History to the 1400s: 9

Trade routes in and between West and North Africa have existed for nearly 2000 years. West Africans in the savannah and forest regions had no local sources of salt, but they did have gold. North Africans had no gold, but plenty of salt. Important kingdoms developed in West Africa around trade with North Africa in salt and gold. Three kingdoms were especially important: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, which are also known as the Sudanic kingdoms.