Dakar at a Glance
Working in Dakar
There are several key industry sectors in Dakar. The crucial ones are peanut and fish processing, fertilizer production, petroleum refining, and ship construction and repair. In recent years, tourism and information technology have also begun to play a significant role in Dakar’s economy.
For an Expat, a popular job is teaching English. Sites such as ESL Employment or Tesall have numerous opportunities. Just make sure you have the relevant qualifications such as a completed TEFLA course to be considered.
If teaching English isn’t your thing, then sites such as GoAbroad.com also have a variety of opportunities in Dakar in the other sectors discussed above.
Senegal has a basic minimum salary (called SMIG) of 209.10 XOF per hour, and a work week is typically up to 40 hours for most employees and employers. As a result, many expats find the pace of life slower and more agreeable in Dakar, compared to what they are used to back home.
The currency is the Financial Community franc (XOF). For the currency exchange rate check this website.
It’s important to note that credit cards are not widely used, so paying in cash is usually more convenient for everybody involved and indeed, is expected in many place.
The prices listed here are typical, and help to give a general overview of the cost of living in Dakar, which is generally quite cheap compared to western living. An internet connection will set you back around 18,000 XOF per month, whilst a typical mobile phone contract costs around 6,096 XOF. To send your children to the International School of Dakar, you're looking at annual fees of 10,510 USD. If you move to Dakar and don't find a place to live straightaway, then a good, furnished hotel room can cost between 12,000 and 18,000 XOF per night, whilst a hearty meal at a local restaurant commands a price of around 8,000 XOF.
Work permits for Dakar
UMOA (West African Monetary Union) members and member citizens do not require a work visa or permit. However, for a short business trip, a visa will be necessary. In most instances, a mission statement from the employer, relevant identity proofs, referees and previous employers from your home country, return tickets, and a valid travel insurance proof are the key documents required. If you wish to stay beyond the window for this visa (up to three months), a further permit to stay is mandatory.
Visas are compulsory for all foreign nationals travelling into Senegal, except nationals from ECOWAS, Mauritania and Morocco (effect 1 July 2013).However, if you intend to remain in Senegal for longer than 3 months, you will need to register with local authorities to get a ‘Carte d’Etranger’.
Taxation in Dakar
The Senegalese fiscal year begins on 1 January and terminates on 31 December. Anybody choosing to live and work in Senegal must pay their personal income tax and it is 40% as maximum of the rent. Like Europe, employees are taxed automatically and at source, through the PAYE system. It is also worth mentioning that taxpayers receiving additional income on top of their salaries are required to declare this exact amount once a year.