Strong kingdoms also arose in other parts of Africa. Great Zimbabwe, for example, was a powerful kingdom in southern Africa. Great Zimbabwe was founded in the late 1000s as a small trading and herding center.
1st Jan, 1150
(Zimbawe) Great Zimbawe Trading
Gold mining increased in the area in the 1100s. Farming expanded and the kingdom’s population grew. In time, Great Zimbabwe became the center of a large trading network
1st Jan, 1230
(Mali) Sundiata Conquered
In 1230 Sundiata built up an army and won back his country’s independence. He then conquered nearby kingdoms, including Ghana, in the 1230s.
1st Jan, 1235
(Mali) Sundiata Made a New Crop
Sundiata introduced a new crop cotton. From the cotton fibers people made clothing that was comfortable in the warm climate. They also sold cotton to other people.
1st Jan, 1255
(Mali) Sundiata Died
Sundiata died in 1255. Later rulers of Mali took the title of mansa. Unlike Sundiata, most of these rulers were Muslims.
1st Jan, 1301
(Mali) Mansa Musa Succeeds
Under skillful leadership, Mali reached the height of its wealth, power, and fame in the 1300s, with a leader named Mansa Musa.
1st Jan, 1320
(Mali) Mansa Musa Conquers Songhai Empire
In the 1300s Mansa Musa conquered the Songhai, adding their lands to his empire.
1st Jan, 1337
(Mali) Mansa Munsa Dies
When the great leader Mansa Munsa died his son took the throne.
1st Jan, 1338
(Mali) Maghan Takes The Throne Of His Father
When Mansa Musa died, his son Maghan took the throne. Maghan was a weak ruler.
1st Jan, 1410
(Zimbawe) Great Zimbawe Protecting Its Capital
Trade made Great Zimbabwe’s rulers wealthy and powerful. They built a huge stone walled fortress to protect their capital.
1st Jan, 1421
(Songhai) Empire Revelation
But as the Mali Empire weakened in the 1400s, the people of Songhai rebelled and regained their freedom.
1st Jan, 1431
(Mali) The Fall Of Mali
In 1431 the Tuareg nomads from the Sahara, seized Timbuktu. The people living at the edges of Mali’s empire broke away. By 1500 nearly all of the lands the empire had once ruled were lost. Only a small area of Mali remained.
1st Jan, 1444
(Songhai) Songhai Building An Empire
As the Songhai gained in wealth, they expanded their territory and built an empire.
1st Jan, 1464
(Songhai) Sunni Ali Taking The Power
Songhai’s expansion was led by Sunni Ali, who became ruler of the Songhai in 1464. Before he took over, the Songhai state had been disorganized.
1st Jan, 1492
(Songhai) Sunni Ali Died
He was followed as king by his son Sunni Baru, who was not a Muslim.
1st Jan, 1498
(Songhai) Revelation Against Sunni Baru
The Songhai people feared that if Sunni Baru didn’t support Islam, they would lose their trade with Muslim lands. They rebelled against the king.
1st Jan, 1498
(Songhai) Muhammad Ture Desition
The leader of that rebellion was a general named Muhammad Ture, After overthrowing Sunni Baru, Muhammad Ture chose the title askia, a title of high military rank. Eventually, he became known as Askia the Great.
(Songhai) Songhai Defends Their Natural Resources
Songhai Falls to Morocco a northern rival of Songhai, Morocco, wanted to gain control of Songhai’s salt mines. So the Moroccan army set out for the heart of Songhai in 1591.
(Songhai) Songhai Empire Falls
The Moroccans destroyed Timbuktu and Gao. Changes in trade patterns completed Songhai’s fall. Overland trade declined as port cities on the Atlantic coast became more important.