African Civilization

Category: Education

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It is the second largest continent. Africa has huge rivers which are: The Nile River The Zaire The Zambezi The Niger Rivers

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North – Sahara East – Indian Ocean West – Atlantic Ocean South – South Africa


Rainforest Located along the equator where the heaviest rainfall occurs . About 8% of Africa is covered by rainforests. The ample moisture of the area supports plant growth including dense forests .


Savanna Stretches across Africa on north and south of the rainforests . Savanna or grassland dotted with trees about half of the continent . Rainfall can be unreliable in the savanna climate zone .


Desert Covers 40% of Africa . Grasses and shrubs hardly grow in many African deserts . On the north in the giant Sahara Desert .


Mediterranean Lies at the northern and southern ups of Africa .

King Ezana of Axum:

King Ezana of Axum Converted himself and his people to Christianity.

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Essential in people’s diet . Axums Controlled t he salt trade.

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The kingdom of Ghana developed in West Africa at 400 BCE. Ghana was an empire based on trade and agriculture. Had a central government .

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The people in Ghana was able to trade with others using gold dust .

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Niger River: source of natural resources. Ruled by Sundiata after Ghana collapsed. It’s major expert was salt and gold. In 1307, Mansa Musa became the new mansa .

Sonni Ali:

Sonni Ali One of his goals was to conquer Timbuktu .

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Sonni Ali’s goal was to conquer Timbuktu but it was taken over by the Tuaregs . In 1428 Sonni Ali conquered Timbuktu together with his cavalry and infantry. The wealthy trading city of Djenne was Sonni Ali’s next target. After conquering Djenne , rulers of Songhai conquered even more territories making it the largest empire .

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After Sonni Ali’s death, his son ruled for a few months but was deposed by Askia Muhammad. Askia Muhammad gave the empire an improved system of government and strengthened Islam. Since the wealth of the empire depended on commerce and trade, fair method of taxation and an efficient system of communications .

Askia Mohammad:

Askia Mohammad Improved system of government. Strengthened Islam. Encouraged Islamic scholarships.

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Moroccans was jealous of Songhai and since Askia Muhammad’s successors weren’t able to hold together the empire so it was invaded by the Moroccans. The Moroccans captured Timbuktu and other cities but they weren’t also able to hold the empire together. As the empire collapsed, it’s once thriving cities slowly declined .


Timbuktu Gold from the south, salt from the north.

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However, Timbuktu then was taken over by the Tuaregs . Timbuktu was attacked and captured by Sonni Ali in 1468. Fellow Muslims described Sonni Ali as a tyrant.


Djenne This wealthy city became next the target of Sonni Ali . Songhai dominated the trans-Saharan trading routes .

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