- from African Kingdoms
Gold and salt helped build the kingdom of Ghana around A.D. 300.
It was the first of the great West African trading empires. It got rich thanks to its place on a trade route. That route brought salt from the Sahara to western Africa. It also brought gold from western Africa to North Africa and the Middle East. Arab traders crossed the Sahara to Ghana. They called the kingdom the “Land of Gold.” The king took taxes from merchants who came into his empire. They had to pay taxes on goods they sold and bought. The king also took all gold nuggets found in the kingdom. But he let traders keep gold dust they bought from the gold fields. This wealth let the kings build a strong army. Soldiers kept the trade route through Ghana safe.