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Located on the westernmost point of Africa, Senegal is a land of stunning coastlines, semi-desert sands, fertile river valleys, grassland plains, and tropical rainforests. Since winning independence from France in 1960, Senegal has gained a reputation as one of Africa's most modern and progressive countries. Senegal is also one of the few states on the continent that has continued to see peaceful transfer of governmental powers through democratic elections. Although mostly rural, the former French colony features a mixture of modern urban communities and colonial towns, which attract a growing tourist industry. Senegal also has a strong manufacturing sector and foreign investment. However, despite its steady economic growth, Senegal continues to be plagued by poverty and high unemployment.