To enlage click onto photo repeat to shrink

Map source

8th Century  Present-day Senegal was part of the Kingdom of Ghana.

11th century  Tukulor occupied the  lower Senegal valley.

12-14th centuries  Rise of the Jolof empire.

1440s  Portuguese traders reach Senegal river estuary.

1588  The Dutch chose the island of Gore'e to be one of their slave port.

1659 The French established themselves on the Island of San Luis, at the mouth of the Senegal River.

1677  The French seized Gore'e. A year later the Treaty of Nijmegen confirmed the conquest. Throughout the next 100 years there were many disputes between France and Britain over the ownership of Gore'e.

1756-63 Seven Years' War: Britain takes over French posts in Senegal, forms colony of Senegambia.

1775 - 1983 France regains its holdings during American Revolutionary War.

1807  While Great Britain had control of Gore'e, they decided to abolish the slave trade. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, France regained control of Gore'e and San Luis Island.

1815  The French officially agreed to abolish the slave trade. However, the slave trade on the black market thrived. Not until the heavy presence of the British navy become apparent did the slave trade stop all together.

1816  Britain returns French holdings captured during Napoleonic Wars.  France emancipated all of its slaves.

Late 1800s  France extends its influence, and gains control of all the territory of Senegal.

1895  Senegal becomes part of French West Africa.

1914  Blaise Diagne elected as Senegal's first African deputy to French parliament.

1946  Senegal becomes part of the French Union.

1956  The Federation of West African States controlled by France was formally dissolved. The territories then were responsible to a certain degree for their own governments.

1958  Became an autonomous republic, as part of the French Community.

June 1960  Senegal gained its independence from France, and became part of the Mali Federation

August 1960 Senegal pulled out of the Mali Federation, and became a separate republic with Leopold Senghor as president.

1962 An attempted coup was led by Prime Minister Mamadou Dia. Dia was later  imprisoned until 1974

1963  A new constitution, giving the president greater powers, was adopted.

1966  Senghor's Senegalese Progressive Union becomes country's sole political party.

1970 The Office of Prime Minister was reinstated, and the post was given to Abdou Diouf.

1974 The Parti démocratique sénégalaise (PDS) political party was formed, and led by Abdoulaye Wade.

1976 A 3-party system was announced, made up of UPS (renamed Parti socialiste or PS), PDS, and a Marxist-Leninist party, the instatement of the system was a moderately successful.

1978  A  three-party political system introduced

1978 A 4th party was recognised as the Mouvement républicain sénégalaise.

1980 Senghor resigned from  the presidency.

1981 Diouf becomes president of Sénégal and secretary-general of PS.

1982 Sénégal and Gambia formed a political confederation.

1982  Separatists in the southern province of Casamance formed the  Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC).

1988 Elections cause severe political unrest, Diouf, who had again been re-elected as president, pardons those arrested during the incident.

1989 Violent conflict with Mauritania, relations remained strained, a dispute with Guinea-Bissau over maritime zone created tensions which lasted for several years. The confederation of Gambia and Sénégal was dissolved, and relations between the two countries have been variable ever since.

1991 Some political reforms were introduced, including reinstatement of post of prime minister and term limits on the presidency.

1992  Wade and other PDS members resigned from the government, citing unfair practices by ruling party in government and media. While Diplomatic relations with Mauritania was restored.

1993 Diouf was re-elected presedent for a third time, amid demonstrations and unrest, after elections, Vice President of constitutional council, Babacar Seye, was assassinated.

1994 CFA Franc, Sénégalese monetary unit, devalued by 1/2, leading to financial hardship, demonstrations, and unrest.

1995 The Government, through Diouf, invited Wade to return to government. Wade became the minister of state and other PDS members also received posts, Jacques Chirac (French president) visited Diouf.

