|West Africa looks out to the Atlantic Ocean on its West Coast, the Gulf of Guinea to the south, North Africa to the north and Central Africa to the west. The countries of West Africa are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, C�te d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Europeans such as the British and French once colonized most of the West African countries. The national languages of these colonizers are still spoken today and much of the colonial past has survived. It was from the West African countries that the majority of people were extracted for use within the slave trade.|
The total land area of West Africa is 6,054,760 sq km. Natural features include the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert in the north, Lake Volta and the River Niger. The north of the region is mainly dry, arid desert in terrain. The further south one ventures, the more verdant, cultivated and humid the land becomes. The fact that the land is more arable in the southern region is evident in high numbers of workers within the agriculture sector in West Africa. The south is home to some of the densest tropical rainforests on the African continent. The total combined population of West Africa is 246,946,900 with a population density of 38 people per sq km.
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