Western African Submitted Surnames

Western African names include those from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. See also about African names.
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Submitted names are contributed by users of this website. The accuracy of these name definitions cannot be guaranteed.
ABDELLAHI Western African, Wolof
From the given name Abdellah (chiefly Mauritanian).
ABDULLAHI Nigerian
Possibly an Islamic male name or surname as well as Nigerian.
ABIOYE Nigerian
From the given name Abioye.
ABOAH Akan
Meaning unknown.
ACHAMPONG Western African
Variant of the Ashanti surname Acheamphong, meaning "destined for greatness".
ADEDEJI Yoruba
Means "one crown has become two" in Yoruba.
AGBAJE Nigerian, Yoruba
Meaning unknown. A bearer is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (1967-), an English actor and model of Yoruba Nigerian descent.
AGRINYA Nigerian (Rare)
Means "warrior" in the Nigerian language of Yala. It was an earned name.
AGU Igbo
Agu is an Igbo surname; the word Agu means Tiger in Igobo language.
AGUMANU Igbo, Trinidadian Creole
its an last name and first name that comes from an Igbo tribe in Trinidad
AGYARE Akan
Meaning unknown.
AGYEI Akan
Meaning unknown.
ALIOUNE Western African, Wolof
From the given name Alioune (chiefly Mauritanian).
AMANKONA Akan
Meaning unknown.
AMISSAH Akan
Meaning unknown.
BABA Nigerian, Yoruba, Western African
From an honourific title used to denote a father, wise man, or an elder.
BOAKYE Akan
Meaning unknown.
BOLAJI Nigerian
This surname is very common in Nigeria. Possibly taken from a word in one of the Nigerian tribes languages.
BOUSHAB Western African
Used in Mauritania.
CHÉRIF Arabic (Maghrebi), Western African
Maghrebi and Western African transcription of Sharif, influenced by French orthography.
COULIBALY Western African, Manding
Meaning uncertain. One popular folk etymology suggests that it is derived from Bambara kulun-bari meaning "without a canoe", referring to someone who crossed a river or other body of water without the use of a canoe... [more]
DAREGO Nigerian (Rare)
Meaning unknown.
DIALLO Western African
A common name throughout West Africa, it is the French transcription of a surname of Fula origin.
DORKENOO Akan
Meaning unknown.
DWAMENA Akan
Meaning unknown.
EJIOFOR Igbo, Nigerian
A famous bearer of this surname is Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor of Nigerian and Igbo descent.
EL BECHIR Western African
Means "the Bechir", derived from the given name Bashir. This surname is mainly used in Mauritania.
EL MOCTAR Western African
Derived from the given Moctar, a variant of Mokhtar. A bearer is Jidou El Moctar (1985–), a Mauritanian runner.
ETIENAM Nigerian, Ibibio (?), Spanish (Caribbean, ?)
This is a name which originates from the Calabar/Akwa Ibom region of southeastern Nigeria. It means "a doer of good, or benevolent". It is also found in Spanish-speaking regions of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba (El Oriente) which have populations of people of Ibibio/Efik decent known as "Carabali".
GYASI Akan
Meaning unknown.
IMAM Bengali (Muslim), Urdu, Indian (Muslim), Nigerian, Arabic, Indonesian
From Arabic إِمَام (ʾimām) meaning "leader, guide", used to denote a leader within a Muslim community.
IWUCHUKWU Igbo, African
It means God's covenant is unwavering. This name is a bearer is a testimony of God's command. This ia a Christian name.
JALLOH Western African
Probably a derivative of Arabic Jalil.
JEDOU Western African
Found in Mauritania.
JOOF Serer
The surname Joof (English spelling in Gambia) whit its derivatives Juuf / Juf (Seereer proper) or Diouf (French spelling in Senegal and Mauritania) is a Senegambian surname found amongst the Seereer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania... [more]
KABIR Bengali (Muslim), Nigerian, Pakistani, Indian (Muslim), Afghani, Persian
From the Arabic كَبِير (kabīr) meaning "big, large, great" (see Akbar).
KYEKYEKU Akan
Meaning unknown.
MALICK Indian, Bengali, Pakistani, Western African
From the Arabic ملك (malik) meaning "king, sovereign, monarch" (see Malik (1)), used by Indian Hindus and Muslims.
MAOULOUD Western African
Derived from Arabic مولود‎‎ (mawlud) meaning "born, newborn", used to refer to the مولد (Mawlid) observance of the birth of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (chiefly Mauritanian).
M'BARECK Western African
Derived from Arabic مُبَارَك (mubārak) meaning "blessed, fortunate, lucky" (chiefly Mauritanian).
M'BEIRICK Western African
Most likely a variant of M’Bareck.
MESSOUD Western African
From the given name Mas'ud; used in Mauritania.
MIKEL English, Nigerian
From the given name Mikel.
NENGE Tiv
Means, "see".
ODERASAK Yoruba (Rare)
It is Yoruba mispronunciation of the the name Oscar. It was a middle name that became a last name.
ODOEMENE Nigerian
Odoemene roots from Nigeria. It has branched onward to America, and multiple other countries. It literally means 'yellow reluctance' in Igbo.
OGYAMPAH Akan
Meaning unknown.
OLATUNJI Yoruba
"Olatunji" is a Yoruba surname and a given name meaning "Wealth awakes again".
ONYILOGWU Nigerian (Rare), Igbo (Rare)
Possibly means "he who is invulnerable to dark magic" in Igbo.
ORELIAS Nigerian (Latinized, Modern, Rare), Italian (Tuscan), Venetian
Means "golden", when coupled with a first name becomes "the golden". Varied from Orelia, "golden".... [more]
OSEI Western African
Very popular surname in Ghana.
OUBEID Western African
Mauritanian variant of Obeid (see Ubayd).
ỌYÁWÁLÉ Yoruba, Nigerian
Means "the river goddess came home" in Yoruba.
OYIAKWAN Akan
Meaning unknown.
OYINVWI Urhobo
A name from the history of the urhobo culture. It's been noted that the name indicate strength and is the name attached to it. The important vice of the tradition. Leads trivial matters in hope for liberty.
POPOOLA Yoruba
"The way of the rich man" or "The way of prosperity"
QUARTEY Western African, Ga
Ga surname of unknown meaning.
SAKYI Akan
Meaning unknown.
SARPEI Akan
Meaning unknown.
SELASSIE Ethiopian, Amharic, Western African
Possibly means "trinity" in Amharic. A notable bearer was Haile Selassie (1892-1975), the regent and emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.
SIAW Akan
Meaning unknown.
SIKA Akan
Meaning unknown.
SIRIBOE Akan
Meaning unknown.
SOUEIDI Western African
Mainly found in Mauritania.
SOUEILEM Western African
Meaning unknown—this surname is mainly found in Mauritania.
TAKYI Akan
Meaning unknown.
TANGARA Western African, Manding
Malian Bambara surname of unknown meaning.
TERSOO Tiv
Means, "father's love". Has its history from Tiv origin. Its a common name amongst the Tiv people of Nigeria.
TRAORÉ Western African, Manding
Manding surname of unknown meaning and etymology. It is a common surname in Western Africa.
TWENEBOA Akan
Meaning unknown.
UMBURTER Tiv
Means, "Remember the father". Father also used in the context of God.
UTHMAN Nigerian
From the given name Uthman.
WIREDU Akan
Meaning unknown.
ZEIDANE Western African
Mauritanian variant of Zidane.