Why did ships travel west from Africa?

Ships departed Europe for African markets with manufactured goods, which were traded for purchased or kidnapped Africans, who were transported across the Atlantic as slaves; the enslaved Africans were then sold or traded for raw materials, which would be transported back to Europe to complete the voyage.

How did the West African empires become so wealthy?

Located within the present-day borders of Mauritania, Mali, and Senegal, medieval Ghana literally sat on a gold mine. The land’s abundance of resources allowed Ghana’s rulers to engage in years of prosperous trading. Strategic governing coupled with great location led to the rapid emergence of a very wealthy empire.

What are the two major grassland areas of West Africa?

The Sudanian savanna is a broad belt of tropical savanna that runs east and west across the African continent, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Ethiopian Highlands in the east. The Sahel, a belt of drier grasslands and acacia savannas, lies to the north, between the Sudanian savanna and the Sahara Desert.

Is West Africa wealthy?

West Africa has recorded the largest growth of wealth in the continent, led by Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana. The latest figures show that between 2007 and 2017 the amount of wealth held in Africa rose by 13%.

How did trade impact West Africa?

Over time, the slave trade became even more important to the West African economy. Kings traded slaves for valuable good, such as horses from the Middle East and textiles and weapons from Europe. The ​transSaharan​ slave trade contributed to the power of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.

What were the two consequences that came from trade in Western Africa?

Spread of diseases, subjugation (control) through force. Slavery (10-12 million slaves); some Africans were becoming rich from the slave trade, and some of their fittest members were now gone, causing the society to struggle.

How did trade affect Africa?

The slave trade had devastating effects in Africa. Economic incentives for warlords and tribes to engage in the slave trade promoted an atmosphere of lawlessness and violence. Depopulation and a continuing fear of captivity made economic and agricultural development almost impossible throughout much of western Africa.

How many slaves were taken from West Africa?

Though exact totals will never be known, the transatlantic slave trade is believed to have forcibly displaced some 12.5 million Africans between the 17th and 19th centuries; some 10.6 million survived the infamous Middle Passage across the Atlantic.

What was the main economic activity in West Africa?

subsistence agriculture

Why was salt so important to West Africa?

Once cultures began relying on grain, vegetable, or boiled meat diets instead of mainly hunting and eating roasted meat, adding salt to food became an absolute necessity for maintaining life. Because the Akan lived in the forests of West Africa, they had few natural resources for salt and always needed to trade for it.

What is the economy of West Africa?

Overall economic growth in West Africa is projected to be at 3.6 percent in 2019 and 2020, boosted by the recovery of commodity prices and improved production and service sectors in the region, although challenges and uneven performance would remain, the African Development Bank’s regional economic indicator report …

Who does West Africa Trade with?

Nigeria provides 77% of regional exports and Côte d’Ivoire 10%. For their part, Ghana and Senegal are placed third and fourth with 4% and 2% respectively. Mali following the traditional leaders with 1.7% of regional exports. Five Countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger and Togo) carry each 1% of regional exports.

Why was gold so important to West Africa?

The Islamic North African empires of the medieval period had an insatiable demand for gold because it was needed not only for making precious manufactured goods (e.g. jewellery, vessels, embroidered clothing and illuminated manuscripts) but also to mint coinage to pay armies.

What did West Africa 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.

Is West Africa rich or poor?

Africa is a resource-rich continent. Recent growth has been due to growth in sales in commodities, services, and manufacturing. West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa and Southern Africa in particular, are expected to reach a combined GDP of $29 trillion by 2050.

Why was West Africa so important to world trade?

The West African region is a trading region par excellence. For several decades, West Africa had been a major source of supply for raw materials to industries in metropolitan France, Great Britain, and Portugal. The results of this form of integration into global trade were far from complimentary.

How did slavery affect Africa?

The effect of slavery in Africa Some states, such as Asante and Dahomey, grew powerful and wealthy as a result. Other states were completely destroyed and their populations decimated as they were absorbed by rivals. Millions of Africans were forcibly removed from their homes, and towns and villages were depopulated.

Why did West African farmers need slaves?

The domestic and agricultural labor became more evidently primary in Western Africa due to slaves being regarded as these “political tools” of access and status. Slaves often had more wives than their owners, and this boosted the class of their owners. Slaves were not all used for the same purpose.