West Africa Explained

West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:[1]

Countries of West Africa

With the exception of Mauritania, all of these countries are members of the ECOWAS or Economic Community of West African States which was set up in May 1975.[2] The UN region also includes the island of Saint Helena, a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic Ocean.


West Africa is west of an imagined north-south axis lying close to 10° east longitude.[3] The Atlantic Ocean forms the western as well as the southern borders of the West African region.[4] The northern border is the Sahara Desert, with the Ranishanu Bend generally considered the northernmost part of the region.[5] The eastern border is less precise, with some placing it at the Benue Trough, and others on a line running from Mount Cameroon to Lake Chad.

Colonial boundaries are reflected in the modern boundaries between contemporary West African nations, cutting across ethnic and cultural lines, often dividing single ethnic groups between two or more countries.[6]

The inhabitants of West Africa are, in contrast to most of Southern and Middle Africa, non-Bantu speaking peoples.[7]

Geography and climate

West Africa, if one includes the western portion of the Maghreb (Western Sahara, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), occupies an area in excess of 6,140,000 km2, or approximately one-fifth of Africa. The vast majority of this land is plains lying less than 300 meters above sea level, though isolated high points exist in numerous countries along the southern shore of the region.[8]

The northern section of West Africa is composed of semi-arid terrain known as Sahel, a transitional zone between the Sahara and the savannahs of the western Sudan forests form a third belt between the savannas and the southern coast, ranging from 160 km to 240 km in width.[9]


See main article: African culture. Despite the wide variety of cultures in West Africa, from Nigeria through to Senegal, there are general similarities in dress, cuisine, music and culture that are not shared extensively with groups outside the geographic region. This long history of cultural exchange predates the colonisation era of the region and can be approximately placed at the time of the Ghana Empire (proper: Wagadou Empire), Mali Empire or perhaps before such empires.


See main article: West African cuisine.

A large number of travellers such as traders, historians, emigrant, colonialists, missionaries, etc., have travelled the world to the West African Region and have benefited from the generosity of the native populations and left with a piece of the cultural heritage of region. Implicitly, West African cuisines have had a significant influence on the Western World for centuries. For example a large number of West African recipes are enjoyed in the West Indies, Australia, Louisiana, Italy, Haiti, and all over the world. Although some of these recipes have been altered to suit the other climates and tastes, nevertheless they still retain their West African fervours.[10]

West Africans cuisine includes fish especially among the coastal areas, meat, vegetables and fruits most which are grown by farmers within the region. In spite of the obvious differences among the local cuisines in the region, there are more similarities than differences. The small difference may be in the ingredients used. Most foods are boiled or fried. Starchy vegetables including yam, plantain, cassava, sweet potatoes.[11] Rice is also a staple food throughout the region, and so is the Serer people's sorghum couscous (called "Chereh" in Serer) particularly in Senegal and The Gambia.[12] Jolof rice originally from the Kingdom of Jolof (now part of modern day Senegal which spread to the Wolofs of Gambia), is enjoyed throughout West Africa and in the Western World;[13] Mafé from Mali (Note: Mafé or Maafe is a Wolof word for it, the proper name is "Domodah" among the Mandinka people of Senegal and Gambia who are the originators of this dish or "Tigh-dege-na" among the Bambara people or Mandinka people of Mali, "Domodah" is also used by all Senegambians borrowed from the Mandinka language) - a peanut-butter stew served with rice;[14] [15] Akara (fried bean balls seasoned with spices served with sauce and bread) from Nigeria is a favourite breakfast for Gambians and Senegalese, as well as a favourite side snack or side dish in Brazil and the Caribbean just as it is in West Africa. It is said that its exact origin may be from Yorubaland in Nigeria.[16] [17] Fufu (from the Twi language, a dough served with a spicy stew or sauce for example okra stew etc.) from Ghana is enjoyed throughout the region and beyond even in Central Africa with their own versions of it.[18]


The board game oware is quite popular in many parts of West Africa. The word "Oware" originates from the Akan people of Ghana. However, virtually all African peoples have a version of this board game.[19] football is also a pastime enjoyed by many, either spectating or playing. The national teams of some West African nations, especially Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast regularly qualify for the World Cup.[20]


See main article: Music of West Africa. Mbalax, Highlife, Fuji and Afrobeat are all modern musical genres which listeners enjoy in this region.Old traditional folk music is also well preserved in this region. Some of these are religious in nature such as the "Tassou" tradition used in Serer religion.[21]

Griot tradition

Traditionally, musical and oral history as conveyed over generations by Griots are typical of West African culture.


