Countries in West Africa Part 1


Present-day Mauritania is an African country bordering Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, Senegal to the southwest, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and Western Sahara to the northwest.

Mauritania is a dry country with a lot of desert and few mountain areas. Two-thirds of the country is covered by the Sahara, where it almost never rains and only scattered shrubs can survive. This area is very sparsely populated, and experiences extreme fluctuations in temperature from 0 degrees at night and up to 50 degrees during the day. Further south in the country are the Sahel Desert and the Senegal River, which are slightly more fertile than the Great Desert in the north. Along the long coastline the climate is more temperate, but even here there is very little rainfall, and sparsely populated.

An estimated 600,000 people, about 20% of the population are held as slaves.

Mauritania is reportedly the most Muslim country in the world, with 99.9% of the population being Muslims.


3500 BCE – The Sahara was a fertile plain, with rich flora and fauna and scattered settlements.

200s-600s – The Berbers came from North Africa and displaced the indigenous people in the area, the Bauforene.

429 – Mauritania falls into the hands of the Vandals and suffers greatly from the persecution of the Arian king Hunerik.

16th century – Moroccan forces conquered large parts of the country and introduced the Arabic language, culture and social organization.

1815 – During the Vienna Conference, France is granted full control of the coastline of present-day Mauritania and Senegal.

1909 – The country was transformed into a protectorate in French West Africa comprising the five districts of Trarza, Brakna, Gorzol, Guidimaka and Tagant, with an area of ​​893,700 km2 and with approx. 600,000 residents in 1910.

1960 – The country becomes independent.

1975 – Mauritania enters Western Sahara to prevent Morocco from expanding its territory to the south. After long struggles against the Western Saharan freedom movement Polisario and a military coup in 1978, the country withdrew from Western Sahara.

2005 – A military coup takes place in the country and a military junta led by Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall takes over from Ould Taya. The junta has gradually introduced democracy into the country through unequal measures. Freedom of speech has been reintroduced, political prisoners have been released, and the president’s term has been limited to five years and a maximum of two terms.

2006 – For the first time, the country began exporting oil, gold and copper, which led to an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of almost 12 percent in one year.


Guinea is a state in West Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Guinea borders Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The city of Conakry is the capital.


1100-1400s – present-day Guinea was part of the Mali Empire, which stretched across much of the Sahel.

1958 – October 2. The country became Independent of France. Guinea completely broke with France after independence and instead allied itself with Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah out of a common desire to fight what they called neo-colonialism.

1984 – The Socialist regime ends after the death of President Touré. Shortly afterwards, the country was subjected to a military coup led by Lansana Conté. Touré’s PDG party was banned and Conté proclaimed Guinea’s Second Republic on 3 April 1984.

1993 – For the first time in Guinea, presidential elections are held and Lansana Conté wins, however, there were doubts as to whether this was a fair victory.

2008 – Lansana Conté dies on December 23, and just hours later Guinea is subjected to another military coup, this time led by Moussa Dadis Camara.

2009 – Camera was shot dead in December and has since been outside Guinea. General Sekouba Konaté took over as acting president.


Togo is a republic in West Africa. The country borders Ghanamod to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. Togo’s capital, Lomé, is located on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea in the south of the country.


According to Picktrue, Senegal is a country in West Africa. The border countries are Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Gambia.

Dakar is the capital of Senegal and has approx. 1 mio. residents. It is located on the southern tip of the Cape Verde Peninsula, which is the furthest west in the country into the Atlantic Ocean.

The city is the final destination for the Paris-Dakar rally. Northeast of Dakar is the salt lake Retba.

Senegal has a long tradition of participating in international peace work.


1978 – Dakar Rally (Formerly known as Paris-Dakar ) is an off-road rally that was originally run from Paris in France to Dakar in Senegal.


Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa and is located on the Atlantic Ocean. Sierra Leone borders Liberia and Guinea. The capital is called Freetown.