Investigating West Africa

Use this WebQuest to gather information about West Africa, early trade, and SALT!


We need to answer the following:

  • What were West Africa’s main products of trade?

  • What were the major trade routes in this region?

  • How did the kingdom of Ghana become very wealthy?

  • What is Islam, and why did it spread across Africa?

  • How did Muslim merchants influence the development of trade in West Africa?

  • What are the main uses of salt?

  • What are two ways of obtaining salt in the Sahara?

  • Who mined the salt in ancient times?

  • What are some of the other products traded in Ghana?

  • How did the ruler of Ghana make a big profit?

  • Define the words Islam and Muslim.

  • Who was Muhammed?

  • What is the Qur’an?

  • What is a mosque?

  • Where is Mecca, and why is its importance to Islam?

  • (Find this information on your own!) What does the word Qur’an mean?  What are the teachings of the Qur’an? What is the Ka’ba? Who is a caliphs?

  • Why did people in the north want the African gold?

  • Did Islam coexist peacefully with local tribal religions? How do you think Muslims in other parts of the world might have thought about this?

  • Could there have been pressure for the African rulers to convert?