Africa to Modern Trade

Africa to Modern Trade

African trade is old as the world according to many historians. From all facts Africa has a strong part of great history of trade, unfortunately the growth of trade is not yet at the position considering the early traders like Mansa Mussa from Mali empire records, most cruel enterprise from around the world and within has been a big disruption to the growth of modern trade in this continent. Notwithstanding, the continent is timidly populated and naturally overflowing with mineral resources yet trade is not properly managed. History has this information to show according to most historians to remind us the people are willing but resource are not properly directed.

“Trade is believed to have taken place throughout much of recorded human history. There is evidence of the exchange of obsidian and flint during the Stone Age. Materials used for creating jewelry were traded with Egypt since 3000 BCE. Long-range trade routes first appeared in the 3rd millennium BCE, when Sumerians in Mesopotamia traded with the Harappa civilization of the Indus Valley.
The market place
Trade provides mankind’s most significant meeting place, the market. In primitive societies only religious events – cult rituals, or rites of passage such as marriage – bring people together in a comparable way. But in these cases the participants are already linked, by custom or kinship.

The process of barter brings a crowd together in a more random fashion. New ideas, along with precious artifacts, have always travelled along trade routes. And the natural week, the shared rhythm of a community, has frequently been the space between market days.

Agricultural produce and everyday household goods tend to make short journeys to and from a local market. Trade in a grander sense, between distant places, is a different matter. It involves entrepreneurs and middlemen, people willing to accept delay and risk in the hope of a large profit. The archive found at Ebla gives a glimpse of an early trading city, from the middle of the third millennium BC.

When travel is slow and dangerous, the trader’s commodities must be as nearly as possible imperishable; and they must be valuable in relation to their size. Spices fit the bill. So do rich textiles. And, above all, precious ornaments of silver and gold, or useful items in copper, bronze or iron.

As the most valuable of commodities (in addition to being compact and easily portable), metals are a great incentive to trade. The extensive deposits of copper on Cyprus bring the island much wealth from about 3000 BC (Cyprus, in Latin, gives copper its name – cyprium corrupted to cuprum).

Later, when the much scarcer commodity of tin is required to make bronze, even distant Cornwall becomes – by the first millennium BC – a major supplier of the needs of Bronze Age Europe.”
Insight by Kenneth Unigwe