7 less-known ancient African civilisations that you might not find in colonisers’ books

Kanem-Bornu Empire

This empire was established soon after the collapse of the Assyrian Empire around 700 AD by the nomadic Tebu-speaking Kanembu who were forced down south in search of more fertile grounds. The empire existed between the modern day Libya, Chad, Niger and Nigeria and was known as one the longest lasting dynasties in African history existing from 700AD to about 1893.

The empire first existed as the Kanem Empire from 700- 1380 and later as the independent Bornu Empire from 1830-1893. The kingdom officially became the Kaname- Bornu empire in 1571 when king Idris Alum embarked on what is now known as one of the greatest political expansions. The kingdom replaced the Shongai empire as the leading power. The kingdom started to decline by the 17the century and saw a further decline by the 18th century as a result of political and administrative disorganisation and attacks by the Ouaddai Empire.


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