Sudanese States and East and Southern Africa’s Kingdoms

Sudanese States and East and Southern Africa’s Kingdoms

The Sudanic empires of West Africa were a group of powerful states, which developed in the South of the Sahara desert. Songhai, Mali, and Ghana were the most prominent states. The Arabs referred to the Land south of the Sahara desert as the land of the blacks. The Sudanic empires had vast commercial networks and often traded gold and grains from the Sub-Saharan Africa for salt from the Sahara desert. Soninke people were the founders of Ghana as one of the Sudanic trading empire (Boahen 55). During the 800’s A.D, Ghana became one of the wealthy kingdoms. However, the empire declined while the Almoravids gained an influence over the trade routes in Sahara and other parts of Sudan. Although Ghana survived the 1200’s A.D, it failed to regain its former influence and control. The Sudanese States had notable differences with the Eastern and South Africa’s Kingdoms in the aspects of geographical location, history of the two regions, and slavery practices.

Firstly, the Sudanic empires were a group of influential states, which developed South of the Sahara desert in the 700s and 1500s (Boahen 71). The Western Sudan was located in the northern part of West Africa. Initially, the Western Sudan extended from the Atlantic Ocean to the basin of Lake Chad. The historians have recognized Western Sudan as a land of great empires. Western Sudan encompass a broad of Savannah extending from the Sahara desert to the tropical rain forest of Guinea Coast. The empires of the Western Sudan were unified through strong leadership and kin based societies.

On the contrary, the Great Zimbabwe was one of the kingdoms in South Africa. The kingdom is located between Zambezi and Limpopo rivers and east of the Kalahari Desert. In the 11th and 15th century, the Great Zimbabwe was a thriving business empire. The Great Zimbabwe was the successor of Mapungubwe, which was located in the central Limpopo valley. The Shona people of South Africa were the main residents of Mapungubwe. The Iron Age settlers were the first people in Mapungubwe and resided in the place between 1000 AD and 1300 AD.

Secondly, the Kingdoms of Eastern and South Africa had historic differences with the Sudanese states and empires. The Western Sudan was a historic region in the northern part of West Africa. Historians recognized Western Sudan as an area with great empires. Ghana is one of the widely recognized empire of the Western Sudan. Ghanaian government possessed sophisticated methods of taxation and well concealed gold mines. Although the King of the Soninke failed to embrace Islam, he fostered good relationships with Islamists to promote trade.

Mapungubwe was one of the first states in South Africa in 1220-1300. Besides, the region was a symbol of the artefacts found in the region. The Shona people of South Africa were the main residents of Mapungubwe area. Iron Age settlers were the first group of people in the region. The Mapungubwe people were wealthy and reared different kinds of animals such as cows, goats, and even dogs. They produced large volumes of food products for trade. The archaeologists discovered remain of millet and sorghum in their storage huts.

Thirdly, the two regions had different systems of slavery. Slavery in Sudan began in the ancient times and had a resurgence during the Second Sudanese Civil War. In Ghana, slavery was widely practiced as a result of increased demand of human labour. In fact, slaves were one of the commodities of trade.

Similarly, slaver trade was a common practice among the states of Eastern and Southern Africa. In South Africa, slave trade was a common practice before the arrival of the Europeans. The African slaves served as sailors. As a result of increased demand for ivory, the slaves were used as porters of the products.

In conclusion, the Sudanese empires of western African had historical differences with East and South Africa’s states and Kingdoms. However, the two regions had similarities in that they both practiced slavery. Ghana, being one of the Sudanic empires, had an extensive commercial network to conduct trade. Eventually, Ghana became one of the wealthiest nations in the 800s. On the contrary, Zimbabwe was one of the common kingdoms of Eastern and Southern Africa. Great Zimbabwe was the successor of Mapungubwe in trade.