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West
West
Africa, also called Western Africa
Africa
and the West
West
of Africa, is the westernmost region of Africa. West
West
Africa
Africa
has been defined as including 18 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
and Togo.[7] The population of West
West
Africa
Africa
is estimated at about 362 million[2] people as of 2016.

Contents

1 List of countries 2 History

2.1 Prehistory 2.2 Empires 2.3 Slavery and European contact 2.4 Colonialism 2.5 Postcolonial eras

3 States

3.1 Area

4 Cities 5 Geography and climate

5.1 Background

6 Transport

6.1 Rail transport 6.2 Road transport 6.3 Air transport

7 Culture

7.1 Traditional architecture 7.2 Clothing 7.3 Cuisine 7.4 Recreation and sports 7.5 Music

7.5.1 Griot and Praise-singing

7.6 Film industry

8 Religion

8.1 Islam 8.2 African traditional 8.3 Christianity

9 Demographics and languages 10 Economic and regional organizations

10.1 Women's peace movement

11 Gallery

11.1 Cityscapes of largest cities 11.2 Capital cities of West
West
Africa

12 See also 13 References 14 Further reading 15 External links

List of countries[edit]

Region Country

Western Africa

 Benin

 Burkina Faso

 Cape Verde

 Ivory Coast

 Gambia

 Ghana

 Guinea

 Guinea-Bissau

 Liberia

 Mali

 Mauritania

 Niger

 Nigeria

 Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom)

 Senegal

 Sierra Leone

 Togo

History[edit] Main article: History of West
West
Africa The history of West
West
Africa
Africa
can be divided into five major periods: first, its prehistory, in which the first human settlers arrived, developed agriculture, and made contact with peoples to the north; the second, the Iron Age empires that consolidated both intra-Africa, and extra- Africa
Africa
trade, and developed centralized states; third, major polities flourished, which would undergo an extensive history of contact with non-Africans; fourth, the colonial period, in which Great Britain and France
France
controlled nearly the entire region; and fifth, the post-independence era, in which the current nations were formed. Prehistory[edit] Early human settlers from northern Holocene societies arrived in West Africa
Africa
around 12,000 B.C.[dubious – discuss] Sedentary farming began in, or around the fifth millennium B.C, as well as the domestication of cattle. By 1500 B.C, ironworking technology allowed an expansion of agricultural productivity, and the first city-states later formed. Northern tribes developed walled settlements and non-walled settlements that numbered at 400. In the forest region, Iron Age cultures began to flourish, and an inter-region trade began to appear. The desertification of the Sahara
Sahara
and the climatic change of the coast cause trade with upper Mediterranean peoples to be seen. The domestication of the camel allowed the development of a trans-Saharan trade with cultures across the Sahara, including Carthage
Carthage
and the Berbers; major exports included gold, cotton cloth, metal ornaments, and leather goods, which were then exchanged for salt, horses, textiles, and other such materials. Local leather, cloth, and gold also contributed to the abundance of prosperity for many of the following empires. Empires[edit]

Mansa Musa
Mansa Musa
depicted holding a gold nugget from a 1395 map of Africa and Europe

The development of the region's economy allowed more centralized states and civilizations to form, beginning with Dhar Tichitt
Dhar Tichitt
that began in 1600 B.C. followed by Djenné-Djenno
Djenné-Djenno
beginning in 300 B.C. This was then succeeded by the Ghana
Ghana
Empire that first flourished between the 9th and 12th centuries, which later gave way to the Mali Empire. In current-day Mauritania, there exist archaeological sites in the towns of Tichit
Tichit
and Oualata
Oualata
that were initially constructed around 2000 B.C., and were found to have originated from the Soninke branch of the Mandé peoples, who, according to their tradition, originate from Aswan, Egypt[8]. Also, based on the archaeology of city of Kumbi Saleh in modern-day Mauritania, the Mali
Mali
empire came to dominate much of the region until its defeat by Almoravid
Almoravid
invaders in 1052. Three great kingdoms were identified in Bilad al- Sudan
Sudan
by the ninth century. They included Ghana, Gao
Gao
and Kanem.[9] The Sosso Empire
Sosso Empire
sought to fill the void, but was defeated (c. 1240) by the Mandinka forces of Sundiata Keita, founder of the new Mali Empire. The Mali
Mali
Empire continued to flourish for several centuries, most particularly under Sundiata's grandnephew Musa I, before a succession of weak rulers led to its collapse under Mossi, Tuareg
Tuareg
and Songhai invaders. In the 15th century, the Songhai would form a new dominant state based on Gao, in the Songhai Empire, under the leadership of Sonni Ali
Sonni Ali
and Askia Mohammed. Meanwhile, south of the Sudan, strong city states arose in Igboland, such as the 10th-century Kingdom of Nri, which helped birth the arts and customs of the Igbo people, Bono in the 12th century, which eventually culminated in the formation the all-powerful Akan Empire of Ashanti, while Ife
Ife
rose to prominence around the 14th century. Further east, Oyo arose as the dominant Yoruba state and the Aro Confederacy as a dominant Igbo state in modern-day Nigeria. The Kingdom of Nri
Kingdom of Nri
was a West
West
African medieval state in the present-day southeastern Nigeria
Nigeria
and a subgroup of the Igbo people. The Kingdom of Nri
Kingdom of Nri
was unusual in the history of world government in that its leader exercised no military power over his subjects. The kingdom existed as a sphere of religious and political influence over a third of Igboland
Igboland
and was administered by a priest-king called as an Eze Nri. The Eze Nri
Eze Nri
managed trade and diplomacy on behalf of the Nri people and possessed divine authority in religious matters. The Oyo Empire
Oyo Empire
was a Yoruba empire of what is today Western and North central Nigeria,. Established in the 15th century, the Oyo Empire
Oyo Empire
grew to become one of the largest West
West
African states. It rose through the outstanding organizational skills of the Yoruba, wealth gained from trade and its powerful cavalry. The Oyo Empire
Oyo Empire
was the most politically important state in the region from the mid-17th to the late 18th century, holding sway not only over most of the other kingdoms in Yorubaland, but also over nearby African states, notably the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey
Kingdom of Dahomey
in the modern Republic of Benin
Benin
to the west. The Benin
Benin
Empire was a pre-colonial empire located in what is now southern Nigeria. Its capital was Edo, now known as Benin
Benin
City, Edo. It should not be confused with the modern-day country called Benin, formerly called Dahomey. The Benin
Benin
Empire was "one of the oldest and most highly developed states in the coastal hinterland of West
West
Africa, dating perhaps to the eleventh century CE",. The Benin
Benin
Empire was governed by a sovereign Emperor with hundreds of thousands of soldiers and a powerful council rich in resources, wealth, ancient science and technology with cities described as beautiful and large as Haarlem. "Olfert Dapper, a Dutch writer, describing Benin
Benin
in his book Description of Africa
Africa
(1668) ". Its craft was the most adored and treasured bronze casting in the history of Africa. It was annexed by the British Empire
British Empire
in 1897 during the invasion and scramble of Africa. Slavery and European contact[edit] Main article: Atlantic slave trade

