West Africa means the western part of the African continent in general, northward to about the central Sahara, in the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean limited. From a geographical perspective, the western part of Africa also includes the countries of the Maghreb north of the Sahara (and thus in ” North Africa “).
West Africa is shaped by the contrasts between the Francophone and Anglophone states, also as a result of different views of colonization by the French and the British. The ties of the former colonies to their mother countries are sometimes closer than to neighboring countries. The West African community of states ECOWAS serves the integration of West Africa and strives for peace in the numerous crisis regions (Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast).
According to the UN Statistics Department in the Western Africa Statistics Region, the following countries are located in West Africa:
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Ivory Coast
- Sierra Leone
In addition, there is the British overseas territory of St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic.
The demarcation of “West Africa” from North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Africa is not clear. Occasionally the eastern states of Cameroon and Chad are included in West Africa, the northern states (Mauritania, Mali and Niger) in North Africa.