Trade, Routes Trade, and Commerce in Pre-colonial Africa

  • Alberta O. Akrong
Part of the Gender, Development and Social Change book series (GDSC)


The continent of Africa cannot be discussed without mentioning its historical trade and trading activities. Trade has been and is still an integral part of the people of the land dating back to pre-colonial times and even to the period of medieval Europe. Trading activities were conducted both on land and by waterways, and these events contributed to making the continent accessible to reach resources—both human and material. Personally, I consider the development of the trade routes in particular a bane as much as they are a blessing to Africa for various reasons. I argue that though this historical pursuit seems to be the genesis to access creation into Africa’s hinterland and indeed supported livelihood creation, business and profit-making, commodity exchanges, settlements formation, and empire building on the one hand, on the other, they somehow facilitated to some extent the success of European domination of Africa. It was obvious that European success of penetration and eventual take-over of Africa were because they could easily access the trade route passes for the slave raid activities and raw materials collection to the trading ports for eventual shipment from out of the continent.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberta O. Akrong
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Art & SciencesMountcrest UniversityTorontoCanada

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