West
West
Africa
Africa
circa 1839

Portuguese traders began establishing settlements along the coast in 1445, followed by the French, British, Spanish, Danish and Dutch; the African slave trade
African slave trade
began not long after, which over the following centuries would debilitate the region's economy and population. The slave trade also encouraged the formation of states such as the Asante Empire, Bambara Empire
Bambara Empire
and Dahomey, whose economic activities include but not limited to exchanging slaves for European firearms. Colonialism[edit]

French in West
West
Africa
Africa
circa 1913

In the early 19th century, a series of Fulani
Fulani
reformist jihads swept across Western Africa. The most notable include Usman dan Fodio's Fulani
Fulani
Empire, which replaced the Hausa city-states, Seku Amadu's Massina Empire, which defeated the Bambara, and El Hadj Umar Tall's Toucouleur Empire, which briefly conquered much of modern-day Mali. However, the French and British continued to advance in the Scramble for Africa, subjugating kingdom after kingdom. With the fall of Samory Ture's new-founded Wassoulou Empire
Wassoulou Empire
in 1898 and the Ashanti queen Yaa Asantewaa in 1902, most West
West
African military resistance to colonial rule resulted in failure. Britain controlled the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria throughout the colonial era, while France
France
unified Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast
and Niger
Niger
into French West Africa. Portugal
Portugal
founded the colony of Guinea-Bissau, while Germany claimed Togoland, but was forced to divide it between France
France
and Britain following First World War
First World War
due to the Treaty of Versailles. Only Liberia
Liberia
retained its independence, at the price of major territorial concessions. Postcolonial eras[edit] Following World War II, nationalist movements arose across West Africa. In 1957, Ghana, under Kwame Nkrumah, became the first sub-Saharan colony to achieve its independence, followed the next year by France's colonies ( Guinea
Guinea
in 1958 under the leadership of President Ahmed Sekou Touré); by 1974, West
West
Africa's nations were entirely autonomous. Since independence, many West
West
African nations have been submerged under political instability, with notable civil wars in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast, and a succession of military coups in Ghana
Ghana
and Burkina Faso. Since the end of colonialism, the region has been the stage for some brutal conflicts, including:

Nigerian Civil War First Liberian Civil War Second Liberian Civil War Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau
Civil War Ivorian Civil War Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Rebel War

States[edit] The Economic Community of West
West
African States, established in May 1975, has defined the region of West
West
Africa
Africa
since 1999 as including the following 15 states:[7]

Geopolitical
Geopolitical
States of West
West
Africa;

* Benin
Benin
* Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
* Cape Verde
Cape Verde
* Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast
* Gambia * Ghana
Ghana
* Guinea
Guinea
* Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau
* Liberia
Liberia
* Mali * Niger
Niger
* Nigeria
Nigeria
* Senegal
Senegal
* Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
* Togo

Geopolitically, the United Nations
United Nations
definition of Western Africa includes the preceding states with the addition of Mauritania
Mauritania
(which withdrew from ECOWAS in 1999), comprising an area of approximately 6.1 million square km.[10] The UN region also includes the island of Saint Helena, a British overseas territory
British overseas territory
in the south Atlantic Ocean.

Area[edit] In the United Nations
United Nations
scheme of African regions, the region includes 17 states and the island of Saint Helena, an overseas territory:[11] Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal
Senegal
and Niger
Niger
are mostly in the Sahel, a transition zone between the Sahara
Sahara
desert and the Sudanian Savanna, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Nigeria
Nigeria
compose Guinea, the traditional name for the area near the Gulf of Guinea, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
is an island country in the Atlantic Ocean, Mauritania
Mauritania
lies in the Maghreb, the northwestern region of Africa
Africa
that has historically been inhabited by both traditionally West
West
African groups such as the Fulani, Soninke and Wolof, along with Arab-Berber
Arab-Berber
Maghrebi people. Due to its increasingly close ties to the Arab World
Arab World
and its 1999 withdrawal from the Economic Community of West
West
African States (ECOWAS), in modern times it is often considered, especially in Africa, as now part of western North Africa.[12][13][14][15][16][17] Cities[edit] Major cities in West
West
Africa
Africa
include:

Abuja
Abuja
, Nigeria Abidjan, Ivory Coast Accra, Ghana Bamako
Bamako
, Mali Benin
Benin
City, Nigeria Conakry
Conakry
, Guinea Dakar, Senegal Freetown, Sierra Leone Ibadan, Nigeria Kaduna, Nigeria Kano, Nigeria Kumasi, Ghana Lagos, Nigeria Lomé, Togo Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Geography and climate[edit] West
West
Africa, broadly defined to include the western portion of the Maghreb
Maghreb
(Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), occupies an area in excess of 6,140,000 km2, or approximately one-fifth of Africa. The vast majority of this land is plains lying less than 300 meters above sea level, though isolated high points exist in numerous states along the southern shore of West
West
Africa.[18]

West
West
Africa
Africa
Tropical Ecozone

Benin Burkina Faso Gambia Ghana Guinea-Bissau Guinea Ivory Coast Liberia Mali Mauritania Nigeria Niger Senegal Sierra Leone Togo

