In their Own Words: A Portrait of Dakar

Getting the Conference Started


Trying to plan a conference in another city—especially one thousands of miles from Washington, DC—is a challenge, and that’s without the added chore of trying to navigate airport pick-ups and unfamiliar crowded streets. That’s where our Dakar team — Blue Team Event s— comes to the rescue.

We sat down with our fantastic on-the-ground partners in Dakar, to ask them more about this amazing city we’re visiting. When asked, “what’s the best thing about Dakar?” answers varied from the friendly people to the delicious food, but our vote goes for hospitality. “Teranga” was the resounding thing that people felt like their city had the offer. And we agree.

What Senegalese food should everyone try during their visit?

It seems that Thieboudienne–the national dish, a combination of fish, rice, and vegetables simmered in tomato sauce, along with the local beer, Gazelle (a Heineken-like malty-hoppy brew)—is the best bet here. We’ll be taking their advice.

What’s the one thing in Dakar everyone should see?

Two vote getters here—the Monument of Renaissance and Goree Island. The monument symbolizes, in their words, Africa being born again, with an open mind about the future, and Goree Island is at the heart of African civilization. As thoughtful Alassane pointed out, “when you don’t know your history, you can’t know your future.”

What’s Dakar best known for?

We realized this question echoed our first one, but it provided the opportunity for our new friends to gush, deservedly so, about their beloved city. While Dakar is certainly a lovely spot for sun and sea, along with some highlights like Pink Lake and the wild animal parks, it is also a democratic, peaceful country. Human capital is an asset here, but perhaps most important, it is the door to West Africa—and a welcoming entry point at that.