List of West African Countries You need to Know

In Africa, we have the North, West, East and South African countries which form Africa as a whole when put together. West Africa is the westernmost region of Africa and has a combined population of about 381,981,000 as at 2017. West Africa comprises of 16 different countries which include the following:

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

These 16 countries cover a total area of about 1,974,103 square miles (5,112,903 km2). Together, they formed ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) in 1975 with their headquarters located in Abuja, Nigeria. Nigeria also has two of the biggest Cities in West African. These cities include the following; Lagos (Nigeria), Abuja (Nigeria), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Accra (Ghana) and Kumasi (Ghana).

List of West African Countries

Benin

Benin is a French-speaking country which was colonised by France and got their independence in August 1960. Other indigenous languages spoken by the Benin Citizen includes Fon and Yoruba.

Cotonou, which by the way is also the largest City in the country, is currently where the seat of government is located. However, the capital of Benin is Port Novo. The country has an estimated population of more than 9Million People. They also share the same currency (CFA) with 7 other African countries which include Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso just like Benin, gained their independence from France in August 1960 and also share the same currency with 7 other west African countries. As at 2017, the country was estimated to have over 20Million people.

Cape Verde

Cape Verde, Officially known as the Republic of Cape Verde, a combination of 10 islands located 570 kilometres off the coast of West Africa in the central Atlantic Ocean. They have a population of just over 500,000 in total. The Islands are sometimes referred to as the “Islands of the blessed” or “Fortunate Isles”.

Gambia

The Republic of Gambia is small country bounded or rather, almost entirely surrounded by Senegal with the exception of its western coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the smallest countries in Africa with an estimated population of just over 2Million.

Ghana

Ghana, which means “Warrior King” in the Soninke language is a country along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic ocean in West Africa. They were the first West African country to gain their independence from their colonial masters. Ghana has an estimated population of over 28Million.

Guinea

Guinea, different from Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea, is a country in the west African region which gained their independence in 1958. The country spans an area of 245,860 square kilometres (94,927 sq mi) with a population of over 12Million.

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau is also a country in the west African region that covers a total of 36,125 square kilometres (13,948 sq mi) with an estimated population of about 2million. They gained their independence from Portugal in 1974 and have Portuguese has their official language.

Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast, popularly known as Côte d’Ivoire or officially known as the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, is a country located on the south coast of West Africa. The country, just like many other West African countries was colonised by France and gained their independence in 1960. Ivory Coast covers a total 322,463 km2 (124,504 sq mi) and has an estimated 25Million people.

Liberia

Liberia, officially known as the Republic of Liberia, covers an area of 111,369 square kilometres (43,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 4,900,000. The Capital of Liberia is Monrovia which is also the country’s largest city.

Liberia was the first African nation to proclaim its own independence in 1847 and wasn’t recognised by their colonial master; the United States of America until 1862 during the American civil war.

Mali

Mali is a West African country which covers 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi) giving it the title of the eight-largest country in the whole of Africa. It has a population of over 18million People living within the country. Its capital city is called Bamako and is the largest city in Mali with a population of over 2million. Just like other West African countries, it also gained its independence in 1960.

Mauritania

Mauritania also officially known as the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is also a West African country that was colonised by the French and also gained their independence in 1960. It has an estimated small population of just under 2Million. The country covers a total of 1,030,000 km2 (400,000 sq mi).

Niger

Niger, also known as the Niger or officially known as the Republic Of Niger covers a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2 (490,000 sq mi), making it the largest country in West Africa. However, Over 80% of its land area is uninhabited because it lies in the Sahara Desert. The largest city and Capital is Niamey. They also gained their independence from France in 1960 and have an estimated population 20million.

Nigeria

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a west African country and also the most populous African country. It has its capital in Abuja which is also its Federal Capital Territory. Nigeria got its independence in 1960 from the United Kingdom. The country spans 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi) with an estimated population of over 200Million as at 2019.

Senegal

Senegal, also known as the Republic Of Senegal or République du Sénégal in French is a French-speaking country which was colonised by France and also got their independence in 1960 just like some other West African countries. The country spans 196,712 km2 (75,951 sq mi) with an estimated population of 15million.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Shortly after Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, they also gained theirs in 1961, also from the UK.

Togo

Togo is also Among the countries that was colonised by French and also gained their independence in 1960 just like the rest. They are also Among the 6 west African country that use the same currency (CFA). The country has a total area of 56,785 km2 (21,925 sq mi) with a population of about 8milliom as at 2017.

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