State The biostate Location in Afrotropic

Satellite imagery
Satellite imagery
from outer space of West
West
Africa

The northern section of West
West
Africa
Africa
(narrowly defined to exclude the western Maghreb) is composed of semi-arid terrain known as Sahel, a transitional zone between the Sahara
Sahara
and the savannahs of the western Sudan. Forests form a belt between the savannas and the southern coast, ranging from 160 km to 240 km in width.[19] The northwest African region of Mauritania
Mauritania
periodically suffers country-wide plagues of locusts which consume water, salt and crops on which the human population relies.[20] Background[edit] West
West
Africa
Africa
is west of an imagined north–south axis lying close to 10° east longitude.[18] The Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
forms the western as well as the southern borders of the West
West
African region.[18] The northern border is the Sahara
Sahara
Desert, with the Ranishanu Bend generally considered the northernmost part of the region.[21] The eastern border is less precise, with some placing it at the Benue Trough, and others on a line running from Mount Cameroon
Mount Cameroon
to Lake Chad. Colonial boundaries are reflected in the modern boundaries between contemporary West
West
African states, cutting across ethnic and cultural lines, often dividing single ethnic groups between two or more states.[22] In contrast to most of Central, Southern and Southeast Africa, West Africa
Africa
is not populated by Bantu-speaking peoples.[23] Transport[edit] Rail transport[edit] Main article: ECOWAS rail A Trans-ECOWAS project, established in 2007, plans to upgrade railways in this zone. One of the goals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is the development of an integrated railroad network.[24] Aims include the extension of railways in member countries, the interconnection of previously isolated railways and the standardisation of gauge, brakes, couplings, and other parameters. The first line would connect the cities and ports of Lagos, Cotonou, Lomé and Accra
Accra
and would allow the largest container ships to focus on a smaller number of large ports, while efficiently serving a larger hinterland. This line connects 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge and 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge systems, which would require four rail dual gauge, which can also provide standard gauge.[24] Road transport[edit] Main article: Trans– West
West
African Coastal Highway

The Trans– West
West
African Coastal Highway
Highway
is a transnational highway project to link 12 West
West
African coastal states, from Mauritania
Mauritania
in the north-west of the region to Nigeria
Nigeria
in the east, with feeder roads already existing to two landlocked countries, Mali
Mali
and Burkina Faso.[25] The eastern end of the highway terminates at Lagos, Nigeria. Economic Community of West
West
African States (ECOWAS) consider its western end to be Nouakchott, Mauritania, or to be Dakar, Senegal, giving rise to these alternative names for the road:

Nouakchott– Lagos
Lagos
Highway Lagos– Nouakchott
Nouakchott
Highway Dakar– Lagos
Lagos
Highway Lagos– Dakar
Dakar
Highway Trans-African Highway
Highway
7 in the Trans-African Highway
Highway
network

Air transport[edit] The capital's airports include:

Cadjehoun Airport
Cadjehoun Airport
(COO) International; Cotonou, Benin Ouagadougou
Ouagadougou
Airport (OUA); Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Amílcar Cabral International Airport
Amílcar Cabral International Airport
(SID); Praia, Cape Verde Banjul International Airport
Banjul International Airport
(BJL) International; Banjul, Gambia Kotoka International Airport
Kotoka International Airport
(ACC); Accra; Ghana Conakry
Conakry
International Airport (CKY); Conakry, Guinea Osvaldo Vieira International Airport
Osvaldo Vieira International Airport
(OXB); Bissau, Guinea-Bissau Port Bouet Airport
Port Bouet Airport
(ABJ); Abidjan, Ivory Coast Roberts International Airport
Roberts International Airport
(ROB); Monrovia, Liberia Bamako–Sénou International Airport
Bamako–Sénou International Airport
(BKO); Bamako, Mali Diori Hamani International Airport
Diori Hamani International Airport
(NIM); Niamey, Niger Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Murtala Muhammed International Airport
(LOS); Lagos, Nigeria Saint Helena
Saint Helena
Airport; Jamestown, Saint Helena Blaise Diagne International Airport
Blaise Diagne International Airport
(DSS); Dakar, Senegal Lungi International Airport
Lungi International Airport
(FNA); Freetown, Sierra Leone Lomé–Tokoin Airport
Lomé–Tokoin Airport
(LFW); Lomé, Togo

Of the sixteen, the most important hub and entry point to West
West
Africa is Kotoka International Airport, and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, offering many international connections. Culture[edit] Despite the wide variety of cultures in West
West
Africa, from Nigeria through to Senegal, there are general similarities in dress, cuisine, music and culture that are not shared extensively with groups outside the geographic region. This long history of cultural exchange predates the colonization era of the region and can be approximately placed at the time of the Ghana
Ghana
Empire (proper: Wagadou
Wagadou
Empire), Mali
Mali
Empire or perhaps before these empires. Traditional architecture[edit]

A street and airport in the famous town of Timbuktu, Mali, showing the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style of the West
West
African interior

The main traditional styles of building (in conjunction with modern styles) are the distinct Sudano-Sahelian style in inland areas, and the coastal forest styles more reminiscent of other sub-Saharan areas. They differ greatly in construction due to the demands made by the variety of climates in the area, from tropical humid forests to arid grasslands and desert. Despite the architectural differences, buildings perform similar functions, including the compound structure central to West
West
African family life or strict distinction between the private and public worlds needed to maintain taboos or social etiquette. Clothing[edit]

A man in the Boubou (or Agbada), a traditional robe symbolic of West Africa

In contrast to other parts of the continent south of the Sahara Desert, the concepts of hemming and embroidering clothing have been traditionally common to West
West
Africa
Africa
for centuries, demonstrated by the production of various breeches, shirts, tunics and jackets. As a result, the peoples of the region's diverse nations wear a wide variety of clothing with underlying similarities. Typical pieces of west African formal attire include the knee-to-ankle-length, flowing Boubou robe, Dashiki, and Senegalese
Senegalese
Kaftan
Kaftan
(also known as Agbada and Babariga), which has its origins in the clothing of nobility of various West
West
African empires in the 12th century. Traditional half-sleeved, hip-long, woven smocks or tunics (known as fugu in Gurunsi, riga in Hausa) – worn over a pair of baggy trousers—is another popular garment.[26] In the coastal regions stretching from southern Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast
to Benin, a huge rectangular cloth is wrapped under one arm, draped over a shoulder, and held in one of the wearer's hands—coincidentally, reminiscent of Romans' togas. The best-known of these toga-like garments is the Kente
Kente
(made by the Akan people
Akan people
of Ghana
Ghana
and Ivory Coast), who wear them as a gesture of national pride. Cuisine[edit] Main article: West
West
African cuisine

Jollof rice
Jollof rice
or Benachin, one of many Pan– West
West
African dishes found only in West
West
Africa

