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Business proficiency in French ? (Dakar)

Hello Internations Dakar members!

My partner and I are seriously considering a move to Senegal. We both do international affairs/development type work and would be looking to land jobs with the UN or an international NGO.

From my research so far, there is so much to love about this city however I have yet to get a clear picture on the level of French required to be successful at work for an international org or NGO. I am aware that French is one of the primary languages used around town (along with Wolof) but I don't know how prevalent it is around the international development/international affairs work table.

I have spoken French my whole life (as a second language) and am comfortable navigating town or being in social settings in my second language, but I would not be able to write a high-level policy paper (yet) in my second language. I would be grateful for any feedback/insights on this from an Internations member who is familiar with the international affairs/development community there or who has friends or colleagues that would know.

I would love to be immersed in a French environment (one of the many reasons Dakar seems wonderful to me) but I worry that I would have trouble landing work if my written French were not up to scratch.

Warm regards,


Dakar Forum

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