gross domestic product of $14 billion is the largest economy after Ivory Coast in the eight-nation West African Economic and Monetary Union, a group of French-speaking nations that use a common currency. The nation has deposits of iron-ore, gold and zircon, which is used for jewelry.

The government said in October it was seeking partners to develop the Faleme iron-ore deposit after it canceled a 2007 contract with ArcelorMittal. Faleme has estimated reserves of 750 million metric tons, Sall said. Production at the Grande Cote zircon mine is expected to begin by end-March, according to Melbourne-based Mineral Deposits Ltd. (MDL)

Sall said he will also focus on agriculture to support growth.

“Our goal is to make Senegal self-sufficient in rice production by 2017,” he said. “It’s ambitious, but we’re already at a third of that goal.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Pauline Bax in Accra at pbax@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net

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