General Information

Is a disputed territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa, partially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially Moroccan-occupied, bordered by Morocco proper to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands. Laayoune, the largest city in Western Sahara.

 There is speculation that there may be off-shore oil and natural gas fields, but the debate persists as to whether these resources can be profitably exploited, and if this would be legally permitted due to the Non-Self-Governing status of Western Sahara.

Western Sahara's economy is based almost entirely on fishing and phosphate mining which employs two thirds of its work force. Some lesser extent agriculture and tourism also contribute to the territory's economy. Most food for the urban population comes from Morocco. All trade and other economic activities are controlled by the Moroccan government (as its de facto southern province). 

The indigenous population of Western Sahara is usually known in Western media as Sahrawis, but they are also referred to in Morocco as "Southerners" or "Southern Berbers". They are Hassaniya-speaking or Berber-speaking tribes of Berber origin.

The Western Sahara has an established music tradition. Many of the well-known from the country musicians have settled in Dakar, where they mingled further with musicians from West Africa.