World History 2 30 - 3.1 The Roots of African Trade

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify the main trade routes across the Sahara in the sixteenth century
  • Analyze the ways in which Islam facilitated the development of trans-Saharan trade
  • Identify the factors that contributed to the decline of the Mali Empire

Beginning in ancient times, trans-Saharan trade routes united many markets and products, linking the commodities, buyers, and sellers of North and West Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Trade networks spanned thousands of miles of sea and land and connected the distant trading centers and cities at their far ends. In the Sahara, such cosmopolitan settlements as Awdaghost, Sijilmasa, and Djenné, all part of the Mali Empire, linked desert trade routes. These trading centers made possible not only the widespread distribution of raw materials and finished products necessary for commerce to thrive but also the diffusion of cultural influences, including religion, to other civilizations.

This lesson has no exercises.

The content of this course has been taken from the free World History, Volume 2: from 1400 textbook by Openstax