Scores of foreign visitors to West
West
African nations (e.g., traders, historians, emigrants, colonists, missionaries) have benefited from its citizens' generosity, and even left with a piece of its cultural heritage, via its foods. West
West
African cuisines have had a significant influence on those of Western civilization
Western civilization
for centuries; several dishes of West
West
African origin are currently enjoyed in the Caribbean (e.g., the West
West
Indies and Haiti); Australia; the USA (particularly Louisiana, Virginia, North and South Carolina); Italy; and other countries. Although some of these recipes have been altered to suit the sensibilities of their adopters, they retain a distinct West African essence.[27] West
West
Africans cuisines include fish (especially among the coastal areas), meat, vegetables, and fruits—most of which are grown by the nations' local farmers. In spite of the obvious differences among the various local cuisines in this multinational region, the foods display more similarities than differences. The small difference may be in the ingredients used. Most foods are cooked via boiling or frying. Commonly featured, starchy vegetables include yams, plantains, cassava, and sweet potatoes.[28] Rice is also a staple food, as is the Serer people's sorghum couscous (called "Chereh" in Serer) particularly in Senegal
Senegal
and the Gambia.[29] Jollof rice—originally from the Kingdom of Jolof (now part of modern-day Senegal) but having spread to the Wolofs of Gambia—is also enjoyed in many Western nations, as well;[30] Mafé (proper: "Tigh-dege-na" or Domodah) from Mali
Mali
(via the Bambara and Mandinka)[31]—a peanut-butter stew served with rice;[32][33] Akara
Akara
(fried bean balls seasoned with spices served with sauce and bread) from Nigeria
Nigeria
is a favourite breakfast for Gambians and Senegalese, as well as a favourite side snack or side dish in Brazil
Brazil
and the Caribbean
Caribbean
just as it is in West
West
Africa. It is said that its exact origin may be from Yorubaland
Yorubaland
in Nigeria.[34][35] Fufu
Fufu
(from the Twi language, a dough served with a spicy stew or sauce for example okra stew etc.) from Ghana
Ghana
is enjoyed throughout the region and beyond even in Central Africa
Africa
with their own versions of it.[36] Dishes such as taguella, eghajira, etc. are popular among the Tuareg
Tuareg
people. Recreation and sports[edit] See also: West
West
Africa
Africa
cricket team

Supporters of ASEC Mimosas

The board game oware is quite popular in many parts of Southern Africa. The word "Oware" originates from the Akan people
Akan people
of Ghana. However, virtually all African peoples have a version of this board game.[37] The major multi-sport event of West
West
Africa
Africa
is the ECOWAS Games which commenced at the 2012 ECOWAS Games. Football is also a pastime enjoyed by many, either spectating or playing. The major national teams of West
West
Africa, the Ghana
Ghana
national football team, the Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast
national football team, and the Nigeria
Nigeria
national football team regularly win the Africa
Africa
Cup of Nations.[38] Major football teams of West
West
Africa
Africa
are Asante Kotoko SC
Asante Kotoko SC
and Accra
Accra
Hearts of Oak SC of the Ghana
Ghana
Premier League, Enyimba International of the Nigerian Premier League and ASEC Mimosas
ASEC Mimosas
of the Ligue 1 (Ivory Coast). The football governing body of West
West
Africa
Africa
is the West
West
African Football Union (WAFU) and the major tournament is the West
West
African Club Championship and WAFU Nations Cup, along with the annual individual award of West African Footballer of the Year.[39][40] Music[edit] Main article: Music of West
West
Africa

The talking drum is an instrument unique to West
West
Africa.

Mbalax, Highlife, Fuji and Afrobeat
Afrobeat
are all modern musical genres which listeners enjoy in this region. Old traditional folk music is also well preserved in this region. Some of these are religious in nature such as the "Tassou" tradition used in Serer religion.[41] Griot and Praise-singing[edit]

Kora-playing Griots
Griots
in Senegal, 1900. Both the Kora, a 21-stringed harp-lute, and the griot musical-caste are unique to West
West
Africa.

Two important related traditions that musically make West
West
African musical attitudes unique are the Griot tradition, and the Praise-singing tradition. In many cases, these two genres are highly similar, the difference being whether the traditions are considered the property of hereditary castes (Griot) or to talented individuals among a ruler's subjects (Praise-singing). In both cases the minstrel tradition and specialization in certain string and percussion instruments is observed. Traditionally, musical and oral history as conveyed over generations by Griots
Griots
are typical of West
West
African culture in Mande, Wolof, Songhay, Moor and (to some extent, though not universal) Fula areas in the far west. A hereditary caste occupying the fringes of society, the Griots
Griots
were charged with memorizing the histories of local rulers and personages and the caste was further broken down into music-playing Griots
Griots
(similar to bards) and non-music playing Griots. Like Praise-singers, the Griot's main profession was musical acquisition and prowess, and patrons were the sole means of financial support. Modern Griots
Griots
enjoy higher status in the patronage of rich individuals in places such as Mali, Senegal, Mauritania
Mauritania
and Guinea, and to some extent make up the vast majority of musicians in these countries. Examples of modern popular Griot artists include Salif Keita, Youssou N'Dour, Mamadou Diabate, Rokia Traore
Rokia Traore
and Toumani Diabate. In other areas of West
West
Africa, primarily among the Hausa, Mossi, Dagomba and Yoruba in the area encompassing Burkina Faso, northern Ghana, Nigeria
Nigeria
and Niger, the traditional profession of non-hereditary praise-singers, minstrels, bards and poets play a vital role in extending the public show of power, lineage and prestige of traditional rulers through their exclusive patronage. Like the Griot tradition, praise singers are charged with knowing the details of specific historic events and royal lineages, but more importantly need to be capable of poetic improvisation and creativity, with knowledge of traditional songs directed towards showing a patron's financial and political or religious power. Competition between Praise-singing ensembles and artistes are high, and artists responsible for any extraordinarily skilled prose, musical compositions and panegyric songs are lavishly rewarded with money, clothing, provisions and other luxuries by patrons who are usually politicians, rulers, Islamic clerics and merchants; these successful praise-singers rise to national stardom. Examples include Mamman Shata, Souley Konko, Fati Niger, Saadou Bori and Dan Maraya. In the case of Niger, numerous praise songs are composed and shown on television in praise of local rulers, Islamic clerics and politicians. Film industry[edit] Main article: Cinema of Nigeria Nollywood
Nollywood
of Nigeria, is the main film industry of West
West
Africa. The Nigerian cinema industry is the second largest film industry in terms of number of annual film productions, ahead of the American film industry in Hollywood.[42] Senegal
Senegal
and Ghana
Ghana
also have long traditions of producing films. The late Ousmane Sembène, the Senegalese
Senegalese
film director, producer and writer is from the region, as is the Ghanaian Shirley Frimpong-Manso. Religion[edit] Islam[edit] Further information: Islam
Islam
in Africa

The 13th-century Great Mosque of Djenné
Great Mosque of Djenné
is a superb example of the indigenous Sahelian architectural style prevalent in the Savannah and Sahelian interior of West
West
Africa. It is listed an UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site.

