All Saints Secondary School Oyigbo, Rivers State.
Topic : The Almoravids and the fall of old Ghana empire .
The Almoravids were the major external factor that contributed to the fall of old Ghana empire.
Who were the Almoravids?
The word ” Almoravid” is derived from the Arabic Al- Murabitin which means ” people of the monastery” . It was used to describe a fanatical sect of Muslims which sprang up in the North- Western region of the western Sudan in the 11th century.
The Almoravid movement was primarily a movement for the purification and spread of Islam by a holy war , or jihad.
Why did they invade Ghana?
The Almoravids had religious, commercial and political motives for the invasion of Ghana.
- The Almoravids invaded Ghana because it was a pagan kingdom and it’s king had resisted conversion to Islam. Though they tolerated Muslims living or trading in the empire.
- The Almoravids wanted to convert the Ghana emperor and his pagan subjects to Islam by conquest.
- The Almoravid Berbers wanted to regain control of the southern trans Saharan trade route which they lost when Audoghast, their principal caravan centre , was captured by Ghana in AD 990.
- The Almoravids were jealous of the prosperity of Ghana and so invaded that empire to acquire it’s wealth and take over it’s prosperous trade.
- The Almoravid Berbers wanted to put a halt to Ghana’s Northern expansion, which was a serious threat to their political Independence.
Effects of the Almoravids conquest of old Ghana empire
- The Almoravid conquest resulted in the disintegration of the empire.
- The Almoravids war aganist Ghana diverted both manpower and attention from the soil. Agriculture in the empire was thus neglected and ruined.
- The war caused a cessation of the trans Saharan trade. Since the Ghana emperor and his subjects were dependent on this trade for their wealth, they therefore became impoverished.
- The military defeats suffered by Ghana weakened the strength of it’s army and rendered it incapable of suppressing the rebellious vassal states.
- Following the Almoravid capture of kumbi Saleh in 1076, the Muslim merchants fled to walata in 1224 and established a new commercial centre.
- Mention and explain five factors that contributed to the decline and fall of the old Ghana empire.
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