The West Africa is an area of the Africa. It roughly includes/understands the coastal countries in the north of the Golfe of Guinea until the Senegal, as well as the countries of the back-country sahélien.
West Africa presents a large geographical and cultural variety between the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the south, the the Sahara in north, and roughly the 10th Méridien in the east. While the river Niger is generally regarded as the septentrional border of the area, its Eastern border is fuzzier. Some place it along the Bénoué, others on a line connecting the Mont Cameroun to the Lac Chad.
Country composing West Africa:
The first human occupation of West Africa is estimated at approximately 12' 000 years before J. - C. These populations were sédentarisèrent during the fifth millenium, parallel to the development of the Agriculture and the breeding. In IVe century before J. - C., the control of the Fer increased the agricultural productivity and the first city-States appeared. The domestication of the Chameau made it possible to establish trade route through the Sahara with Mediterranean civilizations such as Carthage and the Berbères.
Medieval kingdoms and empires
The development of the economy supported the appearance of centralized States, to start with the Empire of Ghana in VIIIe century after J. - C. Centered around the town of Koumbi Saleh, on the territory of current the Mauritania, Ghana dominated the area until the invasion of the Almoravides in 1052. The Royaume of Sosso tried to succeed to him but was overcome by the chief mandingue Soundiata Keïta, founder of the Empire of Mali, in 1240. This last was maintained for several centuries before yielding vis-a-vis the Mossi, Touareg and with the Songhai. These same Songhai founded to them empire in XVe century around Gao. At the same time emerged in the south of the Sudan of powerful city-States of which Ife, Bono and Bénin. More in the east, the Yoruba based the State of Oyo and the Igbo the federation of Aro, on the territory of current the Nigeria.
Contacts with Europe
After the destruction of the capital songhai by invasions come from the Morocco in 1591, smaller States essaimèrent through West Africa, whose empire Bambara of Ségou, the kingdom will bambara of Kaarta, the kingdom Peul of Khasso and the empire Kénédougou of Sikasso. Tradesmen Portuguese established first counters along the coast in 1445, followed by the France and the Great Britain. The Traite blacks started shortly after and was to last until its prohibition by the US governments and Europeans at the XIXe century.
West Africa occupies a surface of 6.140.000 km, that is to say approximately a fifth of the African continent. The great majority of the area is made up of plains whose altitude is lower than 300 meters. Several isolated tops strew the southern part.
The septentrional part is occupied by the the Sahel, zone of transition arid to semi-arid between the desert from the the Sahara and intertropical Africa . The Sahel forms a band from 160 to 240 kilometers broad.
Certain countries compose the economic Union and monetarist West African (UEMOA), it belongs to the “free zone”, their currency is CFA franc.
Currently, several economic institutions of the area carry the expression “West Africa”.
Africa of Ouest.com
Simple: West Africa
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