Islam
Islam
is the predominant religion of the West
West
African interior and the far west coast of the continent (70% of West
West
Africans); and was introduced to the region by traders in the 9th century. Islam
Islam
is the religion of the region's biggest ethnic groups by population. Islamic rules on livelihood, values, dress and practices had a profound effect on the populations and cultures in their predominant areas, so much so that the concept of tribalism is less observed by Islamized groups like the Mande, Wolof, Hausa, Fula and Songhai, than they are by non-Islamized groups.[43] Ethnic intermarriage and shared cultural icons are established through a superseded commonality of belief or community, known as ummah.[44] Traditional Muslim areas include Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Guinea, Niger; the upper coast and inland two-thirds of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
and inland Liberia; the western, northern and far-eastern regions of Burkina Faso; and the northern halves of the coastal nations of Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana
Ghana
and Ivory Coast.[45] African traditional[edit] Further information: Traditional African religion See also: West
West
African Vodun

Voodoo altar with several fetishes in Abomey, Benin

Traditional African religions (noting the many different belief systems) are the oldest belief systems among the populations of this region, and include Akan religion, Yoruba religion, Odinani, and Serer religion. They are spiritual but also linked to the historical and cultural heritage of the people.[46] Although traditional beliefs vary from one place to the next, there are more similarities than differences.[47] Christianity[edit] Christianity, a relative newcomer introduced from the late 19th to mid-to-late 20th centuries, is associated with the British and French colonisation eras, when missionaries from European countries brought the religion to the region.[48] As Western Christianity, it includes predominantly Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism
and Anglicanism. It has become the predominant religion in the central and southern part of Nigeria, and the coastal regions stretching from southern Ghana
Ghana
to coastal parts of Sierra Leone. Like Islam, elements of traditional African religion are mixed with Christianity.[49] Demographics and languages[edit] West
West
Africans primarily speak Niger–Congo languages, belonging mostly, though not exclusively, to its non-Bantu branches, though some Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan
and Afro-Asiatic speaking groups are also found in West Africa. The Niger–Congo-speaking Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, Akan and Wolof ethnic groups are the largest and most influential. In the central Sahara, Mandinka or Mande groups are most significant. Chadic-speaking groups, including the Hausa, are found in more northerly parts of the region nearest to the Sahara, and Nilo-Saharan communities, such as the Songhai, Kanuri and Zarma, are found in the eastern parts of West
West
Africa
Africa
bordering Central Africa. The population of West
West
Africa
Africa
is estimated at 362 million[2] people as of 2016. In Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, the nomadic Tuareg
Tuareg
speak the Tuareg language, a Berber language. Colonial languages also play a pivotal cultural and political role, being adopted as the official languages of most countries in the region, as well as linguae franca in communication between the region's various ethnic groups. For historical reasons, Western European languages such as French, English and Portuguese predominate in Southern and Coastal subregions, whilst Arabic spreads inland northwards. Economic and regional organizations[edit]

Map of petroleum and natural gas within West
West
Africa

The Economic Community of West African States
Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS), founded by the 1975 Treaty of Lagos, is an organization of West
West
African states which aims to promote the region's economy. The West
West
African Monetary Union (or UEMOA from its name in French, Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine) is limited to the eight, mostly Francophone countries that employ the CFA franc
CFA franc
as their common currency. The Liptako-Gourma Authority of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
seeks to jointly develop the contiguous areas of the three countries. Women's peace movement[edit] Since the adoption of the United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, women have been engaged in rebuilding war-torn Africa. Starting with the Women of Liberia
Liberia
Mass Action for Peace and Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), the peace movement has grown to include women across West
West
Africa. Established on May 8, 2006, Women Peace and Security Network – Africa
Africa
(WIPSEN-Africa), is a women-focused, women-led Pan-African non-governmental organization based in Ghana.[50] The organization has a presence in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia
Liberia
and Sierra Leone. Regional leaders of nonviolent resistance include Leymah Gbowee,[51] Comfort Freeman, and Aya Virginie Toure. Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
is a documentary film about the origin of this peace movement. The film has been used as an advocacy tool in post-conflict zones like Sudan
Sudan
and Zimbabwe, mobilizing African women to petition for peace and security.[52] Gallery[edit] Cityscapes of largest cities[edit]

Bird's-eye view
Bird's-eye view
of the West
West
Africa
Africa
City
City
of Lagos, Lagos
Lagos
State, Nigeria

Bird's-eye view
Bird's-eye view
of the West
West
Africa
Africa
City
City
of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

Bird's-eye view
Bird's-eye view
of the West
West
Africa
Africa
City
City
of Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana

Bird's-eye view
Bird's-eye view
of the West
West
Africa
Africa
City
City
of Abidjan, Lagunes, Ivory Coast

Bird's-eye view
Bird's-eye view
of the West
West
Africa
Africa
City
City
of Kumasi, Ashanti, Ghana

Bird's-eye view
Bird's-eye view
of the West
West
Africa
Africa
City
City
of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Capital cities of West
West
Africa[edit]

Capital cities of West
West
Africa

Praia, Cape Verde

Dakar, Senegal

Lomé, Togo

Porto-Novo, Benin

Niamey, Niger

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Freetown, Sierra Leone

Banjul, Gambia

Conakry, Guinea

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

Monrovia, Liberia

Bamako, Mali

Georgetown, Ascension Island

Tristan da Cunha, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

See also[edit]

Africa
Africa
portal Geography portal

Ajami Ebola virus epidemic in West
West
Africa Manillas, a form of archaic money unique to West
West
Africa N'Ko script Nsibidi
Nsibidi
Script, an indigenously developed West
West
African writing system Vai syllabary West
West
African Craton Western Sahara

