French West Africa, a former federation of French colonies in West Africa. The federation was organized during 1895–1904, with its capital at Dakar. It included Dahomey (later renamed Benin), Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, French Sudan (later renamed Mali), and Upper Volta (later renamed Burkina Faso). The federation was dissolved in 1958, and by the end of 1960 all the territories had achieved independence. Some states retained commercial ties to France.