Five Most Powerful Kingdoms/Empires In Ancient Africa

The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II

In past times, Africa has been seen as one of the richest parts of the world. Many people say Africa is rich as a result of the abundance of natural resources.

Well, not only the natural resources make Africa rich but the Kingdoms that protect Africa also make her rich. There are many Kingdoms in Africa that have helped the growth of Africa but the ones listed below were powerful enough to keep Africa’s name. Follow up as I take you through the Top Five Powerful Kingdoms in Africa;


The Mali Empire is also known to have been one of the world’s greatest supplier of gold in the old times.

They mined the gold themselves from mines and supplied it to different parts of the world thus making other countries outside Africa see the beauty and riches in her land. The Mali Empire at the time where they supplied gold in mass amounts was ruled by Mansa Kankan Musa. He was a famous ruler who helped Mali to gain a lot of wealth. The Mali Empire spread its language and culture along the Niger River. Mali Empire started to weaken in the 15th century and by the 16th century, they were not as industrious as they used to be. And this was because of the emergence of the French.

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Ethiopia is one of the African Empires that have lasted long. According to records the Ethiopians were very strong people and fought to keep their land during the scramble for Africa by the Europeans. It is said that the Europeans wanted to rule and control the black people which some succeeded. The first people to attack the Ethiopians were the Italians. It is also recorded that after the first Italo- Ethiopian war the Ethiopians won but were soon defeated after the second Italio-Ethiopian war and the monarchy system was abolished in 1974. They were also said to trade in ivory, tortoiseshell, gold, and emeralds and also imported silk and spice. They did their trading activities with the Indians and the Mediterranean.


The Benin Empire was one of the developed empires until the emergence of the Portuguese. They were said to be carvers and made totems from ivory, iron, and bronze. The Benin people had a very good trading relationship with the Portuguese. They exchanged some products for Manilla.

This was until the Portuguese claimed sovereignty of Benin because of their wealth in Ivory and Bronze. In 1897 the British army invaded the kingdom and they destroyed the King’s Palace and captured him. Prior to that time, it was also said that Benin became more powerful when they conquered their neighbours to control the supply of goods traded with the Europeans along the coastal line.

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Democratic of Congo and the Republic of Congo formed part of the Kingdom of Kongo. The kingdom of Kongo was powerful for its trade routes and dealings in pottery, copper, and ivory. They were said to have been very good potters which earned them money and power too. The kingdom of Kongo was separated after the coming of the Europeans who divided powers separating the Republic of Congo and the Democratic of Congo. They were also known to be powerful in their want to stop slavery.


The Songhai Empire was said to be one of the powerful empires in Africa. They were known to be powerful for their learning centre which was in Timbuktu. Learned people and skilled workers came there from places far and near to study and work. It was said to rise after the fall of the Mali Empire. It was also said to control a lot of the trans-Saharan trade routes.


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