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Data and Statistics gathered from the West
West
Africa
Africa
Economic Community of West
West
African States. ^ a b c "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations
United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10 September 2017.  ^ "IMF GDP 2011". Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ "IMF GDP data, September 2011". Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ a b "IMF GDP data, October 2013". Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ "Nigerian Economy Overtakes South Africa's on Rebased GDP". Bloomberg L.P. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ a b Paul R. Masson, Catherine Anne Pattillo, "Monetary union in West Africa
Africa
(ECOWAS): is it desirable and how could it be achieved?" (Introduction). International Monetary Fund, 2001. ISBN 1-58906-014-8 ^ Alexander, Leslie M.; Jr, Walter C. Rucker (9 February 2010). "Encyclopedia of African American History [3 volumes]". ABC-CLIO – via Google Books.  ^ Levtzion, Nehemia (1973). Ancient Ghana
Ghana
and Mali. New York: Methuen & Co Ltd. p. 3. ISBN 0841904316.  ^ "The UN office for West
West
Africa" (PDF).  ^ " United Nations
United Nations
Statistics Division - Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications". Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ "Office for North Africa
North Africa
of the Economic Commission for Africa". United Nations
United Nations
Economic Commission for Africa. Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ "2014 UNHCR country operations profile - Mauritania". Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ "African Development Bank Group: Mauritania". Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ Facts On File, Incorporated, Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Africa and the Middle East
Middle East
(2009), p. 448, ISBN 143812676X: "The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, situated in western North Africa..." ^ David Seddon, A Political and Economic Dictionary of the Middle East (2004), ISBN 020340291X: "We have, by contrast, chosen to include the predominantly Arabic-speaking countries of western North Africa (the Maghreb), including Mauritania
Mauritania
(which is a member of the Arab Maghreb
Maghreb
Union)..." ^ Mohamed Branine, Managing Across Cultures: Concepts, Policies and Practices (2011), p. 437, ISBN 1849207291: "The Magrebian countries or the Arab countries of western North Africa
North Africa
(Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco
Morocco
and Tunisia)..." ^ a b c Peter Speth. Impacts of Global Change on the Hydrological Cycle in West
West
and Northwest Africa, p. 33. Springer, 2010. ISBN 3-642-12956-0 ^ Peter Speth. Impacts of Global Change on the Hydrological Cycle in West
West
and Northwest Africa, p. 33. Springer, 2010. Prof. Kayode Omitoogun 2011, ISBN 3-642-12956-0 ^ National Geographic, February 2013, p. 8. ^ Anthony Ham. West
West
Africa, p. 79. Lonely Planet, 2009. ISBN 1-74104-821-4 ^ Celestine Oyom Bassey, Oshita Oshita. Governance and Border Security in Africa, p. 261. African Books Collective, 2010. ISBN 978-8422-07-1 ^ Ian Shaw, Robert Jameson. A Dictionary of Archaeology, p. 28. Wiley-Blackwell, 2002. ISBN 0-631-23583-3 ^ a b "Proposed Ecowas railway" Archived 2009-10-24 at the Wayback Machine.. railwaysafrica.com. ^ Itai Madamombe (2006): "NEPAD promotes better transport networks", Africa
Africa
Renewal, Vol. 20, No. 3 (October 2006), p. 14. ^ Barbara K. Nordquist, Susan B. Aradeon, Howard University. School of Human
Human
Ecology, Museum of African Art (U.S.). Traditional African dress and textiles: an exhibition of the Susan B. Aradeon collection of West African dress at the Museum of African Art (1975), pp. 9–15. ^ Chidi Asika-Enahoro. A Slice of Africa: Exotic West
West
African Cuisines, Introduction. iUniverse, 2004. ISBN 0-595-30528-8. ^ Pamela Goyan Kittler, Kathryn Sucher. Food and Culture, p. 212. Cengage Learning, 2007. ISBN 0-495-11541-X. ^ UNESCO. The Case for indigenous West
West
African food culture, p. 4. BREDA series, Vol. 9 (1995), (UNESCO). ^ Alan Davidson, Tom Jaine. The Oxford Companion to Food, p. 423. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-280681-5. ^ Mafé or Maafe
Maafe
is a Wolof word for it, the proper name is "Domodah" among the Mandinka people
Mandinka people
of Senegal
Senegal
and Gambia, who are the originators of this dish, or "Tigh-dege-na" among the Bambara people or Mandinka people
Mandinka people
of Mali. "Domodah" is also used by all Senegambians borrowed from the Mandinka language. ^ James McCann. Stirring the Pot: A History of African Cuisine, p. 132. Ohio University Press, 2009. ISBN 0-89680-272-8. ^ Emma Gregg, Richard Trillo. Rough Guide to the Gambia, p. 39. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN 1-84353-083-X. ^ Carole Boyce Davies. Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences and Culture, Volume 1, p. 72. ABC-CLIO, 2008. ISBN 1-85109-700-7. ^ Toyin Ayeni. I Am a Nigerian, Not a Terrorist, p. 2. Dog Ear Publishing, 2010. ISBN 1-60844-735-9. ^ Dayle Hayes, Rachel Laudan. Food and Nutrition. Dayle Hayes, Rachel Laudan, editorial advisers. Volume 7, p. 1097. Marshall Cavendish, 2008. ISBN 0-7614-7827-2. ^ West
West
Africa, issues 4106–4119, pp. 1487–8. Afrimedia International, (1996) ^ "Why does the West
West
dominate African football?" BBC. ^ "Wafu Cup to make a comeback". BBC Sport. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2015.  ^ "Caf have split the West
West
African Football Union into two separate zones". Goal.com. Goal.com. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2014.  ^ Ali Colleen Neff, Tassou: the Ancient Spoken Word of African Women. 2010. ^ " Nigeria
Nigeria
surpasses Hollywood
Hollywood
as world's second largest film producer – UN". United Nations. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.  ^ "The Islamic World to 1600: The Fractured Caliphate and the Regional Dynasties ( West
West
Africa)". Archived from the original on 2013-10-25.  ^ Muslim Societies in African History (New Approaches to African History), David Robinson, Chapter 1. ^ Spread of Islam
Islam
in West
West
Africa
Africa
(part 1 of 3): The Empire of Ghana
Ghana
, Prof. A. Rahman I. Doi, Spread of Islam
Islam
in West
West
Africa. http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/304/ ^ John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion, p. 19. East African Publishers, 1992. ISBN 9966-46-928-1 ^ William J. Duiker, Jackson J. Spielvogel. World History: To 1800, p. 224. Cengage Learning, 2006. ISBN 0-495-05053-9 ^ Robert O. Collins. African History: Western African History, p. 153. Markus Wiener Publishers, 1990. ISBN 1-55876-015-6 ^ Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong. Themes in West
West
Africa's History, p. 152. James Currey Publishers, 2006. ISBN 0-85255-995-X ^ "WIPSEN". Retrieved 17 October 2014.  ^ "WIPSEN EMPOWERS WOMEN…To fight for their rights". Ghana
Ghana
Media Group. 11 December 2010. Archived from the original (article) on 17 September 2011.  ^ November 2009 MEDIAGLOBAL Archived 2010-07-10 at the Wayback Machine.

