) is the predominantly Francophone
region that constitutes one of the three federal regions of Belgium
with its capital at Namur
. It encompasses the southern half of Belgium and comprises the following provinces
Its economy was once dominated by the extensive iron and coal industries, as Wallonia was one of the first regions of continental Europe to see industrialisation
. Subsequent downturns in the profitability of these types of heavy industries saw Wallonia exchange its position as the major economic engine of Belgium with its northern neighbour region Flanders
Its major cities and towns include Liege, Namur, Charleroi, Mons, Tournai, Arlon, Bastogne, Wavre, Verviers and Dinant. French is spoken throughout the region (though usually with minor differences from the French in France), with the exception of the East Cantons, an area where German is used instead.
See also: List of Minister-Presidents of Wallonia