A typical formal attire worn in this region are the knee to ankle-length flowing Boubou robe, Dashiki and Senegalese Kaftan (also known as Agbada and Babariga), which has its origins in the clothing of nobility of various West African empires in the 12th century.[22]

Film industry

See main article: Cinema of Nigeria.

See also: Nollywood Movies. Nollywood of Nigeria, is the main film industry of West Africa. The Nigerian cinema industry is the second largest film industry in the world in terms of annual film production, even ahead of the United States's Hollywood film industry.[23] Senegal and Ghana also has long traditions of producing films. The late Ousmane Sembène, the Senegalese film director, producer and writer is from the region, as is the Ghanaian Shirley Frimpong-Manso.



See main article: Islam in Africa. Islam is the predominant religion of the West African interior and the far west coast of the continent.[24]


See main article: Christianity in Africa.

Christianity, a relative newcomer, has become the predominant religion in the central and southern part of Nigeria, and the coastal regions stretching from southern Ghana to coastal parts of Sierra Leone. Like Islam, elements of Traditional African religion are mixed with Christianity.[25] This religion was brought to the region by European missionaries during the colonial era.[26]

African traditional

See main article: Traditional African religion. Traditional African religion is the oldest and original religion of the native populations of this region, and includes Yoruba religion, Odinani, Serer religion, etc. It is spiritual but also linked to the historical and cultural heritage of the people.[27] Before the arrival of other religions such as Islam and Christianity, West Africans, like most Africans, had a well-developed system of religious beliefs. The Traditional African religion is still practiced by the native populations. Although traditional beliefs varies from one place to the next, there are more similarities than differences.[28] This belief system is a major religion of Benin.


See main article: History of West 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-African, and extra-African 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 whole of the region; fifth, the post-independence era, in which the current nations were formed.


Early human settlers arrived in West Africa around 12,000 B.C. Sedentary farming began in, or around the fifth millennium B.C, as well as the domestication of cattle. By 400 B.C, ironworking technology allowed an expansion of agricultural productivity, and the first city-states formed.

The domestication of the camel allowed the development of a cross-Saharan trade with cultures across the Sahara, including Carthage and the Berbers; major exports included gold, cotton cloth, metal ornaments and leather goods, which were then exchanged for salt, horses, textiles, and other such materials. Local leather, cloth, and gold also contributed to the abundancy of prosperity for many of the following empires.


The development of the region's economy allowed more centralized states and civilizations to form, beginning with the Nok culture which began 1000 B.C. and the Ghana Empire which first flourished between the 1st-3rd centuries which later gave way to the Mali empire. In current day Mauritania, there exists archaeological sites in the towns of Tichit and Oualata that were initially constructed around 2000 B.C., and was found to have originated from the Soninke branch of the Mandé peoples. Also, based on the archaeology of city of Kumbi Saleh in modern-day Mauritania, the Mali empire came to dominate much of the region until its defeat by Almoravid invaders in 1052.

The Sosso Empire sought to fill the void, but was defeated (c. 1240) by the Mandinka forces of Sundiata Keita, founder of the new Mali Empire. The Mali Empire continued to flourish for several centuries, most particularly under Sundiata's grandnephew) Musa I, before a succession of weak rulers led to its collapse under Mossi, Tuareg and Songhai invaders. In the 15th century, the Songhai would form a new dominant state based on Gao, in the Songhai Empire, under the leadership of Sonni Ali and Askia Mohammed.

Meanwhile, south of the Sudan, strong city states arose in Igboland, such as the Kingdom of Nri in the 10th century, Bono in the 12th century which eventually culminated in the formation the all-powerful Akan Empire of Ashanti, while Ife and Benin rose to prominence around the 14th century. Further east, Oyo arose as the dominant Yoruba state and the Aro Confederacy as a dominant Igbo state in modern-day Nigeria.

