History of West Africa

Have you ever wondered how west Africa come to be discovered and the steps it has taken to be the place you admire today? The history of West Africa dates back to 10,000 years ago when the Sahara Desert and the air mountains of the Niger were discovered. In this place, the nomads were more common than any other site in Africa. They would move from one region to another in search of water and pasture for their livestock and also for themselves. What we see today as the Sahara region was well covered with rivers, forests, savanna, and some lakes. The population at this time was very dispersed. The only animals that were popular were the elephants, giraffes, and cats.

The animal population drastically changed in around the 5000BC. Domesticated cattle replaced the giraffes and the elephants since human beings started a war with the elephants to get a place to live. They felt safe living with the domestic cattle than the giraffes and the elephants. There is a lot of carvings in this region as a history records of the animals that dominated the area. When the giraffes and the elephants become scares, people started building sedentary settlements for themselves since water as also scarcity in those times.

Later on, an organized society came to be in western Africa. Present-Day Nigeria and Mauritania remained as the stone regions where domestic animals are very much prevalent. The population increased, giving rise to two dominant groups, one along the Niger river and another around lake Chad. The two grouped got into agriculture as the population was high, and they could no longer depend on animal feeds. Through the groups, towns started emerging. The first town was the Jenne-Jeno which gave birth to more cities, what we see today as towns in West Africa.

The towns were first inhabited by the pygmy’s community who first occupied what we today call the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. During this time, many tribes came up and started fighting for land ownership. This led to the pushing of the pygmies to the forest parts of West Africa. They got displaces by other tribes which later established their kingdoms in the area. Such are the kingdoms we see today like the Kongo and the Teke in the Congo River Basin. It was all about dominating fertile land for the coming generations.


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