The Sunjata And The Mali Empire In Northern Africa

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Under the great leadership of Sunjata, the Mali Empire was established and grew from a pigmy to a giant in Northern Africa. Similar to other empires, the Mali Empire expanded its territories during the reigns of its various rulers from the forest of south-west region to the Songhay capital of Gao on the east of the middle Niger bend. The empire also pushed its boarder lines to the area in the south including cities such as Bure and Bambuk. Eventually, the empire’s influence reached to the south from where important cities including Walata and Tadmekka were located. [1] With its immensely territorial expansion, the Mali Empire eclipsed the glory of the Ghana Empire and integrated with the Old World. [2] As Iliffe points out that the creation…show more content…
As such, the empire could remain unified and avoid bloodshed among tribes. [6] Being a political and military strategist, Sunjata divided into provinces headed by a governor and his empire was ruled according to laws and codes of conduct, from which a social and political structure was organized based on justice, equality, generosity, magnanimity, and tolerance. Compared to the European nations fighting in feudal wars, the Mali Empire was quite advanced at the time. [7] Ibn Batuta, an Arabic scholar of Berber, highly praised the social justice in the…show more content…
The empire lacked a long-lasting political system to solve the succession problem. Unfortunately, the prosperity of the empire solely depended on the leadership of the rulers. If the empire had a competent leader, it thrived and vice versa. Any empire built on such personal charisma was actually vulnerable to instability and internal political strife in the empire. Moreover, despite the fact that the Mali rulers divided the empire into different regions governed by appointed governors, the Mali Empire did not come up with an effective means to manage its vassals. With its expansive territories, the empire constantly faced serious challenges to maintain friendly relations with its subordinates eager to build their own kingdoms. It cost a fortune to maintain the stability of the empire with its army. Third, the generals posed great threats to the empire. As an eternal truth proves that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, the empire faced the threats of its ambitious generals while they conquered and expanded its territories. As history indicates, these factors made the fall of the Mali Empire inevitable.

Although it faded as inevitably as other empires, the Mali Empire developed a great civilization in West Africa and fostered the development of economic, social, political, trade and economic systems that epitomized the glorious past of Africa. Contrary to what Henry Stanley portrayed, the

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