Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour is known for popularizing the musical genre mbalax. The Grammy Award- and Praemium Imperiale-winning singer has also served as Senegal’s culture and tourism minister. Initially part of the Star Band, he later formed Étoile de Dakar. He has also starred in the British-American movie Amazing Grace.
Léopold Sédar Senghor was a Senegalese cultural theorist, poet, and politician. He was Senegal's first president, a position in which he served from 1960 to 1980. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent African intellectuals, Senghor is credited with founding the Senegalese Democratic Bloc party. Senghor received many awards, including the African Studies Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.
The 4th president of Senegal, Macky Sall has previously also been Senegal’s prime minister and the President of the National Assembly. Initially part of the Senegalese Democratic Party, he later joined the Alliance for the Republic. He has also been Senegal’s minister of mines, energy, and water, and the mayor of Fatick.
Abdou Diouf is a Senegalese politician who served as the president of Senegal from 1981 to 2000. Abdou Diouf is renowned for gracefully surrendering power to his successor Abdoulaye Wade, thereby contributing immensely to African peace. Wade went on to say that Diouf deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for exiting without violence.
Former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and the current Senegalese Democratic Party secretary-general Abdoulaye Wade had practiced as a lawyer in France for a while after completing his PhD. Following his return to Senegal, he became an academic. His presidency was plagued by charges of corruption and nepotism.
Ousmane Sonko is a Senegalese politician and author. In 2019, he became the youngest candidate to contest in the presidential election in Senegal. Ousmane Sonko challenged Macky Sall, the incumbent president, in the 2019 election and is viewed by many as a notable opposition leader to Macky Sall.
ʿUmar Tal was a West African Islamic scholar, political leader, Toucouleur military commander, and Tijani Sufi. He is best remembered for founding the short-lived Toucouleur Empire, which encompassed much of present-day Senegal, Mauritania, Guinea, and Mali. ʿUmar Tal remains an important figure in Senegal, Mali, and Guinea.
Blaise Diagne was a Senegalese-French political leader who became the first black African elected to the French Chamber of Deputies. He was also the first to hold a position in the French government. He actively advocated for equal rights for all and was a pioneer of black African electoral politics. He was a freemason.
Born in Senegal, French politician and author Rama Yade started her career as a top-level civil servant with the French Senate. The UMP member has led France as its Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights and for Sports. She has also represented France at the UNESCO.
Marieme Faye Sall is a Senegalese public figure best known as the wife of the current President of Senegal, Macky Sall. She was Macky Sall’s advisor during the latter's 2012 presidential campaign. In the same year, Marieme Faye Sall became the first black woman and the first Muslim woman to assume the role of the First Lady of Senegal.
Viviane Wade is a French-born Senegalese public figure. Best known as the wife of former Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Viviane achieved popularity for her service as the First Lady of Senegal from 1 April 2000 to 2 April 2012.
Aminata Toure is a Senegalese politician best known for her service as the Prime Minister of Senegal from 2013 to 2014. She was only the second female to serve as Senegal's Prime Minister after Mame Madior Boye. Aminata Toure is also known for her service as the Justice Minister of Senegal from 2012 to 2013.
Mamadou Dia was a Senegalese politician best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Senegal from 18 May 1957 to 18 December 1962. Dia was forced to resign from his post as Prime Minister and was imprisoned amid allegations that he was preparing to enforce a military coup to depose the then-President Léopold Sédar Senghor.
Mame Madior Boye is a Senegalese political leader best known for her service as the Prime Minister of Senegal from 2001 to 2002. Boye was the first woman to serve as Senegal's Prime Minister. Mame Madior Boye's premiership came to an end as a result of the MV Joola sea disaster, which killed over 1,800 people in September 2002.
Soham El Wardini is a Senegalese politician best known for her service as the Mayor of Dakar from 29 September 2018 to 23 January 2022. She was the first woman politician to serve as the mayor of post-independence Dakar. Previously, Soham El Wardini served as the Deputy Mayor of Dakar from 2014 to 2018.
A professional lawyer, Aïssata Tall Sall was an expert in business law before stepping into politics and then rose to be the foreign minister of Senegal. A member of the Socialist Party of Senegal, she has also been a minister of communication and the mayor of Podor.
Awa Marie Coll-Seck is a Senegalese politician and infectious diseases specialist. She is best known for her service as the Minister of Health of Senegal on two occasions between 2001 and 2017. Awa Marie Coll-Seck has also authored more than 150 scientific publications on various diseases, such as malaria, measles, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, meningitis, and cardiovascular diseases.
Habib Thiam was a Senegalese politician best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Senegal on two occasions; from 1981 to 1983 and again from 1991 to 1998. From 1983 to 1984, Habib Thiam also served as the President of the National Assembly of Senegal.