Given the size and diversity of West Africa, charting the trends in, and the contours of, the historiography of its economic history, especially that written by indigenous scholars, is challenging. 2 The sub-region’s fifteen sovereign countries vary in size and population, and have diverse historical experiences and intellectual traditions, partly because they have been under different European colonizers. Its peoples speak three European official languages – French, English and Portuguese – in addition to hundreds of indigenous languages. Tackling the multifaceted subject matter of economic history is further complicated by the range and diversity of the literature.