Rise to Glory: West Africa


The earliest of the west African states to develop was Ghana. Ghana was to the north of the Upper Niger river on the trade routes that carried salt and gold across the Sahara to the Mediterranean Sea. It was first mentioned in 833 AD by the Arab historian Kwarizmi, and described in great detail about two hundred years later when the Almoravids of North Africa captured Aoudaghast, a minor city of Ghana.

It was a large city with many fine houses, buildings and markets, as well as rich palm trees and henna plantations. El Bekri, another Arab historian, talks about armies of 200,000 warriors, including 40,000 with bows and arrows, governed by a king called Tunka Manin.

It took the Almoravids fourteen years to conquer Ghana and take its capital. This was made up of two cities nine km apart with houses in between. The king lived in one city which was surrounded by a wall, and where he governed in style, surrounded by objects of gold dressed in cloth of gold. The second city was for the Muslim merchants and had numerous mosques. 1     2     3

 Africa in History
 Human Evolution

 North Africa  

 Kingdoms of the South
 Trading Empires
 West Africa

Slave Trade