Further reading[edit]

Akyeampong, Emmanuel Kwaku. Themes in West
West
Africa's History (2006) Collins, Robert O. African History: Western African History (1990). Davidson, Basil. A History of West
West
Africa, 1000–1800 (1978), numerous editions Edgerton, Robert B. The Fall of the Asante Empire: The Hundred-Year War For Africa'S Gold
Gold
Coast (2002). Festus, Jacob et al. eds. History of West
West
Africa
Africa
(Vol. 1, 1989) Ham, Anthony. West
West
Africa
Africa
(2009). Hopkins, Antony Gerald. An economic history of West
West
Africa
Africa
(2014). Kane, Ousmane Oumar, Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West
West
Africa
Africa
(2016). Mendonsa, Eugene L. West
West
Africa: An Introduction to Its History (2002).

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Western Africa
Africa
and West
West
Africa.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for West
West
Africa.

West
West
Africa
Africa
by Region and Country – African Studies at Columbia University ouestaf.com – Ouestaf, a West
West
African online newspaper (in French) Loccidental – An online West
West
African newspaper (in French) West
West
Africa
Africa
Review – An e-journal on West
West
Africa
Africa
research and scholarship (in English) The Voyage of the Sieur Le Maire, to the Canary Islands, Cape-Verde, Senegal, and Gambia
Gambia
is the first published writing about Western Africa, dating from 1695 (in English) [1]

v t e

Economic Community of West
West
African States

Leadership

Chairmen

Eyadéma Obasanjo Senghor Eyadéma Stevens Kérékou Touré Conté Buhari Babangida Jawara Compaoré Jawara Diouf Soglo Rawlings Abacha Abubakar Eyadéma Konaré Wade Kufuor Tandja Compaoré Yar'Adua Jonathan Ouattara Mahama Sall Johnson Sirleaf

President of the Commission

Executive Secretaries (1975–2006)

Ouattara Munu Bundu Benjamin Kouyaté Chambas

Presidents (2007–present)

Chambas Gbeho Ouédraogo de Souza

Member states

UEMOA

Benin Burkina Faso Guinea-Bissau Ivory Coast Mali Niger Senegal Togo

WAMZ

Gambia Ghana Guinea Liberia Nigeria Sierra Leone

ECOWAS only

Cape Verde

See also

CFA franc Eco ECOWAS rail ECOMOG ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development ECOWAS Parliament ECOWAS Community Court of Justice ECOPOST UEMOA Tournament

v t e

Regions of the world

v t e

Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea
Guinea
region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland

Mbaise

Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean
Ocean
islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West
West
Africa

Pepper Coast Gold
Gold
Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea
Guinea
region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger
Niger
Basin Guinean Forests of West
West
Africa Niger
Niger
Delta Inner Niger
Niger
Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay

Macro-regions

Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan
Sudan
(region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

v t e

Regions of Asia

Central

Greater Middle East Aral Sea

Aralkum Desert Caspian Sea Dead Sea Sea of Galilee

Transoxiana

Turan

Greater Khorasan Ariana Khwarezm Sistan Kazakhstania Eurasian Steppe

Asian Steppe Kazakh Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe

Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields

Yedisan Muravsky Trail

Ural

Ural Mountains

Volga region Idel-Ural Kolyma Transbaikal Pryazovia Bjarmaland Kuban Zalesye Ingria Novorossiya Gornaya Shoriya Tulgas Iranian Plateau Altai Mountains Pamir Mountains Tian Shan Badakhshan Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Mount Imeon Mongolian Plateau Western Regions Taklamakan Desert Karakoram

Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract

Siachen Glacier

North

Inner Asia Northeast Far East

Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Extreme North Siberia

Baikalia
Baikalia
(Lake Baikal) Transbaikal Khatanga Gulf Baraba steppe

Kamchatka Peninsula Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Beringia Sikhote-Alin

East

Japanese archipelago

Northeastern Japan Arc Sakhalin Island Arc

Korean Peninsula Gobi Desert Taklamakan Desert Greater Khingan Mongolian Plateau Inner Asia Inner Mongolia Outer Mongolia China proper Manchuria

Outer Manchuria Inner Manchuria Northeast China Plain Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

North China Plain

Yan Mountains

Kunlun Mountains Liaodong Peninsula Himalayas Tibetan Plateau

Tibet

Tarim Basin Northern Silk Road Hexi Corridor Nanzhong Lingnan Liangguang Jiangnan Jianghuai Guanzhong Huizhou Wu Jiaozhou Zhongyuan Shaannan Ordos Loop

Loess Plateau Shaanbei

Hamgyong Mountains Central Mountain Range Japanese Alps Suzuka Mountains Leizhou Peninsula Gulf of Tonkin Yangtze River Delta Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass

West

Greater Middle East

MENA MENASA Middle East

Red Sea Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains Persian Gulf

Pirate Coast Strait of Hormuz Greater and Lesser Tunbs

Al-Faw Peninsula Gulf of Oman Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Aden Balochistan Arabian Peninsula

Najd Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia

Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
coastal fog desert

Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia

Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia

Canaan Aram Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant

Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan Rift Valley

Israel Levantine Sea Golan Heights Hula Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti-Lebanon Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Palestine Iranian Plateau Armenian Highlands Caucasus

Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains

Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus

North Caucasus South Caucasus

Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt

South

Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan Kashmir

Kashmir
Kashmir
Valley Pir Panjal Range

Thar Desert Indus Valley Indus River
Indus River
Delta Indus Valley Desert Indo-Gangetic Plain Eastern coastal plains Western Coastal Plains Meghalaya subtropical forests MENASA Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Doab Bagar tract Great Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Deccan Plateau Coromandel Coast Konkan False Divi Point Hindi Belt Ladakh Aksai Chin Gilgit-Baltistan

Baltistan Shigar Valley

Karakoram

Saltoro Mountains

Siachen Glacier Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Mannar Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands

Maldive Islands Alpide belt

Southeast

Mainland

Indochina Malay Peninsula

Maritime

Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands

Indonesian Archipelago Timor New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

Philippine Archipelago

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt

Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of Europe

North

Nordic Northwestern Scandinavia Scandinavian Peninsula Fennoscandia Baltoscandia Sápmi West
West
Nordic Baltic Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Iceland Faroe Islands

East

Danubian countries Prussia Galicia Volhynia Donbass Sloboda Ukraine Sambia Peninsula

Amber Coast

Curonian Spit Izyum Trail Lithuania Minor Nemunas Delta Baltic Baltic Sea Vyborg Bay Karelia

