Why were the Bantu important connectors of African cultures?
A: The Bantu are tribes of Africans that migrated gradually from West African to the
boundary which is now Nigeria and Cameroon. Historians believe that as they moved
towards central, eastern and southern Africa they spread their knowledge and skills of
farming , ironworking, and a set of customs and languages.

What explains North Africa's relative isolation prior to the arrival of Islam?
A: Before Islam, North Africa was isolated. They were isolated due to Germanic Europe or
because of the Byzantine Empire. The Berbers who lived in North Africa scorned outsiders
because they perused their own heritage.

What made the trans-Saharan trade so important to Africa?
A: The trans- Saharan trade route was very significant and important to Africa. Trade
connected West Africa to Southwest Asia. As trade flourished so did Islam and it influenced
West Africa profoundly. The trans-Saharan trade urbanized West Africa.

How did the trans-Saharan trade impact the African slave market?
A: The trans-Saharan trade was not exclusively racial. Whites and blacks were captured in
war and sold. But because there were no white people in West Africa, many of the salves
were black. The slaves were sold to owners in Spain and Portugal during the medieval era,
but it never spread across Europe. It was very much practiced in the Islamic lands.

What factors helped Ethiopia resist the spread of Islam?
A: Muhammad's followers who fled to Mecca arrived in Axum, and with their arrival
Axum's relations with Arabia and Muhammad was informed of Ethiopian friendship. The
Prophet instructed Muslims not to attempt conversion. Along with that, Ethiopian military,
and naval strength made it a discouraging target for invasion.

In what ways did East African and West African societies differ?
A: The Bantu tribe influenced Eastern and Western Africa, but they evolved in different
ways . They differed more than they were the same. Their economic structure, political
systems , commercial relations. Contact with non-Africa cultures all differed.

What was the impact of the Bantu on Central and Southern Africa?
A: Farm ing and herding came to this region with the Bant u. Linguistic evidence indi cates
that people speaking Bantu languages migrated o ut of West African savannas and into
Central Africa. The Bantu brought herds of livestock, iron-making sk ills, and experience in
raising crops such as millet and yams, which unfortunately did n ot grow as well in the
tropical forests as they did in the savanna. The Bantu arrived in the south in the eighth
century C.E., bringi ng with them their knowledge of ironworking and their agricultural skills.
They developed a society in relative isolation.

What were the key points of divergence between the societies of East and West Africa?
A : . West African trade was land based, traversing the Sahara, while East Africa used the
Indian Ocean ch arted and easily navigable as a commercial highway. In West Africa, this
inward-looking organizational structure led eventually to the creation of extensive empires
like Ghana, Mali, and Songhai . Each East African city-state, in contrast, had its own council,
headed by a king or sheikh, and was jealously protective of its own rights and distinctive
trading networks. While West African empires produced gold, salt, and copper, each East
African city-state developed a specialty.

9. How did isolation shape the development of central and southern Africa?
A: The Bantu arrived in the south bringing their knowledge of ironworking and their
agricultural skills. They developed a society in relative isolation. Southern Africa's
remoteness from Arabia and Europe protected it from invasion until the 16th century.
Beginning in the 12th century, governmental syste ms in southern Africa appear to have
become more sophisticated than those of their pred ecessors, characterized by more elaborate
social stratification and mining of gold and copper.