French West Africa


Map of French West AfricaFlag of French West Africa

















French West Africa was a federation comprising eight French colonies in the western part of Africa. Its aim was to coordinate the French colonial presence on the African continent.


In 1895 the new territory was formed by the union of Senegal, French Sudan (from 1904 Upper Senegal and Niger), Guinea and Ivory Coast. The governor of Senegal became governor-general of French West Africa. In 1904 two colonies were added: Dahomey and Mauritania. After the First World War Upper Volta was created and together with the mandated territory of Togoland was made part of French West Africa.


At the start of the Second World War the then governor-general stayed loyal to the Vichy government, but in 1942 the colony joined general De Gaulle.


In 1947 French parliament adopted a law against forced labour, followed by a law granting French citizenship to all inhabitants of the French Union.


After the referendum in September 1958 the colonies could choose for independence or transformation to autonomous republics within the Union. Guinea became independent in 1958, the others followed two years later, thus dissolving French West Africa.


Before 1944 stamps were issued for each separate colony. From that date on these were replaced by stamps for the whole territory.



Capital:                      Dakar

Government:              French colony, federation

Area:                         4.689.000 km²

Population:                 10.000.000 (1895) / 25.000.000 (1958)

Currency:                   CFA Franc (100 centimes) (since 1945)






French West Africa in Wikipedia.




Stamp catalogue


UPU 75th anniversary

date:                  4 July 1949

designer:            Raoul Serres

printer:               Imprimerie des Timbres-Poste, Paris

perforated:         13

remark:              air mail


1     25 f             Arab man, Oceanic woman, Asian woman, African man, South American man, globe, airplane, text "75e



                          (cat. Michel 59/SG 69/Yvert PA 15)


French West Africa - stamp as described above



Universal Declaration of Human Rights 10th anniversary

date:                  10 December 1958

designer:            Robert Cami

printer:               Imprimerie des Timbres-Poste, Paris

perforated:         13


2     20 F             sun, peace dove, UN emblem, text "10EME ANNIVERSAIRE / DE LA DÉCLARATION UNIVERSELLE DES /

                          DOITS DE L'HOMME"

                          blue, purple

                          (cat. Michel 102/SG 125/Yvert 74)


French West Africa - stamp as described above









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last revised: 31 December 2008