Slavery and European contact

Following the 1591 destruction of the Songhai capital by Moroccan invaders, a number of smaller states arose across West Africa, including the Bambara Empire of Ségou, the Bambara kingdom of Kaarta, the Fula/Malinké kingdom of Khasso, and the Kénédougou Empire of Sikasso.

Portuguese traders began establishing settlements along the coast in 1445, followed by the French and English; the African slave trade began not long after, which over the following centuries would debilitate the region's economy and population. The slave trade also encouraged the formation of states such as the Asante Empire, Bambara Empire and Dahomey, whose economic activities include but not limited to exchanging slaves for European firearms.

The expanding trans-Atlantic slave trade produced significant populations of West Africans living in the New World, recently colonized by Europeans. The oldest known remains of African slaves in the Americas were found in Mexico in early 2006; they are thought to date from the late 16th century and the mid-17th century.[29]

European and American governments passed legislation prohibiting the Atlantic slave trade in the 19th century, though slavery in the Americas persisted in some capacity through the century; the last country to abolish the institution was Brazil in 1888. Descendants of West Africans make up large and important segments of the population in Brazil, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States.

Furthermore, the effect of the Atlantic Slave Trade on West Africa was harmful to the African economy. European imports encouraged underdevelopment of local African economies, encouraging the development of African slave raiding and trading as alternative procurements of profit.Part of the underdevelopment of the African economy began with the importing of European goods into Africa, which began with the Portuguese, followed by other European’s in the 1400s, which led to the excision of local African goods from the demand of the African consumer. As a result of this, goods from Europe gained a foothold in African markets, and became methods of displaying wealth. An example of this is the popularity of linen cloth in Africa, as the flax used to make it does not originate in Africa.[30] Furthermore, buying foreign textiles was “…a way of displaying taste, style, sophistication, and wealth.”[31] With a growing reliance on European imports, the shift in African development shied away from “domestic production in key industries such as metal goods and textiles[, which] led to a dependence upon the Atlantic trade…”[32] as well as promoting “the export of slaves to cover the cost of imports while at the same time… reducing the capacities of African production to fill needs.”[33]

Further compounding the difficulties of African development was the ability of Europeans to “offer goods more cheaply and in larger quantities tha[n] the local [African] economy could.”[34] And even worse, one of the major manufacturing sectors in Africa was textile production, which in John Thornton’s work was described as “…western Africa’s greatest single underdeveloped technology relative to its population’s needs and desires…”[35] As such, local products “could not be produced in sufficient quantit[ies] to meet demand, [and their] price would inevitably rise and allow inferior foreign [products] to be imported, and… drive the [African] product into a limited market.”[36]

Further underdevelopment of Africa was the participation in the Atlantic Slave Trade by Africans themselves in pursuit of profits. As Walter Rodney asserted in his work The Unequal Partnership Between Africans and Europeans, the slave trade was an economic force which altered the African coast ineffably. A case in point is how the trade altered the economy to the point where “African Slaves became more important than gold… [and at] that point, slaving began undermining the… [e]conomy and destroying the gold trade.”[37] As European demand for slaves rocketed, it became more rewarding for rulers and individuals to take slaves by force in exchange for profit. Thus, natives found less incentive in what may be considered “honest” work, and found that since “…fortunate marauding makes a native rich in a day, [it was better to] exert themselves… in war, robbery and plunder than in their old business of digging and collecting gold.”[38] This was more than just an underdevelopment of the gold industry, as this adoption of slave raiding became common, and took place in regions considered to be the “leading forces inside Africa, whose energies would otherwise have gone towards their own self-improvement and the betterment of the continent as a whole.”[39] Instead, rulers, merchants, and aspiring individuals took part in the capturing of Africans from neighbouring areas and sold them for a profit. As such, the Slave Trade drastically underdeveloped Africa as “…slaving prevented the remaining population from effectively engaging in agriculture and industry, and it employed professional slave-hunters and warriors to destroy rather than build.”[40] Making the situation worse, it became more rewarding at the time, for rulers to capture and sell the populace of weaker populations, rather than using that available labour for themselves to advance their own society and economy. This caused underdevelopment “by arresting the development of division of labor, [which] retarded the movement of production away from subsistence into market exchange.”[41] This was an unfortunate state of events as Africans were using force to take people from weaker communities in exchange for European goods, rather “than to employ the same people peacefully to manufacture equivalent goods at home in Africa.”[42] Joseph Inikori summarized this practice within the ruling class as the sacrifice of “adaptive efficiency… for allocative efficiency: [trading] long-term development… for the short-term private benefit of… ruling classes.”[43] Furthermore, when considering the factors constituting the underdevelopment of Africa, it is important to recognize that the demographic transition of millions of people in itself is a factor contributing to the phenomena, as well as being a very significant one at that. As such, Patrick Manning’s work “The Slave Trade: The Formal Demography of a Global System,” as well as that of J.D. Fage in “Slaves and Society in Western Africa, c. 1445-c. 1700” and Inikori’s “Ideology versus the Tyranny of Paradigm: Historians and the Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on African Societies,” are valuable aids in determining exactly how underdevelopment occurred in this scope. Manning asserts that"the population of the Western Coast of Africa…declined significantly from about 1730 to 1850. Further, since the slaves were removed at the rate of roughly two males for every female, the result was a relative shortage of males on the African continent: adult sex ratios fell to 80 men per 100 women in many areas, and to 50 men per 100 women in such hard-hit areas as Loango and Angola."[44]

