West Africa

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West Africa is a major subregion of Africa, defined by the United Nations as containing 15 countries:[1]

  1. Benin
  2. Burkina Faso
  3. Cape Verde
  4. Cote d'Ivoire
  5. Gambia
  6. Ghana
  7. Guinea
  8. Guinea Bissau
  9. Liberia
  10. Mali
  11. Niger
  12. Nigeria
  13. Senegal
  14. Sierra Leone
  15. Togo

Most were either French or British colonies, so the common languages of the region are French and English, with some Portuguese and Arabic. There are, of course, large numbers of indigenous languages.

These states also comprise the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), an active regional organization. [2] The ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) is a non-standing peace operations force that has operated in civil war in Sierra Leone and is a model for future needs. [3]