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Describe the Organization of the Trans Saharan trade

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  • It involved traders from North Africa and people of North Africa and people of West Africa.
  • The people involved were Arabs and Berbers from the North, Tuaregs from the desert and the people of West Africa.
  • Arabs in the North organized the caravans. Preparations were made in advance to have enough goods, food especially indigenous foods.
  • Departure dates were set after the end of the rainy season when the storms were minimal.
  • The Berbers and Tauregs acted as guides and provided security in the desert.
  • The traders moved in caravans of up 1000 camels for security in the desert.
  • In the south the traders stayed for up to three months selling goods.
  • If they had not finished selling the goods by the end of the tree months they hired local agents to continue selling goods and buying others on their behalf.
  • The local agents also maintained good relations with local rulers by giving them gifts and paying tribute.
  • In return the local rulers offered security to the traders. They also regulated the precaution and supply of gold.
  • From the North they brought salt, copper, needles, spices, beds, grass ware horses, clothes , daggers, firearms e.t.c.
  • There were several trade routes that were used by the traders e.g. the Western route, central and eastern route.
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