4Ghana EmpireIt is believed to be the first of many empires that would rise in that part of Africa.It first began in the eighth century, when a dramatic shift in the economy of the Sahel area south of the Sahara allowed more centralized states to form.
5Ghana: Land of GoldThe introduction of the camel, which preceded Arabs and Islam by several centuries, brought about a gradual revolution in trade, and for the first time, the extensive gold, ivory, and salt resources of the region could be sent north and east to population centers in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe in exchange for manufactured goods.
6Decline of Ghana The Almoravid Muslim Empire Ghana's preeminence faded toward the end of the eleventh century, when its power was broken by a long struggle with the Almoravids led by Abdullah ibn Yasin.The Almoravid Muslim Empire
8MaliThe Mali Empire was a medieval West African state of the Mandinka from c to cThe empire was founded by Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially Mansa Musa I.The Mali Empire had many profound cultural influences on West Africa allowing the spread of its language, laws and customs along the Niger River.
9SundiataMali emerged against the back-drop of a declining of Ghana under the dynamic leadership of Sundiata of the Keita clan.But the region he took over had a past rich in trade and powerful rulers.
10Mansa MusaIn the 13th year of his reign (1324), he set out on his famous pilgrimage to Mecca.It was this pilgrimage that awakened the world to the stupendous wealth of Mali.Traveling from his capital of Niani on the Upper Niger River to Cairo, Mansa Musa was accompanied by a caravan consisting of 60,000 men.He also brought with him 80 camels loaded with 300 pounds of gold each.
11Mali was an Islamic Empire Islamic Mosque at Djenne
12Islamic University in Mali The Muslim city of Timbuktu was a center of learning and scholarship.
13City of GaoGao would become the capital of Songhai Empire
15SonghaiThe Songhai Empire was a pre-colonial African state centered in eastern Mali.From the early 15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest African empires in history.This empire bore the same name as its leading ethnic group, the Songhai.Its capital was the city of Gao, where a small Songhai state had existed since the 11th century.Its base of power was on the bend of the Niger River.
16Sunni AliWhen Sunni Ali came to power, Songhai was a small kingdom in the western Sudan.But during his twenty-eight-year reign, it grew into the largest, most powerful empire in West Africa. Painting by: Leo Dillon.
17Muhammed Ture/Askia the Great Under Askia the Great's rule, education in the Songhai Empire, especially Timbuktu, flourished.He built a university in Timbuktu for students.Djenn‘e also became a center of learning.
18Decline of Sonhai Ahmad al-Mansur (1549-1603) But in 1591 Morocco invaded Songhai.Although the invaders were not very numerous, perhaps 4,000 men, they were armed with firearms, not yet seen in West Africa, and thus possessed an enormous advantage over their more traditionally equipped foes.Ahmad al-Mansur ( )