Ashanti Durbar
Mali
Senegal
Independence Square

West Africa

West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 16 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, as well as Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (United Kingdom Overseas Territory). The population of West Africa is estimated at about 419 million people as of 2021, and at 381,981,000 as of 2017, of which 189,672,000 are female and 192,309,000 male. The region is demographically and economically one of the fastest growing on the African continent.

West Africa has a rich ecology, with strong biodiversity and several distinct regions. The climate and ecology are heavily influenced by the dry Sahara to the North and East, which provides dry winds during the Harmattan, and the west and humid climate to the south and of the Atlantic which provides seasonal monsoons. This mix of ecologies, mean that there is both biodiversity-rich tropical forest, and drylands that support a number of rare or endangered fauna, such as pangolin, rhinoceros and elephant. Because of the pressure for economic development, many of these ecologies are threatened by processes like deforestation, biodiversity loss, overfishing, pollution from mining, plastic and other economic processes, and the extreme changes that will result from climate change in West Africa.

West Africa went from roughly 5% of the gross domestic product in 2016 to over 10% of gross domestic product in 2019.

West Africa