West African Trading Kingdoms. Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. Ghana and Muslim Influence. The Sahara region trade is dominated by two products: GOLD and SALT Heave with gold mines along the West African coast; the empire of Ghana (800-1100AD) was appropriately called “land of gold” by Arab writers
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Ghana, Mali, and Songhai
Where are the gold and salt located?
“There is complete and general safety throughout the land. The traveler here has no more reason to fear thieves than the man who stays at home.”-IbnBattuta
“This man spread upon Cairo the flood of his generosity: there was no person, officer of the court, or holder of any office of the Sultanate who did not receive a sum of gold from him. The people of Cairo earned incalculable sums from him, whether by buying and selling or by gifts.”
A description of Timbuktu
“Here are great store of doctors, judges, and other learned men, that are bountifully maintained at the king’s cost and charges. And hither are brought various manuscripts of books from North Africa, which are sold for more money than any other merchandise”