West Africa

West Africa, also called Western Africa and the West of Africa, is the westernmost region of Africa. West Africa has been defined as including 17 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the islands of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. The population of West Africa is estimated at about 362 million people as of 2016.

(United Kingdom)

Studies of human mitochondrial DNA suggest that all humans share common ancestors from Africa, originated in the southwestern regions near the coastal border of Namibia and Angola at the approximate coordinates 12.5° E, 17.5°S with a divergence in the migration path around 37.5°E, 22.5°N near the Red Sea.

A particular haplogroup of DNA, haplogroup L2, evolved between 87,000 and 107,000 years ago or approx. 90,000 YBP. Its age and widespread distribution and diversity across the continent makes its exact origin point within Africa difficult to trace with any confidence, however an origin for several L2 groups in West or Central Africa seems likely, with the highest diversity in West Africa. Most of its subclades are largely confined to West and western-Central Africa.

Because of the large numbers of West Africans enslaved in the Atlantic slave trade, most African Americans are likely to have mixed ancestry from different regions of western Africa.

The history of West Africa can be divided into five major periods: first, its prehistory, in which the first human settlers arrived, developed agriculture, and made contact with peoples to the north; the second, the Iron Age empires that consolidated both intra-Africa, and extra-Africa trade, and developed centralized states; third, major polities flourished, which would undergo an extensive history of contact with non-Africans; fourth, the colonial period, in which Great Britain and France controlled nearly the entire region; and fifth, the post-independence era, in which the current nations were formed.

This page was last edited on 13 June 2018, at 03:41 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Africa under CC BY-SA license.

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