Africa Before European Arrival

Topics: Mali Empire, Africa, Mali Pages: 3 (1264 words) Published: May 23, 2011
Before the Europeans came to Africa in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Africans developed an advanced civilization. Many cities, kingdoms, and empires like the empire of Aksum in east Africa in the 300’s and other parts of Africa arose and declined. In West Africa, empires like the Ghana, Mali and Songhai controlled the gold and salt trade. They were the crossroads of trading. Cities on Africa’s east coast also gained wealth and power through trade in between 1000 and 1500. In Africa between 300 and 1400, there were several centers of advanced civilization.

Ghana was founded by people in A.D 300. The people came from the Niger and Senegal River valley. Ghana is one of the first trading areas in West Africa. The kingdom of ancient Ghana rose in power and gained control of the trans-Saharan gold and salt trade over the time period of 700 and 1067. They traded with North Africa and the Arab world. Ghana was one of the most advanced civilizations in Africa and world at the time. They had a well- organized government and many aspects of succeeding. They were cross road of trading gold and salt. They used silent barter system to trade which means they traded goods with each other with our seeing each other. For example, they traded gold for salt from North Africa. They assured safe trade for the Arabs and the Wangara (Document 3). To show their wealth, they often decorated them selves and dogs with gold dust. They also used an organization in setting up a court. They used monarchy to rule the people of Ghana (Document 2). Although Islam spread to Ghana by trade, the people of Ghana didn’t accept the religion but they respected the Arabian and Persian scholars who came to study their culture. The people of Ghana taxed traders; the traders paid extra goods. This helped the empire of Ghana to get wealthy and powerful. The people of Ghana used horses, camel, and donkeys for transportation. They were one of the first tribe to use iron in Africa. Ghana had a...
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