Application and Reflection Questions
How might the history of Africa have been different if the Sahara did not exist and the savanna region extended up to the Mediterranean coast?
Which African groups likely benefited most from the spread of new belief systems during the Middle Ages? Which probably benefited least? In both cases, why?
How did trade connect West Africa to a wider network that included Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East? What did this mean for the development of the region?
What evidence do we have of the wealth and power of the medieval kingdoms in southern Africa? Why are these kingdoms important?
Compare the territory of Songhai to that of Ghana and Mali. Why are the three empires oriented differently and different in size?
How were the Almoravid and Almohad movements both reformist and reactionary?
In what ways were the Bantu kingdoms of Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe similar and dissimilar to the West African Sahelian kingdoms?