Western Africa is a region packed with numerous countries of various sizes and populations (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo). Britain and France, once the leading colonial powers, have left their mark on the region’s language and institutions while the predominantly Muslim people of the Saharan countries have an assortment of local languages and cultures. Western Africa’s landscape ranges from desert in the north to tropical rain forests in the more humid south. Logging and agriculture has drastically reduced much of Western Africa’s rain forest, which once spread along much of the coastline. The remaining tropical rain forest grows mainly in the south of the region.