Furthermore, with estimates of Africans exported from the West Coast starting around 10 million (mentioned by Patrick Manning, Walter Rodney, Fage, and Inikori), it is clear that as a direct impact of European intervention, in the form of the Atlantic Slave Trade, the West Coast lost everything that those 10 million may have contributed to the African economy. Fage describes the situation as one where African rulers and merchants sought to exploit their territory in many different forms, in order to procure the commodities which were accepted by Europeans as forms of trade currency.[45] This included people, as rulers would have people taken up on dubious charges to enslave and trade them, or in order to reprimand subjects for debt, or misconduct. This developed conditions for political fragmentation which created States which were gathering wealth in response to opportunities presented by Europeans to take captives from, and exploit weaker states. This, as Inikori describes it, resulted in the Atlantic Slave Trade “adversely affect[ing] the populations and economies of the weaker communities that comprised the vast majority of African peoples at the time.[46] J.D. Fage states that “institutions of servitude developed in [African] societies essentially as a result of the European demands upon them.”[47] With this assertion, it is possible to assume that had European traders not been interested in slaves, that African merchants would have had no increased need to procure them on a grand scale, resulting in “…the deaths of slaves during their capture, transport to the coast, and confinement on the coast in preparation for shipping… [which] average[d a] 15% mortality…”rate.[48]


In the early 19th century, a series of Fulani reformist jihads swept across Western Africa. The most notable include Usman dan Fodio's Fulani Empire, which replaced the Hausa city-states, Seku Amadu's Massina Empire, which defeated the Bambara, and El Hadj Umar Tall's Toucouleur Empire, which briefly conquered much of modern-day Mali.

However, the French and British continued to advance in the Scramble for Africa, subjugating kingdom after kingdom. With the fall of Samory Ture's new-founded Wassoulou Empire in 1898 and the Ashanti queen Yaa Asantewaa in 1902, most West African military resistance to colonial rule came to an effective end.

Britain controlled The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria throughout the colonial era, while France unified Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire and Niger into French West Africa. Portugal founded the colony of Guinea-Bissau, while Germany claimed Togoland, but was forced to divide it between France and Britain following First World War due to the Treaty of Versailles. Only Liberia retained its independence, at the price of major territorial concessions.

Postcolonial era

Following World War II, nationalist movements arose across West Africa. In 1957, Ghana, under Kwame Nkrumah, became the first sub-Saharan colony to achieve its independence, followed the next year by France's colonies (Guinea in 1958 under the leadership of President Ahmed Sekou Touré); by 1974, West Africa's nations were entirely autonomous.

