From the beginning of the 8th Century to the middle of the 13th Century (700-1240) a vast Kingdom of the Sahara Reigned in West Africa. This, is the Kingdom of Ghana. Not to be mistaken for the modern east African country, Ghana. properly known as Awkar, Ghana was prominent in Saharan trade for salt and gold predominately. Ghana was originally founded by the Soninke, known to be a sub-group of the Mande speaking peoples, and reached it’s golden age between 800-1100 CE.
The intriguing part of Ghana’s kingdom was the shift in powers and influence overtime. It may have been birthed from the Soninke but Muslim influence took over in time and also the capitals changed multiple times. This is a stark example of visualizing the evolution of a kingdom in Africa. The changes revealing the growth and prosperity of the Kingdom. Trade was frequently done by Nomadic Berbers from the south, which migrated back from Ghana to the Mediterranean trading ivory, gold, and kola nuts from Ghana in exchange for salts. The Berbers had a toxic relationship with Ghanians as they usually raided the civilizations of the ancient kingdom. The only thing keeping them stable was trade. Through many invasions and takeovers, Ghana eventually fell in 1240 CE and was replaced by the Mali Empire.
Ghana lasted for a little over 5 centuries, it sat on a strong trade bank in between the Mediterranean and the Sahara and traded with multiple locations across west Africa and beyond at its peak. Heavily influenced by Muslim culture as well. Today let us remember our history by looking back on an ancient kingdom that is often not taught to us in the history books. A reminder of the greatness and advancements we once wielded in our homeland of Africa. Let us not be mistaken, we still possess the powers and brainpower of our ancestors, our greatness is through them. However, today, this is a snippet of what we once were, forgotten in the archives of History. This is Ghana.