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Three kingdoms were established in West Africa and they became wealthy due to trade, especially from the east African coast. These kingdoms were Ghana (700 – 1200 B.C.) Mali (1200 – 1500) and Songhai (1350 – 1600) controlled trade in the area between 400 and 1500. Their greatest wealth was gold. Traders brought goods from the Mediterranean area to the towns and cities of Africa in exchange for gold, slaves, wood, coconuts, small products and products made from iron, and salt. Many of the inhabitants were converted to Islam because of their contact with Muslim traders.

Subsequently three of these kingdoms will be discussed briefly.

The Empire of Benin

The Benin Empire (called Edo by its inhabitants) had been established in the tropical forests of the present Nigeria by 100 B.C. Ivory, pepper, body oil and slaves were sold to Portuguese traders. The ruler (“oba”) lived in a vast palace with several inner courtyards and galleries in the walled city of Benin where guards were on duty all the time. The inhabitants of Benin had become skilful metalworkers and artistic woodcarvers, in a region where little agricultural land was available.

The Nok Empire (900 B.C. – 200 A.D.)

The inhabitants of this empire lived in villages, practised agriculture and domesticated animals in the area that is now known as (Northern) Nigeria and the Cameroon. They also produced finished tools of stones, bone and wood, and jewellery and sculptures. The tools were not very effective and agriculture was practised on a small scale. By 400 B.C. the people of the Nok Empire had learnt to work iron. Their iron tools were stronger, more effective and easier to replace and they had learnt to practise farming more successfully.

Iron ore being melted in a furnace

The Empire of Mali

During the first part of the 13 th century, the small Empire of Mali (or Manding) became more powerful than ancient Ghana. By 700 B.C. the empire had become strong and well organised due to trade. They had excellent rulers like Mansa Miam. It was the first West African empire to develop after the spread of Islam.

One of the most famous rulers was Mansa Musa, who exerted strong control over the Saharan trade route. The two important cities of the empire were Mali (the capital) and Timbuktu, the trading centre, which also was a city noted for its many schools. Mali probably was one of the greatest empires in the world of that time. After 1400, Timbuktu became a centre of learning and students from all over the Muslim world attended the Timbuktu University until the 1700s. The people of Manding mined gold and traded with it.

The new Songhai Empire, with Goa as its capital city, developed further along the Niger valley and conquered Timbuktu in 1468. But the golden days of the West African Empires came to an abrupt end in 1509 when the Moroccan army took over the control of the region.


Learning Outcomes(LOs)
LO 1
HISTORICAL ENQUIRY The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate the past and present.
Assessment Standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
1.1 finds sources:
  • identifies sources to help answer the question about the topic;
1.2 works with sources:
  • selects and records relevant information for specific purposes from a variety of sources (e.g. oral, written and visual sources, including maps, graphs and tables, objects, buildings, monuments, museums);
1.3 answers the question:
  • arranges information logically and chronologically in answering questions about people, events, objects, and places in the past.



It is important that the learners are given the criteria for assessment beforehand, eg. originality, neatness, correct facts, etc.

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, History grade 6. OpenStax CNX. Sep 08, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11011/1.1
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