In ancient Africa (300-1600 B.C.E.), there was a trade route that was linked with the Silk Road. It was called the West African Trade Route. This was an important part of ancient Africa since they needed to trade things like gold, salt, camels, and other valuable goods and commodities. Now to explain how the countries were connected.
First, they were connected to make trade routes. Like in the image, cities like Timbuktu, Taghaza, Tunis, and even Cairo were connected. This is so they could trade goods and commodities, like gold, bars of salt, dates, and camels. The Mali empire had tons of gold and salt bars. I should also mention how geography influenced trade.
As you can see in this image, the Sahara Desert is huge. And most civilizations, countries, empires, and trade routes went through the huge Sahara Desert. And since there were countries/cities in the Sahara, there wasn't any way that Traders who wanted to trade for something in the Sahara could get around it, and not even to get into Asia or Europe. And once somebody got to a different city in Africa, they were likely to experience different cultures. This might result in cultural diffusion, which is where culture results in certain actions and trade items. Now moving on to supply and demand.
Trade Routes of West Africa
In Ancient Africa, it was necessary that they traded. And when they traded, there was likely to be supply and demand. so say that a trader had 6 salt bars and 8 gold bars, and there are 9 people who want both. As the trader sells more gold and salt, the price for gold and salt heightens. And in Cairo, the supply for gold was high, but demand was low. This is because Mansa Musa, the ruler of Mali, gave so much gold away that the gold market in Cairo crashed, which caused the demand in Mali for gold to heighten.
Overall, the West African Trade Routes were a very important part of West Africa. This is because certain places needed to be connected, needed certain things based on where the civilization was located, and had supply and demand. And, there was even religion that was traded for free. That is why the West African Trade Route was important.