1996 Diouf was elected party chairman of the PS. Sénégal and Gambia introduced better trade relations. Sénégal re-opened formal diplomacy with Taiwan for the first time since 1971. In response, the People's Republic of China ended relations and assistance projects with Sénégal.

1997 ONEL, the Observatoire national des élections, was formed to oversee and control elections according to current laws.  Members of ONEL were appointed by Diouf, which caused protests from PDS, and other opposition parties, who wanted an independent commission. Sénégal and Gambia improved their relations further and planed joint actions against several social problems.

1998 The  PDS withdrew from the government again in protest against some legislative actions. The US President Bill  Clinton, visited Sénégal and encouraged US-African cooperative peace-keeping strategies.

2000  Abdoulaye Wade, leader of PDS, was elected president, ending 40 years of Socialist Party rule. He set up a 12-month transitional government rule, during which time a new constitution limiting the powers of the presidency and turning Sénégal into a parliamentary democracy would be drawn up. The elections were praised by French president Jacques Chirac, who said  that Sénégal's "peaceful elections...set a democratic example for the whole of Africa" (France's Chirac).

January 2001  Voters backed a  new constitution which shortened presidential terms, limited holder to two terms, and gave the  president the power to dissolve parliament.

March 2001 The  Government signed a peace accord with the separatist rebels in Casamance. However, there was little follow-up as separatists went through splits and leadership changes.

Aprils 2001 Abdoulaye Wade's Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) won an overwhelming majority in parliamentary elections.

December 2001  Leopold Senghor, the founding father of Senegal, died aged 95.

September 2002 The  Joola ferry disaster. 1,863 passengers were killed when the Senegalese vessel capsized off the Gambian coast.

November 2002  President Wade sacked the prime minister and the rest of the government. The move was said to have been linked to the handling of the Joola ferry disaster.

December 2004 The  Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC) and government signed a pact aimed at ending the secessionist struggle in the province of Casamance.

July 2005 The former PM Idrissa Seck was charged with undermining state security, sparking clashes between his supporters and police. He was jailed for a time, but was released in February 2006 after the charge was dropped.

October 2005 A dispute with neighbouring Gambia over ferry tariffs on the border lead to a transport blockade. The economies of both countries suffer. The Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo brokered talks to resolve the issue.

August 2006 The army launched an offensive against rebels from a faction of the Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC). While Senegal and Spain agreed to jointly patrol the Senegalese coast to curb the exodus of illegal migrants heading for Europe. Senegal was a favourite starting point for migrants setting off in rickety boats.

December 2006 Spain and Senegal agreed a series of measures to curb illegal migration to the Canary Islands. Spain was to give 4,000 Senegalese temporary work permits over the next two years.

February 2007  President Wade was re-election.

June 2007 President Wade's ruling coalition increased its parliamentary majority in elections boycotted by the opposition.

September 2007 The Spanish authorities launched a campaign on national television in Senegal to discourage illegal migration.

December 2007 President Abdoulaye Wade declared three days of mourning after Serigne Saliou Mbacke, leader of Senegal's richest and most powerful Islamic brotherhood, died aged 92.

April 2008  Senegal's national assembly amended the country's constitution to allow the trial of Chad's ex-leader Hissene Habre, who was accused of human rights abuses during his eight years in power.

March 2009 The opposition parties won control of several cities in local elections, including Dakar, formerly a stronghold of President Wade.

April 2009  Belgium started proceedings at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to try to force Senegal to bring former Chadian President Hissene Habre to trial for alleged human rights abuses during his time in power. Prime Minister Cheikh Hajibou Soumare stepped down after the governing coalition suffered losses in local council polls. The president's son Karim was included in the new cabinet.

May 2009  A UN court accepts Senegal's pledge to keep in the country ex-Chad dictator Hissene Habre, ahead of his trial for rights abuses.

September-October 2009  Clashes between troops and rebels in the province of Casamance.

April 2010  Senegal marked 50 years of independence. While France gave up its military bases in the country.