Trade in the Sahara • Salt would become a major trading commodity for human health and preservation of food • By 100 A.D. farming villages in West Africa would begin to produce surplus. • Surplus food would be traded with other villages for products. • Trade networks would eventually develop linking the Savanna to rainforest regions with trade networks across the Sahara to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia.
Trading Gold for Salt • Gold and Salt would end up dominating the Sahara trade • Gold was widely available in the area of present-day Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. • It is estimated that between 500-1600 A.D. about 8 tons of gold were exported annually from West Africa.
Price of gold per troy ounce $1365.00 • 29,166.667 troy ounces in a ton
In exchange for gold the West Africans would trade salt. • In the savanna salt was scarce but was abundant in many parts of the Sahara • With the prospering of this salt and gold exchange, cities emerged along the trade routes with monarchs and kingdoms emerging.
Ghana • Ruler and Government • Founders were the Soninke people around 800 A.D. • Ruled by princes and officials • Not the same as present day Ghana. Is actually present day Mali
Reasons for Rise • Rich in gold • The kings controlled the gold and salt trade across West Africa • Large army • Traded gold, precious woods, and kola nuts. • Muslim merchants brought their Muslim faith • Rulers employed Muslim language, money, and business methods.
Reasons for Decline of Ghana • About 1050 A.D. the Almoravids from North Africa attacked Ghana. • The Almoravids tried to maintain control of trade routes but were unsuccessful. • Ghana would eventually come under the control of Mali.
Mali • Ruler and Government • By 1235 A.D. Sundiata would control the West African gold trade to bring about the kingdom of Mali. • Mansa Musa was a capable Muslim leader who expanded the empire from 1312 until he died in 1337. • Reasons for Rise • The mansas or rulers of Mali would expand their influence over the salt and gold trade.
Strong Mandingo leaders like Mansa Musa conquered neighboring lands. • Islam united the people. • Mansa Musa would create diplomatic and economic ties with other Muslim countries through a hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. • Timbuktu became a great city of Muslim learning and trade. • Reasons for Decline • Power struggles between weaker rulers in the early 1400’s.
Songhai • Ruler and Government • Sunni Ali restored order in 1464. He did not convert to Islam but followed traditional beliefs. • Askia Muhammad helped Songhai reach its peak of powerby creating a Muslim dynasty. • Askia Muhammad would take a pilgrimage to Mecca creating ties to the wider Muslim world.
Reasons for Rise • Developed along the fertile region of the Niger River in present day Mali and Niger. • Sunni Ali captured Timbuktu and other centers of trade. • Islam under Askia Muhammad. • Reasons for Decline • Fell in 1591 to invaders from Moroccowho seized the gold and salt resources.
Benin • Ruler and Government • The rulers or kings were called Obas and established their kingdom in the 1300’s. • The oba was political, judicial, and religious leader. • Power was spread among other figures including the queen mother and a council of hereditary chiefs. • Ewuare was an Oba who established a central government.
Reasons for Rise • Arose in the rain forests of the Guinea coast. • They built farming villages and traded pepper and ivory as well as slaves with their neighbors in the savanna. • Ewuarecaptured towns and created a central government. • Benin city was a center of industry. • Known for the creation of bronze sculptures
City-states of East Africa • Ruler and Government • City-state: Was a large town with its own government. • Became trading centers. • Reasons for Rise • Cities like Malinda, Mombasa, Kilwa, and Sofala were major trading centers. • Arab traders bought slaves and other goods.
Reasons for Decline of City-States • Were attacked and taken over by the Portuguese in the early 1500’s.
Zimbabwe (Stone Houses) • Rulers and Government • By 1300 A.D. power revolved around the control of gold mines. • Rulers were probably god-kings presiding over large courts. • Reasons for Rise • Gold trade made the rulers wealthy.
The international trade led to the emergence of the Swahili culture-a blend of East African and Arabic cultures. • Reasons for Decline • Power struggles weakened the kingdom in the 1500’s. • Dwindling trade