France had many African colonies. Its possessions stretched from the African north coast over Central Africa to the west coast of the continent. The French lands in Africa were combined to administrative units overseen by governors. French West Africa was from 1895 to 1958 the name for the federation of the French possessions in West Africa. It was formed of eight territories: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin), and Niger. The governor's seat was initially in Saint Louis on the Senegalese coast, later in the city of Dakar further to the south.