Since independence, many West African nations have been submerged under political instability, with notable civil wars in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Côte d'Ivoire, and a succession of military coups in Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Since the end of colonialism, the region has been the stage for some of the most brutal conflicts ever to erupt. Among the latter are:

Regional organizations

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), founded by the 1975 Treaty of Lagos, is an organization of West African states which aims to promote the region's economy. The West African Monetary Union (or UEMOA from its name in French, Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine) is limited to the eight, mostly Francophone countries that employ the CFA franc as their common currency. The Liptako-Gourma Authority of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso seeks to jointly develop the contiguous areas of the three countries.

Women's peace movement

Since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, women have been engaged in rebuilding war-torn Africa. Starting with the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace and Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), the peace movement has grown to include women across West Africa.

Established on May 8, 2006, Women Peace and Security Network - Africa (WIPSEN-Africa), is a women-focused, women-led Pan-African non-governmental organization based in Ghana.[49] The organization has a presence in Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Regional leaders of nonviolent resistance include Leymah Gbowee,[50] Comfort Freeman, and Aya Virginie Toure.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a documentary film about the origin of this peace movement. The film has been used as an advocacy tool in post-conflict zones like Sudan and Zimbabwe, mobilizing African women to petition for peace and security.[51]

See also



Natural disaster

Monetary unit



Disputed territory

External links

Notes and References

  1. http://www.un.org/unowa/unowa/bckgrdnew.pdf The UN office for West Africa
  2. Paul R. Masson, Catherine Anne Pattillo, "Monetary union in West Africa (ECOWAS): is it desirable and how could it be achieved?" (p: Introduction). International Monetary Fund, 2001. ISBN 1-58906-014-8
  3. Peter Speth. Impacts of Global Change on the Hydrological Cycle in West and Northwest Africa, p33. Springer, 2010. ISBN 3-642-12956-0
  4. Peter Speth. Impacts of Global Change on the Hydrological Cycle in West and Northwest Africa, p33. Springer, 2010. ISBN 3-642-12956-0
  5. Anthony Ham. West Africa p79. Lonely Planet, 2009. ISBN 1-74104-821-4
  6. Celestine Oyom Bassey, Oshita Oshita. Governance and Border Security in Africa. p261. African Books Collective, 2010 ISBN 978-8422-07-1
  7. Ian Shaw, Robert Jameson. A Dictionary of Archaeology. p28. Wiley-Blackwell, 2002. ISBN 0-631-23583-3
  8. Peter Speth. Impacts of Global Change on the Hydrological Cycle in West and Northwest Africa, p33. Springer, 2010. ISBN 3-642-12956-0
  9. Peter Speth. Impacts of Global Change on the Hydrological Cycle in West and Northwest Africa, p33. Springer, 2010.prof Kayode Omitoogun 2011, ISBN 3-642-12956-0
  10. Chidi Asika-Enahoro. A Slice of Africa: Exotic West African Cuisines, introduction. iUniverse, 2004. ISBN 0-595-30528-8
  11. Pamela Goyan Kittler, Kathryn Sucher. Food and Culture, p212. Cengage Learning, 2007. ISBN 0-495-11541-X
  12. [UNESCO]
  13. Alan Davidson, Tom Jaine. The Oxford Companion to Food, p423. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0-19-280681-5
  14. James McCann. Stirring the Pot: A History of African Cuisine, p132. Ohio University Press, 2009. ISBN 0-89680-272-8
  15. Emma Gregg, Richard Trillo. Rough Guide to the Gambia, p39. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN 1-84353-083-X
  16. Carole Boyce Davies. Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences and Culture, Volume 1, p72. ABC-CLIO, 2008. ISBN 1-85109-700-7
  17. Toyin Ayeni. I Am a Nigerian, Not a Terrorist, p2. Dog Ear Publishing, 2010. ISBN 1-60844-735-9
  18. Dayle Hayes, Rachel Laudan. Food and Nutrition / Editorial Advisers, Dayle Hayes, Rachel Laudan, Volume 7, p1097. Marshall Cavendish, 2008. ISBN 0-7614-7827-2
  19. West Africa, issues 4106-4119, p-p 1487-8. Afrimedia International, (1996)