East Karelia Karelian Isthmus

Lokhaniemi Southeastern

Balkans Aegean Islands Gulf of Chania North Caucasus Greater Caucasus Kabardia European Russia

Southern Russia

Central

Baltic Baltic Sea Alpine states Alpide belt Mitteleuropa Visegrád Group

West

Benelux Low Countries Northwest British Isles English Channel Channel Islands Cotentin Peninsula Normandy Brittany Gulf of Lion Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Pyrenees Alpide belt

South

Italian Peninsula Insular Italy Tuscan Archipelago Aegadian Islands Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Gibraltar Arc Southeastern Mediterranean Crimea Alpide belt

Germanic Celtic Slavic countries Uralic European Plain Eurasian Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe Wild Fields Pannonian Basin

Great Hungarian Plain Little Hungarian Plain Eastern Slovak Lowland

v t e

Regions of North America

Northern

Eastern Canada Western Canada Canadian Prairies Central Canada Northern Canada Atlantic Canada The Maritimes French Canada English Canada Acadia

Acadian Peninsula

Quebec City–Windsor Corridor Peace River Country Cypress Hills Palliser's Triangle Canadian Shield Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Newfoundland (island) Vancouver Island Gulf Islands Strait of Georgia Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Labrador Peninsula Gaspé Peninsula Avalon Peninsula

Bay de Verde Peninsula

Brodeur Peninsula Melville Peninsula Bruce Peninsula Banks Peninsula (Nunavut) Cook Peninsula Gulf of Boothia Georgian Bay Hudson Bay James Bay Greenland Pacific Northwest Inland Northwest Northeast

New England Mid-Atlantic Commonwealth

West

Midwest Upper Midwest Mountain States Intermountain West Basin and Range Province

Oregon Trail Mormon Corridor Calumet Region Southwest

Old Southwest

Llano Estacado Central United States

Tallgrass prairie

South

South Central Deep South Upland South

Four Corners East Coast West
West
Coast Gulf Coast Third Coast Coastal states Eastern United States

Appalachia

Trans-Mississippi Great North Woods Great Plains Interior Plains Great Lakes Great Basin

Great Basin
Great Basin
Desert

Acadia Ozarks Ark-La-Tex Waxhaws Siouxland Twin Tiers Driftless Area Palouse Piedmont Atlantic coastal plain Outer Lands Black Dirt Region Blackstone Valley Piney Woods Rocky Mountains Mojave Desert The Dakotas The Carolinas Shawnee Hills San Fernando Valley Tornado Alley North Coast Lost Coast Emerald Triangle San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area

San Francisco Bay North Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) East Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) Silicon Valley

Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Gulf of Mexico Lower Colorado River Valley Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta Colville Delta Arkansas Delta Mobile–Tensaw River Delta Mississippi Delta Mississippi River Delta Columbia River Estuary Great Basin High Desert Monterey Peninsula Upper Peninsula of Michigan Lower Peninsula of Michigan Virginia
Virginia
Peninsula Keweenaw Peninsula Middle Peninsula Delmarva Peninsula Alaska Peninsula Kenai Peninsula Niagara Peninsula Beringia Belt regions

Bible Belt Black Belt Corn Belt Cotton Belt Frost Belt Rice Belt Rust Belt Sun Belt Snow Belt

Latin

Northern Mexico Baja California Peninsula Gulf of California

Colorado River Delta

Gulf of Mexico Soconusco Tierra Caliente La Mixteca La Huasteca Bajío Valley of Mexico Mezquital Valley Sierra Madre de Oaxaca Yucatán Peninsula Basin and Range Province Western Caribbean
Caribbean
Zone Isthmus of Panama Gulf of Panama

Pearl Islands

Azuero Peninsula Mosquito Coast West
West
Indies Antilles

Greater Antilles Lesser Antilles

Leeward Leeward Antilles Windward

Lucayan Archipelago Southern Caribbean

Aridoamerica Mesoamerica Oasisamerica Northern Middle Anglo Latin

French Hispanic

American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

v t e

Regions of Oceania

Australasia

Gulf of Carpentaria New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

New Zealand

South Island North Island

Coromandel Peninsula

Zealandia New Caledonia Solomon Islands (archipelago) Vanuatu

Kula Gulf

Australia Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia

Maralinga

Sunraysia Great Victoria Desert Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf St Vincent Lefevre Peninsula Fleurieu Peninsula Yorke Peninsula Eyre Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Bellarine Peninsula Mount Henry Peninsula

Melanesia

Islands Region

Bismarck Archipelago Solomon Islands Archipelago

Fiji New Caledonia Papua New Guinea Vanuatu

Micronesia

Caroline Islands

Federated States of Micronesia Palau

Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru Northern Mariana Islands Wake Island

Polynesia

Easter Island Hawaiian Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Marquesas Islands Society Islands Tuamotu

Kermadec Islands Mangareva Islands Samoa Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu

Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of South America

East

Amazon basin Atlantic Forest Caatinga Cerrado

North

Caribbean
Caribbean
South America West
West
Indies Los Llanos The Guianas Amazon basin

Amazon rainforest

Gulf of Paria Paria Peninsula Paraguaná Peninsula Orinoco Delta

South

Tierra del Fuego Patagonia Pampas Pantanal Gran Chaco Chiquitano dry forests Valdes Peninsula

West

Andes

Tropical Andes Wet Andes Dry Andes Pariacaca mountain range

Altiplano Atacama Desert

Latin Hispanic American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

v t e

Polar regions

Antarctic

Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula East Antarctica West
West
Antarctica Eklund Islands Ecozone Extreme points Islands

Arctic

Arctic
Arctic
Alaska British Arctic
Arctic
Territories Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Finnmark Greenland Northern Canada Northwest Territories Nunavik Nunavut Russian Arctic Sakha Sápmi Yukon North American Arctic

v t e

Earth's oceans and seas

Arctic
Arctic
Ocean

Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea

Atlantic Ocean

Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean
Caribbean
Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Lion Gulf of Guinea Gulf of Maine Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Saint Lawrence Gulf of Sidra Gulf of Venezuela Hudson Bay Ionian Sea Irish Sea Irminger Sea James Bay Labrador Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Marmara Sea Mediterranean Sea Myrtoan Sea North Sea Norwegian Sea Sargasso Sea Sea of Åland Sea of Azov Sea of Crete Sea of the Hebrides Thracian Sea Tyrrhenian Sea Wadden Sea

Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor
Timor
Sea

Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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Coordinates: 12°00′00″N 3°00′00″E / 12.0000°N 3.0000°E

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