Silk Road Trade Networks in West Africa By: Zachary Chagnon

Ghana Empire

The Ghana Empire is an Empire in West Africa that lasted from 300 to 1,000 C.E. or Common Era

In the Ghana Empire they started trading Grain, Cattle, and Metals and later on they traded Gold, Salt, Kola nuts, and slaves with countries like Soninke, Ghana, Sijilmasa, Sahara, Moroccan Towns, Mali, and Timbuktu.

Fact: Ghana's people called their land (Ghana) Wagadu

Mali Empire

The Mali Empire was an Empire in West Africa that lasted from 1235 to 1600

In Mali they traded Gold, Salt, Kola nuts, and slaves with Soninke, Ghana, Sijilmasa, Sahara, Moroccan Towns, Mali, and Timbuktu. One of Mali's most successful rulers was Mansa Musa and during his pilgrimage in 1324 he brought along tons of gold. A lot of this gold he gave away, in places like Cairo and in doing so he raised the supply and lowered the demand of gold in Cairo. Some people believe that giving away all this gold was the fall of the Mali empire and in some places even mentioning his name can get you killed.Fact: the members of the governing class in Mali were the Muslims Mansa Musa was

Fact: The members of the governing class in Mali were the Muslims

Songhai empire

The Songhai Empire was a trading state that was founded in 1375 and lasted until 1591

The Songhai Empire traded with Niger, and other places. They traded through the Sahara and the Sahel, and across the Niger River. They traded stuff like Gold, ivory, spices, kola nuts, slaves and cottons goods for salt, cloth, arms, horses, copper, glassware, sugar and North African crafts. There were two main great kings that ruled the Songhai Empire were Sunni Ali, and Muhammad Askia. Though the Songhai Empire lost power to the Moroccan Army,

Trade routes in West Africa

Mansa Musa-

Mansa Musa also known as KanKan Moussa was a Rich Ruler in the Mali Empire who ruled from 1312 to 1337 C.E. During his pilgrimage Mansa Musa gave out tons of gold and spread the religion of Islam. When Mansa Musa gave out all of that he lowered the demand for it in many places throughout West Africa.

Sunni ali

Sunni Ali was the ruler of the Songhai Empire from 1464 to 1492 and was the ruler who achieved Songhai's height of power. Sunni Ali ended up dying in 1492

Fact: Sunni Ali captured the Timbuktu trade center in 1468.

Sundiata Keita

Suniata Keita was the founder of Mali in 1235. Was once the ruler of Kangaba but changed it to Mali. When Suniata was the ruler of Kangaba he won a war against the army of Soso.


Salt is necessary for medical purposes

Salt today is something we take for granted even though we use a lot of it, but back in ancient Africa salt could almost cost as much as gold and was often called white gold, because it was so valuable today salt is put on stuff like french fries, or saltines. But in ancient Africa they needed it for not just preserving their food but for medical purposes like maintaining their blood pressure without it you could get high blood pressure.


Why gold was valuable in west Africa

Gold was a very valuable substance in West Africa especially to the Ghana Empire because north of Ghana were salt mines and south of Ghana were the gold mines. So Ghana was right in the middle therefor they handled a lot of the trade and they also got very rich because they handled most of the trading.


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"Songhai, African Empire, 15-16th Century." Mads. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

"Salt's Effects." Blood Pressure : Salt's Effects on Your Body. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

"Trading Gold for Salt." Gold for Salt, Salt for Gold - Ancient Africa for Kids. Web. 12 Dec. 2016.

Copyright © 2016 Zachary Chagnon

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