The Fall Of Ghana Empire



In spite of its economic prosperity, however, Ghana’s ascendancy in the Western Sudan came to an end before the close of eleventh century. The strength of Ghana was seriously weakened and despite some recovery in the twelfth century, the Empire was finally destroyed at the beginning of the thirteenth century.


Thw following are the major reasons for the fall of the Ghana Empire.

1. Internal Weakness: The empire was composed of people speaking many different languages and possessed no political, linguistic or cultural unity. There were also difficulties of ruling large areas without the help of modern method of communication. Some major conquered states (e.g. Tekrur, Teaniaya) were left under their own traditional rulers and were always ready to fight to regain their independence. Whenever the central authority is weakened, the distant provinces would take authority to break free.

2. The Almoravid Attack : The Almoravid attack in the middle of the eleventh century causes several distant territories to break free. The Soninke and the Berbers from the desert had long history of rivalries over control of the trade routes. One of the major propelling passions for the attack was to spread Islamic religion in Ghana and also take over trade routes.

3. War (1200 – 1235 A.D): By 1200, Kaniaya, formally a vassal state of Ghana, had developed into a strong, independent Susu kingdom, ruled by Sumanguru. In 1203 A.D, the ruler defeated what was left of Ghana and the merchants and scholars of Kumbi Selah fied for safety to a new town at Walata. In 1235 A.D Sumanguru was defeated by Sundiata, ruler of another of Ghana former vassals, Kangaba, out of which was to grow the empire of Mali.

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