Guinea is an old name for the coast of West Africa along the Gulf of Guinea. The trade in ivory, gold, salt, pepper and slaves made the region wealthy with a number of kingdoms rising and falling. The cohesion of these kingdoms showed far greater resistance to European incursions and so deep colonisation was delayed until the late 19th century. Guinea-Conakry was formerly a French Colony and is predominantly Muslim (c. 85%) with 24 recognised ethnic groups. Guinea is a member of a number of international organisations including the African Union (AU), Organisation Internationale de la Francophone and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).