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Ancient History
Holy Men
Special Places
Winds of Change
Time line
Fulani Time Line

Fulani Chronology

6000 BC The River People emerge along Nile, Niger, and Congo Rivers (West-Central Africa); the Isonghee of Zaire (Republic of Congo) introduce mathematical abacus; and Cyclopean stone tombs built in Central African Republic area. Spread of agriculture south of the Sahara Desert supporting a growing population, which mastered animal domestication and agriculture, and forced the San groups into the less hospitable areas.
4000 BC Ancient African civilizations of the Nile Valley are established & flourish
300s AD
Empire of Ghana emerge (in present-day Mali)
400s AD
The Ghanaian empire becomes the most important power in West Africa
Fulani migrate southward from present day Morocco and Mauritania
610 AD
Beginning of Islam
639-641 AD
Khalif Omar conquers Egypt with Islamic troops
750 (circa) AD
Kingdom of Kangaba, from which the empire of Mali emerges, is founded (Present-day Mali). Songhai state emerges (Present-day Mali)
800 (circa): AD
Kingdom of Kanem emerges (present-day Lake Chad region)
800s AD
Tekruur founded (Present-day Senegal)
1000s AD
Kingdoms of Tekruur and Gao flourish in West Africa due to gold trade
1050 AD
Islam introduced to West-Africa
1050-1146 AD Almoravids, Berber/Fulani Muslims from Southern Mauritania/ Northern Senegal , take over Morocco, Algeria, and part of Muslim Spain; they invade Ghana in 1076, and establish power there.
1062 AD Almoravids found capital at Marrakech
1100 AD Ghana empire in West Africa declines
1147 AD Almohads, Berber Muslims opposed to Almoravids, seize Marrakech and go on to conquer Almoravid Spain, Algeria, and Tripoli
c.1150AD Empire of Ghana at its height
1230 Kanem at its height
1235 Great warrior leader Sun Diata founds Mali empire in Present-day Mali West Africa; it expands under his rule
1240 (circa) Mali absorbs Ghana and Songhai
1250 (circa) Tekruur absorbed by Mali
1324 Emperor of Mali, Mansa Kankan Musa, goes on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Arabia
1325 (Circa) Empire of Mali at its height

1340 Songhai independent from Mali
1352 Ibn Battuta, Berber scholar, travels across Africa and writes an account of all he sees
1386 State of Bornu established (present-day Lake Chad region)
1400s Wolof Empire founded (Present day Senegal)

1420s Portuguese sailors begin to explore west coast of Africa
1439 Portugal takes the Azores and increases expeditions along northwest African coast, eventually reaching the Gold Coast (modern Ghana).
1441 Beginning of European slave trade in Africa with first shipment of African slaves sent directly from Africa to Portugal.

c.1450 Nomadic Kunta Arabs began to preach and spread mystic Sufi Islam throughout the western Sudan. The Fulani, a nomadic pastoral people, moving slowly eastward from Senegal, also gain converts for Islam through mid-16th century.
1462 Sonni Ali becomes ruler of the Songhai and goes on to build an empire
1490(circa) Mali eclipsed by Songhai Empire
1500s Songhai empire in West Africa enters period of greatest expansion and power under Askia Mohammed Toure
1510 Start of Atlantic Slave Trade
1515 (circa) Songhai at its Height
1526 Bornu controls Kanem
1550 (circa) Wolof Empire dissolved. Mali ceases to exist
1560s First Portuguese embassies in Timbuktu, West Africa
1562 Britain begins its slave trade in Africa. Slave Trade increases significantly with development of plantation colonies of the Americas, especially in Brazil. Other countries involved in the European slave trade included Spain (from 1479); North America (from 1619); Holland (from 1625); France (from 1642); Sweden (from 1647); and Denmark (from 1697).

1590 Songhai defeated by Moroccans
1591 Kanem-Burnu at greatest extent
1670 Fulani people gain control of Bhundu in Senegal with Malick Sy,and Sissibhe
1670 French settle in Senegal
1650 Fulani migrate into Fuuta Tooro and Fuuta Jalon
1673 Unsuccessful Fulani Holy war in Fuuta Tooro
1725 First successful Fulani holy war in Fuuta Jalon
c1775. Fulani Muslim cleric Alfa Ibrahim appointed Commander of the Faithful in Fuuta Jalon in West Africa
1725 Second successful Holy war launched in Futa Toro
18th Century Between 1450 and 1850, at least 12 million Africans were shipped from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean--the notorious "Middle Passage"--primarily to colonies in North America, South America, and the West Indies. 80% of these kidnapped Africans (or at least 7 million) were exported during the 18th century, with a mortality rate of probably 10-20% on the ships enroute for the Americas.

