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The Sahel is a semi-arid region which stretches across western and northern Africa from Senegal to the Sudan, and even into parts of Eritrea. It is bounded by the Sahara desert to the north and the Savanna lands to the south.

The name Sahel comes form Arabic, and means 'the shore' or 'coast'. It is used to suggest the boundary of the Sahara desert which was known as a 'sea' of sand and the more useful pastoral Savanna lands to the south.

The term is also used in north Africa for the coastal band of hills in Algeria and Tunisia.

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