Wolof in Senegal



The Wolof are indigenous to Western Africa and are found in the countries of Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania. The Wolof are the largest people group of Senegal, numbering over 5 million. The Wolof society can be broken down into three classes: first, the nobility class (freeborn people); second, the artisans (blacksmiths, leatherworkers, and musicians); and third, slaves (who continue to serve their parents’ masters). The Wolof are thought to be peaceful people. The Wolof are a very community-oriented group, they work as a community in everything that they do. The Wolof are predominantly Muslim, but they also maintain some animistic beliefs, such as bad spirits in the trees, and witches.

 Engagement // What’s Happening Now

Though Senegal has improved in terms of education, many children do not complete primary school, there is a high illiteracy rate. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 38 percent of African adults are illiterate, and Senegal’s literacy rate is below 50 percent. Furthermore, one in two children will not complete elementary school. Africa’s Children established a school in Senegal. Africa’s Children provides a quality education and Christian environment to those in West Africa.

 Sustainability // The Bigger Story

Global Initiative (GI) contributed $2 million to plant 400 churches in 40 countries. They also helped plant churches in Muslim communities in Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Togo. The goal of GI is to equip pastors and church planters in each community to share the gospel with their Muslim neighbors.

Partnership // Move Beyond

Pray that spiritual strongholds would be broken among the Wolof and that the Holy Spirit would prompt believers to live and minister among this unreached people group.

Pray that initiatives to reach Muslim people groups would result in advocacy for the Wolof, who have limited access to the gospel in their context.

Entrepreneurs: Consider partnering with AGWM to reach the more than 5 million Wolof living in Senegal. The magnitude of this group presents considerable challenges. However, creative strategies for reaching the Wolof can be easier to implement because the group shares a single language.

Readers, Writers, Speakers: The Wolof express their artistic instincts in embroidery that adorns their clothing, and requires many hours of work. They express themselves in song and dance as well as in poetry and storytelling filled with proverbs.

Problem Solvers: While multiple resources for preaching and teaching exist in the Wolof language, no known evangelical Christians are numbered among this people group.

Interested in more opportunities? Visit the Wide Open website.

Joshua HuverWolof in Senegal