Africa Before European Arrival (Essay Sample)

Africa has always been said to be the cradle of mankind. The origin of man as he is known today has been traced back to the continent through the various archaeological finds, especially in East Africa. Civilization too, finds some of its traces from the same continent, as illustrated by the Egyptian civilization. Africa is the second largest continent in the world. Africa is broadly divided into five seasons defined fairly. Africa has varied climatic types, which are most conducive to settlement and agricultural activities. Vegetation found in Africa with favorable conditions forms habitats for most wild animals and insects. The population of Africa upholding their rich culture grows exponentially.

It is however the past that really bears the continent’s story. The period between the pre colonial and postcolonial times were the definitive ones for much of the continent. African continent had several forms of governments ranging from the most powerful empires to decentralized groups of hunters and pastoralists. Kingdoms acquired wealth from conquering lands thus creating a successful central government. African`s archaeological excavations in West Africa uncovered a sophisticated urban settlement. The ancient kingdom of Ghana flourished from as early as 8th century. The states of Mali and Senegal were governed by a confederation of states called the Mali Empire.

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the continent was abuzz with activities and rich culture. There was social organization through kingdoms such as the Buganda and Zulu. Africa had an extensive trading system. The trade flourished based on skilled manufacture dominated in West Africa. Muslims, Indians, Arabs, and Egyptians were the pioneers of the system. They traded in gold and salt, which helped economies prosper. Mali managed to possess great wealth because of the system. Ghana also was declared the land of gold thus debasing metallic value. The trans-Saharan trade flourished, with major cities emerging, such as Timbuktu in Mali. There were great empires along the trade routes too, which controlled and directly benefited from the trade. These included the Songhai and Mandinka empires.

The Africans had rich and diverse history and culture. Their political arrangements were widely varied including kingdoms, city-states, and small organizations with distinct languages. Every group adhered to the set communal rules. They carried themselves with dignity and performed assigned duties diligently. Any trespasser of the rules was ridiculed by the elders and had to face punishment. Indigenous places of worship were kept holy and preserved. Natural resources too, were protected, as was the case with most Southern African kingdoms.

Advanced technology, art, and learning flourished in Africa. Africans were skilled in medicine, mathematics, and astronomy. Egyptian doctors acquired an excellent reputation. They could stitch wounds, repair broken bones and used opium as painkillers. They devolved high-level mathematical skills in building pyramids and temples.   Africans were not only domestic artisans but also international where they made luxury items in bronze, gold, and ivory. African is also known for civilization. Egyptians made advancement in producing the early form of papers and written script.

Africa lavished in wealth because of integration and inter-state trade. Prosperity was contributed by the security in the region since there was no tolerance of injustice. People maintained their roles in the society, which also promoted success in the African empires. Good leadership experienced in Africa boosted the economy thus improving the living standards of the people. Diverse skills of the Africans have had great contributions to the success of African states. In a nutshell, Africa before European arrival was a great place to be.

related articles