What did West Africa mostly trade?
A profitable trade had developed by which West Africans exported gold, cotton cloth, metal ornaments, and leather goods north across the trans-Saharan trade routes, in exchange for copper, horses, salt, textiles, and beads. Later, ivory, slaves, and kola nuts were also traded.
What were the two most valuable products traded in West Africa?
The two most important trade items were gold and salt.
What was the source of West Africa’s great wealth?
Mansa Musa inherited a kingdom that was already wealthy, but his work in expanding trade made Mali the wealthiest kingdom in Africa. His riches came from mining significant salt and gold deposits in the Mali kingdom. Elephant ivory was another major source of wealth.
What three countries in West Africa are named for ancient trading empires?
A succession of three great kingdoms came to power as their people, gained control of valuable trade routes in West Africa. Ghana was the first of these empires, followed by the kingdoms of Mali and Songhai. Historians think the first people in Ghana were farmers along the Niger River.
What did people trade in ancient West Africa?
Trade in Ancient West Africa. Caravans of camel riding merchants from North Africa crossed the Sahara beginning in the seventh century of the Common Era. Traders exchanged gold for something the West Africans prized even more: salt. Salt was used as a flavoring, a food preservative, and as today, a means of retaining body moisture.
Who are the major trade partners of the kingdoms of West Africa?
For the West African kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, great wealth was achieved through their ability to trade. The gold–salt trade was one that benefitted both the kingdoms of West Africa, which were rich in gold, and their trade partners, who had an abundance of salt.
How did the kingdoms of West Africa make money?
The African kingdoms had an abundance of gold by later controlling the mines and through panning it from the rivers. Ghana controlled the trade routes and exacted tolls and tax for profit. The kingdoms traded their gold for the salt that was in abundance in Northern Africa.
Where did most of the wealth in Africa come from?
In the northeast, Egypt grew to dominance. In the west, three kingdoms: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai were three prosperous kingdoms. On the eastern coast of Africa, Swahili city-states became centers of wealth and influence.