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Government and Leaders

Africa is mainly composed of kingdoms. The kingdom of Ghana was established in the late 300's. Ghanaian kings were powerful and wealthy. They built grand armies. Tunka Manin was a great leader who ruled Ghana in 1067. He built a grand army with over 200,000 warriors armed with bows, arrows, and iron-pointed spears. Their decline began in the late A.D. 1000's. In A.D. 1076 the Berbers invaded from the north and destroyed Kumbi Saleh. The Shona people migrated into Zimbabwe and took control over the local people, and with it, the gold that they mined and traded. They built fortified enclosures. Great Zimbabwe, was probably the largest and most important of all of their fortresses. It soon became the center of the Shona state. The kingdom of Songhai was established on the important trading city of Gao, which was on the Niger River. This new kimgdom stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Chad. It covered an area that was larger than the country of Mali. Sonni 'Ali was a skilled warior and an able administrator. Sonni 'Ali and his successor, Mohammed I Askia, built Songhai into a strong kingdom. He built a fleet of warships. He divided the country into provinces. After the reign of Mohammed I Askia, the Songhai Empire began ro steadily decline.