Sahelian Trading Routes
Trade routes played an essential role when considering development in the Sahel region, given that states in the area have thrived as a consequence of supporting these respective routes. Slave trade with Islamic states was especially significant in the development of states in the Sahel region. Trading across the continent facilitated the wellbeing of individuals living in Sahel and thus created an intriguing contrast between these states and other nations living in the upper and lower Saharan areas.
Trans-Saharan trade occurred as early as the Roman Empire and it was actually one of the reasons why the Romans were able to continue to support the Empire. "In large measure, the prosperity of Carthage in Roman times was due to its control of the trans-Saharan trade routes, through which it received ivory, gold, and slaves" (Anton). Even though the Muslims destroyed Carthage and were partly responsible for the fall of the last thriving city in the Roman Empire, they did not ignore the area's great potential. Conditions in Sahel continued to improve consequent to the eight century Mahommedan expansion to Maghreb. Moors and Moroccans focused on taking control of all trade routes reaching the heart of Africa and traversing the continent. This resulted in large amounts of resources reaching the hands of Sahelian kings and thus making it possible for their kingdoms to expand at a rapid rate.
The tens of thousands of African states in pre colonial