  20. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/piersedwards/2010/11/why_does_the_west_dominate_afr.html BBC: Why does the West dominate African football?
  21. Ali Colleen Neff. Tassou: the Ancient Spoken Word of African Women. 2010.
  22. Barbara K. Nordquist, Susan B. Aradeon, Howard University. School of Human Ecology, Museum of African Art (U.S.). Traditional African dress and textiles: an exhibition of the Susan B. Aradeon collection of West African dress at the Museum of African Art (1975), pp 9-15.
  23. Web site: 2009-09-30. Nigeria surpasses Hollywood as world's second largest film producer – UN. United Nations. 2009-05-05.
  24. Muslim Societies in African History (New Approaches to African History), David Robinson, Chapter 1.
  25. Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong. Themes in West Africa's History, p152. James Currey Publishers, 2006. ISBN 0-85255-995-X
  26. Robert O. Collins. African History: Western African History, p153. Markus Wiener Publishers, 1990. ISBN 1-55876-015-6
  27. John S. Mbiti. Introduction to African Religion, p19. East African Publishers, 1992. ISBN 9966-46-928-1
  28. William J. Duiker, Jackson J. Spielvogel. World History: To 1800, p224. Cengage Learning, 2006. ISBN 0-495-05053-9
  29. http://www.livescience.com/history/060131_first_slaves.html "Skeletons Discovered: First African Slaves in New World"
  30. Thornton. John. Precolonial African Industry and the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1500-1800. African Economic History. 1990-1991. 19. 18.
  31. Thornton. John. African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Africa Economic History. 1990-1991. 19. 17.
  32. Thornton. John. Precolonial African Industry and the Atlantic Trade, 1500-1800. African Economic History. 1990-1991. 19. 3.
  33. Thornton. John. Precolonial African Industry and the Atlantic Trade, 1500-1800. African Economic History. 1990-1991. 19. 3.
  34. Thornton. John. Precolonial African Industry and the Atlantic Trade, 1500-1800. African Economic History. 1990-1991. 19. 3.
  35. Thornton. John. Precolonial African Industry and the Atlantic Trade, 1500-1800. African Economic History. 1990-1991. 19. 3.
  36. Thornton. John. Precolonial African Industry and the Atlantic Trade, 1500-1800. African Economic History. 1990-1991. 19. 9.
  37. Book: Rodney, Walter. The Unequal Partnership Between Africans and Europeans. 2011. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 91.
  38. Book: Rodney, Walter. The Unequal Partnership Between Africans and Europeans. 2011. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 91.
  39. Book: Rodney, Walter. The Unequal Partnership Between Africans and Europeans. 2011. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 91.
  40. Book: Rodney, Walter. The Unequal Partnership Between Africans and Europeans. 2011. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 91.
  41. Inikori. Joseph. Ideology versus the Tyranny of Paradigm: Historians and the Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on African Societies. African Economic History. 1994. 22. 52.
  42. Inikori. Joseph. Ideology versus the Tyranny of Paradigm: Historians and the Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on African Societies. African Economic History. 1994. 22. 43.
  43. Inikori. Joseph. Ideology versus the Tyranny of Paradigm: Historians and the Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on African Societies. African Economic History. 1994. 22. 43.
  44. Manning. Patrick. The Slave Trade: The Formal Demography of a Global System. Social Science History. 1990. 14. 2. 258.
  45. Fage. J.D.. Slaves and Society in Western Africa, c. 1445-c. 1700. The Journal of African History. 1980. 21. 3. 289.
  46. Inikori. Joseph. Ideology versus the Tyranny of Paradigm: Historians and the Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on African Societies. African Economic History. 1994. 22. 48.
  47. Fage. J.D.. Slaves and Society in Western Africa, c. 1445-c. 1700. The Journal of African History. 1980. 21. 3. 289.
  48. Manning. Patrick. The Slave Trade: The Formal Demography of a Global System. Social Science History. 1990. 14. 2. 258.
  49. http://www.wipsen-africa.org/wipsen/about/?lang=en-us WIPSEN
  50. News: WIPSEN EMPOWERS WOMEN…To fight for their rights. December 11, 2010. Ghana Media Group. article.
  51. http://www.mediaglobal.org/article/2009-11-01/pray-the-devil-back-to-hell-documentary-serves-as-advocacy-tool-in-post-conflict-zones/ November 2009 MEDIAGLOBAL