The Fall of African Kingdoms


The African continent is a land of rich history and under its soil, there are greater mysteries that researchers haven’t solved. The continent is famous for its great Kingdoms that powerful kings and queens ruled. There are also stories of great legendary cities in Africa. People know Africa to be the greatest continent for its vast wealth in natural resources. The African Kingdoms were powerful.


However, the African continent seems to have fallen despite its glorious history. Researchers say some reasons the continent fell are desertification, human error, and religion. Others include globally desired natural resources and great African diversity. Diversity is a good thing, but when it comes to African history, it is quite a bad thing. It is because of this diversity that made the African continent to fail in unifying everyone into one homogeneous group.


Apart from the entire continent falling, the great African Kingdoms also collapsed because of various reasons such as ethnic attacks. These attacks weakened kingdoms, leaving them to more harm from enemies. Here, we will discuss how some of the greatest empires in the African region fell.


#1 Ghana Empire

The Ghana Empire is also known as the Wagadou empire. It was a West African kingdom found in southeastern Mauritania and western Mali. The Ghana Kingdom grew wealthy from the trans-Saharan trade in salt and gold, allowing for bigger urban centers to grow.


#2 The Decline of the Ghana Empire

Archaeologists say that it is challenging to know when and how this empire fell. It seems that Ghana collapsed when the Almoravid movement sacked it in 1076. The Ghanaians resisted attack for more than 6 years. The other theory supporting the empire’s fall is on the basis of trade. It looks like traders started to locate other routes for trade that gave them access to the kingdom’s goods. Therefore, the merchants and travelers did not have to go via the Wagadou Empire again.


As the kingdoms fell, it eventually became a vassal of the rising Mali Kingdom in the 13th century.


#3 The Mali Empire

The Mali Kingdom was a Kingdom in the western region of Africa, and its founder is known as Sundiata Keita. People in the kingdom spoke the Manding languages. The Empire was the biggest in West Africa and influenced the way of life of the region through its language. After the death of Sundiata Keita, people referred to the rulers of Mali by the title of Mansa.


#4 The Collapse

The Mandinka are the ones who destroyed the kingdom. Mahmud Keita IV died, and he had over 2 sons who combated over Manden’s remains. There is no Keita whoever led Manden after Mahmud’s death, causing the end of the Mali Kingdom. The Kingdom might have also collapsed due to civil unrest and the rise of the Songhai kingdom.


#5 The Songhai Empire

The Songhai Kingdom was a state that controlled the western part of Sahel. The most vital cities in the Kingdom were Djenne and Timbuktu. The Sonni dynasty led the Kingdom initially, but the Askia dynasty substituted it.

#6 The Decline, Fall, and Defeat of the Songhai Empire

Askia’s successors’ coups forced the Kingdom into an era of instability and fall. The relatives of Askia wanted to rule the Kingdom but civil wars in the kingdom ensured the kingdom’s continued fall. In 1590, Ahmad al-Mansur took advantage of the civil unrest in the Kingdom and sent an army to conquer Songhai and manage the Trans-Saharan trade ways. Al-Mansur was a Moroccan sultan.


#7 The Empire of Kongo

The Empire of Kongo was an empire found in the central region of Africa. The Empire comprised various core provinces in which the Manikongo ruled.


#8 The Collapse of the Kongo Empire

The reason as to why the Empire fell is quite complex. However, African history tries to explain to us why the Kongo Kingdom collapsed. About King Mvemba Nzinga, we can tell why Kongo declined. King Mvemba is the 6th ruler of the Kongo Empire. He is one of the rulers who loved foreign goods and services at the expense of his people’s security.


The king converted to Christianity and was very enthusiastic about his newfound faith. This made the Portuguese thrilled as they had an African ruler whom they could manipulate. Later on, the Portuguese started acting strangely, and this confused the king as he wondered why they would take his people into slavery.


#9 Why did the Kingdom of Zimbabwe Fall

There are various causes for the fall of the city of Great Zimbabwe. Some of these causes are decline or loss of trade, exhaustion of gold mines, and political instability just like other empires.


#10 Reasons the Oyo Empire Collapsed

The kingdom was a Yoruba empire. Records say that the empire might have fallen due to the lack of a strong army. Besides, it faced constitutional issues and civil unrest which began from Aole’s reign.


As modern Africans, we need to learn from our past mistakes and take necessary actions to remedy our continent’s problems.



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