Yet, as many as 100,000 young people enter the job market in Senegal every year, and it is the voices of the youth which are the loudest in calling for the current president to leave.
Olusegan Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, is in Dakar trying to broker peace. Back in 2007, it was Abdoulaye Wade, the Senegalese president, who was advising him not to seek a third term; now the tables have turned.
Secondary school children are milling about on the streets instead of in the classroom. Their teachers have been on strike for nearly three months in a dispute over pay and training standards. They say they have been intimidated by Wade’s government.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons reports from the capital, Dakar.