1832-3 British abolish slavery in West Indies.
1863 Emancipation of slaves in the United States in midst of Civil War.
1800 Fulani Islamic Holy war : States of Futa Toro, Futa Djallon, Wuli and Bhundu in existence
1804-1809 Fulani Holy war in Haussaland led by Usman Dan Fodio; Sokoto Khaliphate established
1804- 1809 Haussa states defeated by Fulani Holy war. Sokoto Caliphate founded by Fulani (Present-day Nigeria)
c.1820 Fulani emirate founded in Adamawa, West Africa

1820 Fulani in Mali, West Africa, found and rule Hamdallahi caliphate
1827 Independent Islamic state of Massina Eshtablished
1830 Sokoto Khaliphate reaches the greatest extent
1852 Fulani leader al-Hajj 'Umar launches holy war along Senegal and upper Niger rivers to establish Islamic state
1862 Macina conquered by Fulanis from Fuuta Tooro
1863 El-Hajj 'Umar takes Timbuktu
1870s-1880s Second Mandinka Empire established (Present-day Senegal) as successor to the Empire of Mali
1871-1912 Global European Imperialism at its height: The "scramble for Africa" proceeds.
1879 Rabi B. Fadl Allah begin to build Empire (Present-day Chad/Nigeria)
1880s (circa) European imperial scramble for Africa begins
1884-5 Berlin Conference: Intense rivalries among Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and Portugal for additional African territory, and the ill-defined boundaries of their various holdings, instigate the Berlin conference.
1893 Kanem-Bornu defeated by Rabih b. fadl Allah

1893 French defeat Fuuta Tooro Empire
1895 France forms federation of colonies that become French West Africa.
1903 British conquered the Sokoto Caliphate
1904 French create federation of French West Africa
1914-1918 West-Africa troops fight on both side in World War I.
1920s Pan-Africanism and the Diaspora. Pan-Africanist ideas of unity, shared identity and roots among Africans and their descendents of the Diaspora* .
1920 Pan-African Congresses meet in Paris, fueled by anti-colonial unrest and African nationalism esp. among black missionary- and Western-educated elites. This unrest is expressed in strikes in Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast, and Nigeria of British West Africa
1930s Negritude, a French-language literary movement, began in 1930s Paris of modernism, surrealism, and jazz among French colonial subjects most in Paris to finish their educations. Leopold Sedar Senghor, was a leader and militant communicator of the concept of Negritude, Poets Leon-Gontran Damas, Birago Diop, David Diop, and Martinique-born Aime Cesaire also associated with the movement
1950s Cheich Hamidou kane (Senegal) , with Ambiguous Advanture, and Camara Laye (Guinea) alomg with Cameroon's Mongo Beti and Ferdinand Oyono are remarkable writers on cultural chocks and psychological insights resulting from the influence of colonization.
1939-1945 West-African troops fight on allied side in World War II

1950:-1970 West-African Nations become independent from European Colonial rules
1960s-1980s Recurring drought causes famine in Sahelian countries
1963 Organization of African Unity founded
1974 Nigeria becomes leading oil producer in Africa
1976 Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal, 1923-1986), publishes the influential and controversial book, The African Origin of Civilization.
1990 Dramatic freeing of long-time black political prisoner Nelson Mandela by Afrikaner President de Klerk in South Africa.
1994 Wide spread unrest and economic hardship in Francophone countries after CFA franc is devaluated.
2001 The African Union (AU) replaces the Organization of African Unity (OAU) after 38 years in existence.

Time Line Charts

Africa in Antiquity, 500 B.C. - 400 A.D.

Nok Culture 500 B.C.-200 A.D.

Africa in the Middle Ages

7th-13th c
Tekruur9th-16th c.   Almoravids11th-12th c. Kanem-Bornu11th- 12th c.

13th- 16th Century

Mali 13th-16th c. Songhay 15th-16th c.

17th- 18th Century

Fuuta Tooro 1770-1900 Bhundu17th- 19th c. Fuuta Jalon 1725-1899 Massina1818-1853 Segou 1650-1818 Kaarta 1753-1893

19th Century


Adamawa19th-20th c. Ashanti 17th c.-1901 Liberia 1821-1847 Sierra Leone 1808-1880

Colonial Period & Independence

Niger since 1960
Nigeria since 1960 CameroonSince 1960 Dahomey/Benin since 1960 Togo since 1960 Burkina Faso
since 1960


Ghana since 1957
Cote D'Ivoire
since 1960

Mali since 1960 Chad
Since 1960

Sierra Leone since 1961 Guinea
since 1958


Guinea Bissau since 1975
Cape Verde since 1975
Senegal since 1960 Chad
Since 1960

Gambia since 1965 Mauritania since 1965