French West Africa

French West Africa (French: Afrique-Occidentale française, AOF) was a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Ivory Coast, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. The federation existed from 1895 until 1958. Its capital was Saint-Louis, Senegal until 1902, and then Dakar until the federation's collapse in 1960.

French West Africa
Afrique-Occidentale française
1895–1958
French West Africa after World War II

Green: French West Africa
Dark grey: Other French possessions
Black: French Republic
StatusFederation of French colonies
CapitalSaint Louis (1895–1902)
Dakar (1902–1960)
Common languagesFrench (official)
Arabic, Fula, Songhay, Hausa, Mossi, Mandinka, Wolof, Bambara, Berber languages, Mande languages widely spoken
Religion
Roman Catholicism, Islam, Animism[1][2][3]
Historical eraNew Imperialism
 Established
27 October 1895
5 October 1958
CurrencyFrench West African franc
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Senegambia and Niger
French Sudan
French Guinea
French Upper Volta
French Dahomey
French Togoland
French Senegal
French Community
Republic of Dahomey
Guinea
Ivory Coast
Mali Federation
Mauritania
Niger
Republic of Upper Volta
Italian Libya
Afrique occidentale française Commercial Relations Report, showing the profile of a Fula woman, January–March 1938