West Africa is a hidden gem the world should focus on.
From the ancient Nok civilization and the Benin Empire to culturally diverse groups, here are some amazing facts to know about these groups of countries.
1. The Kingdom of Ghana/Ghanata/Wagadugu was one of the most powerful African empires for thousands of years.
It was one of the first of the great medieval trading empires of western Africa during the 7th–13th century and was situated between the Sahara and the headwaters of the Sénégal and Niger rivers. At that time it was far more developed than any European country.
2. The Nok Civilization is considered to be one of the most advanced ancient sub-Saharan civilizations in African history. Beginning sometime around 1500 BC and was largely concentrated in Nigeria. It produced some of the first sub-Saharan iron smelting and terracotta architecture. They mysteriously disappeared around 200 AD.
3. Mansa Musa I of Mali is the richest human being in all history. The 14th-century king was named the richest person in all history by the Celebrity Net Worth website.
Mansa Musa I ruled West Africa’s Malian Empire in the early 1300s, making his fortune by exploiting Mali’s salt and gold production.
4. West Africa is more culturally diverse than the whole of Asia. Nigeria alone has over 500+ languages. More languages are spoken in Taraba state than in 30 countries.
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5. Liberia is Africa's first independent country. It was found by freed American slaves when they started settling around 1820.
The country was declared independent in 1847 by the United States, thereby marking Liberia as Africa’s first independent republic. That's 101 years before India got free from British rule.
6. Sokoto Caliphate is an Islamic empire in Nigeria, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’adu Abubakar. Founded during the Fulani Jihad in the early 19th century, it was one of the most powerful empires in sub-Saharan Africa prior to European conquest and colonization. The caliphate remained extant through the colonial period and afterwards, though with reduced power.