Trading in West Africa By Leah Fleming

Connections in and out the West Africa Trade

In the ancient days. West Africa was busy with trade. As time went on more and more trades routes were expanding and getting used more. Many of the Empires and regions like the Mail, Ghana, Songhai, and the Mediterranean traded together and used those trade routes. Not only did the Empires trade, but also did the small towns, cities, and countries some examples are Europe, Sijilmasa, Awdaghust and Ghadames, Gao, Sahel and more. Many commodities/goods were traded between these cities, Empires, countries, and regions, for instance, gold, salt, agricultural products and other materials were traded between the groups. For example during that time the Market Economy was very big on salt cause, salt was a very essential and needed material. And in West Africa salt was running low and they had very little of it and because of this it caused a supply and demand. But to solve this West Africa started trading with the Mediterranean because the one thing they did have a lot of and that was had a high supply and demand was gold an so they traded the gold for the salt that the Mediterranean had a lot of supply of. Another example is in present day because in present day the Market Economy for gold, is not only in high demand but in in low supply so now many people have to pay a high about of money inside of salt to get the gold. While the people who have the gold get the money that want inside of gold they have .

West Africa


Trade routes in West Africa were regularly used and built. But as they were used and built many people faced the weather and topography. West Africa had a very diverse geography. For example, West Africa topography included rivers, deserts, mountains, forests and coastal geography. Many of the Empires, cites, and regions I talked about traveled along these diverse trade routes. Not only did these types of geography influence the amount of trade of commodities/Goods but it also influenced amount of cultural diffusion. For instance in many of the Forest zones their were very busy trading routes because it had the right weather and temperature for easy and quick trade. And around those trading routes that were in the forest zones were many Muslim and other religious communities. And which cause their religion to spread all over West Africa. Making many scholars and people change into Muslim cause of the cultural diffusion. Another example of how geography influenced cultural diffusion is when we learned about China and China only really traded with their people because between Rome and other nations there was a big mountain range making it harder to trade between the nation but Rome was close to the sea and had most of flat land there were able to grow bigger and trade and sell a lot more with the people around them unlike China.

West Africans geography.

INFLUENCE of trade by RESOURCES & Supply and DEMAND.

Resources in Ancient Days of West Africa.

During the ancient days, having the right amount of supply and demand was a dream. Many of the nations and places had a surplus of one kind of item and a low supply of something else. For example gold now a days is very rare and an expensive item but back then it was still expensive but their was a lot of it, and West Africa was one of those places that had a lot of it but didn't have a lot of salt. So it influenced the demand of salt in West Africa. Another example is that when Mansa Musa was on his pilgrimage and went to many towns and gave a large amount of gold to the places which caused a crash in the market economy because in those places their was a low supply and distribution of gold and then with the sudden supply of gold caused the price of gold to go down which created many problems for the people.The last example is that in West Africa the distribution of gold and in some areas of salt and so it influenced the amount of trade in West Africa because in other areas there wasn't any or very little. So they went to West Africa to trade for the salt for some other item they had but West Africa didn't.

Works Cited

-Watkins, Jeffery. "African Trading Kingdoms." N.p., 1999. Web. 1 Dec. 2016.

-Hall, Encina. "The Spread of Islam in West Africa: Containment, Mixing, and Reform from the Eighth to the Twentieth Century." FSI | SPICE - The Spread of Islam in West Africa: Containment, Mixing, and Reform from the Eighth to the Twentieth Century. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2016.

-. Author: Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. "The Trans-Saharan Gold Trade (Seventh–Fourteenth Centuries) | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-2016. Web. 02 Dec. 2016

-. Trading Gold for Salt." What Is Currency? Essay Part 2. Smithsonian Education, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

-" | Mali & African Empires - The Mali Empire." N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

-@JulianAbagond. "Songhay Empire." Abagond. N.p., 25 Oct. 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2016


Created with images by Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Africa, including the Mediterranean" • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Carte de la Barbarie de la Nigritie et de la Guinée"

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