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Trade - History Form 2


Introduction

In this lesson, we are going to learn about trade.Trade is the buying and selling of goods and services for mutual benefit. Trade is also called commerce or transaction. A place where trade takes place a market.

Picture of a market place where buying and selling are taking place

Background Information

View the animation provided and identify the activities taking place. Answer the questions guided by the video provided.


Background Information

In our previous lesson we defined the term trade and discussed the various methods of trade.

Trade is the buying and selling of goods and services for mutual benefit.

The methods of trade are barter and currency.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of the lesson you should be able to:-

 Identify types of trade
 Discuss the origin, development and organization of the trans-Saharan trade
 Discuss the impact of the trans- Saharan trade




Local Trade

Local trade is the the exchange of goods among people within the same geographical area.

A person displays her trade items


Types of trade

There are three types of trade, namely local, regional and international. We are going to briefly define each one of them.

Regional trade

This is trade between two or more geographical regions within the same continent.

International trade

International trade is the trade between different countries in one continent and even beyond the continent.

Trans Saharan trade

We are now going to learn about the Trans Saharan trade which was between North and West africa. This was the trade between the people of West Africa and those of North Africa across the Sahara desert. It is believed to have been in existence from 1000 B.C until the 16th Century.

Develoment of Trans-Saharan Trade.

Various factors facilitated the development of the trans saharan Trade.These were:-

  • Availability of trade goods such as gold and salt
  • Presence of oases that provided water

Animation of camels taking water from an oasis


  • The Tuaregs in the desert provided security to the traders and acted as guides
  • Existence of well established trade routes
  • High demand for goods in both regions
  • Introduction of the camel as a means of transport.
  • Existence of powerful kings in West Africa who provided security for example Mansa Musa of Mali

Illustration of a king in the Western Africa


Develoment of Trans-Saharan Trade.

Various factors facilitated the development of the trans saharan Trade.These were:-

  • Availability of trade goods such as gold and salt
  • Presence of oases that provided water


  • The Tuaregs in the desert provided security to the traders and acted as guides
  • Existence of well established trade routes
  • High demand for goods in both regions
  • Introduction of the camel as a means of transport.
  • Existence of powerful kings in West Africa who provided security for example Mansa Musa of Mali


Develoment of Trans-Saharan Trade.

Various factors facilitated the development of the trans saharan Trade.These were:-

  • Availability of trade goods such as gold and salt
  • Presence of oases that provided water


  • The Tuaregs in the desert provided security to the traders and acted as guides
  • Existence of well established trade routes
  • High demand for goods in both regions
  • Introduction of the camel as a means of transport.
  • Existence of powerful kings in West Africa who provided security for example Mansa Musa of Mali


Organization of Trans-Saharan Trade

The people involved in this trade from North Africa were the Barbers and Arabs who initiated and financed the trade. Traders moved in caravans across the Sahara to and from West Africa and were provided with security by the Tuaregs.

 


The goods from North Africa included salt, iron tools, weapons, silk, beads, horses and cowrie shells. The most important commodity from the North was salt. While those from West Africa, were gold, slaves, ivory, gum, kola nuts, hides and skins and ostrich feathers. The most important commodity from west Africa was gold. Click on the play button to view the trade commodities.


There were three major routes namely Western, Central and Eastern. The map provided shows these trade routes.


Impact of the Trans Saharan trade

The Trans saharan trade affected the people of west Africa in Many ways.These were;
1. Establishment of empires and kingdoms for example Ghana, Mali and Songhai.
2. Slave trade led to depopulation, insecurity and misery.
3. Development of urban centres such as Gao, Kano, Jenne, Walata and Timbuctu
4. Intermarriage between the people from the North and those from the West Africa.
5. Spread of Islam and erosion of pre-existing culture

Photograph of a mosque

Challenges of Trans Saharan Trade

The Trans Saharan traders were faced with various challenges. They included; Long and tiring journey in the desert,scarcity of resources and extreme weather condition. Sometimes it would be extremely hot during the day and extremely cold in the night. At the same time, the Tuaregs changed their role from guiding to attacking the traders. The traders were also attacked by the desert creatures such as scorpions and snakes.Language barrier and Sand storm that sometimes buried the traders were other challenges that they faced.

Animation of a sandstorm

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