West Africa: The 16 West African Countries

Western Africa comprises an area of approximately 6.1 million square kilometers. The region includes 16 countries. Here is more about these West African countries.


Benin covers an area of around 115,000 sq km. Approximately 9.98 million people live in this West African nation. This tropical sub-Saharan country depends on agriculture. French is the official language of Benin. The largest religious group is Roman Catholicism.

Burkina Faso

Landlocked West African nation Burkina Faso covers approximately 274,200 sq km. The population is estimated to be around 17.3 million. French is the official language of Burkina Faso. The country is a semi-presidential republic. Agriculture contributes around 32 percent to the nation’s GDP.

Cape Verde

This island nation spans an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. The nation covers an area of slightly over 4,000 sq km. Cape Verde is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic. It is praised as an example among African nations, for its stability and developmental growth.

The Gambia

The Gambia is located on either side of River Gambia. It covers an area of around 10,689 sq km and has a population of 1,882,450. The nation’s economy is dominated by fishing, farming and tourism. Around one-third of the Gambian population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day.


Ghana is a sovereign multinational state and unitary presidential constitutional democracy. It has a land mass of 238,535 sq km. Approximately 27 million people live in Ghana. Its economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Ghana Map: List of Countries in West Africa


West African country Guinea is a republic. It covers an area of 245,860 sq km and has a population of 10.5 million. French is the official language of Guinea, which is a predominantly Islamic nation.


Guinea-Bissau covers 36,125 sq km. Around 1,600,000 people live in this country. The nation follows a nonaligned foreign policy. Its GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world. More than two-thirds of the population lives below the poverty line.

Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire)

Ivory Coast is a republic with a strong executive power vested in the President of Ivory Coast. The nation’s economy is market-based and relies heavily on agriculture. French is the official language of Ivory Coast. The nation has a relatively high income per capita for the region.

Ivory Coast Map


Liberia covers an area of 111,369 sq km. It is home to around 4 million people. English is the official language of Liberia. The climate of the nation is hot and equatorial. Around 85 percent of the population of Liberia lives below the international poverty line.

Liberia Map:List of Countries in West Africa

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One comment

  1. 1

    Why is the Yoruba Language not included in the Nigeria profile? It is one of the three major languages spoken in the country.

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