Factors for its growth.

  • Hard strong rulers that is kibugwa, katerregga and mutebi. (bunyore-kitara).
  • Had good, strong and able rulers in the 19th century, who were able to unite their people and restructure the existing administration system.
  • It was a small and compact kingdom which was to hold together.
  • It enjoyed strategic, social and political advantages like geographically it lies next to l. Victoria with good means of internal communication and natural defence against neighbours.
  • It also traded with waswahili and Arab traders for commodities like plates, cups, saucers and glassware which lead to arms acquirement.
  • It also enjoyed good climate with ample rainfall for the growth of bananas which was stable food.
  • It had good security which made it concentrated on political organization.
  • It had a strong army which was loyal to the king as he appointed his own loyal chiefs with royal navy that kept guard over l. Victoria.
  • The ganda tradition also contributed to the growth of the kingdom, farming done by women, men in activities of politics, carpentry, war, bark-cloth making and smiting.
  • They also acquired a lot of wealth from areas she conquered like ivory, slaves, livestock and iron ore us it held the kingdom to be strong.
  • The centralized government that was introduced in Buganda enhanced her growth.
  • It had a centralized kingdom lead by kabaka who had absolute power and kabaka was hereditary upto his death and inherited by the son. Kabakas court was nerve centre and all symbols of royal authority were kept in court, like the throne (namulondo) royal drums, spears and stools.

Work of kabaka.

  • Head of traditional religion ( the lubaale)
  • Hard supernatural power.
  • He was judiciary head and final court of appeal.
  • He was the commander-in –chief of the armed forces.
  • He had a wife from every clan in the community.
  • He could appoint and transfer or dismiss whoever he wanted.
  • There were officials like queen mother and queen sister (ubanga), katikiro (prime minister), omulamuzi(chief justice), omuwanika (treasurer) and mugama( haeds of clans). Others were musenero( the chief butter) and mfumbiro( the chief baker).


  • He organised tax collections.
  • Planned wars in kabakas name.
  • Protected kabaka during war.
  • He was to inform the kabaka of the decisions he made on court issues.


  • It was an assembly of chiefs and kabaka had 69 members.
  • It was a law making body.
  • It was nominated by kabaka.

Had the following roles.

  • Advised kabaka mainly on matters affecting the country.
  • They represented the people’s concerns and needs to the kabaka.
  • Acted as final court of appeal in setting disputes.
  • They directed collection of taxes in the kingdom and planned expenditure.
  • They helped the kabaka in general administration.


  • They were minor chiefs in charge of clans and answerable to mugema.
  • They were guardians of the clans land.
  • They inherited their positions.
  • They collected tributes and maintained law and order.
  • They were rewarded land due to loyalty.
  • Their  sons appointed to serve the kabaka( bagalagala)

Political organization.

  • It was headed by kabaka(king) who was respected as the suprime judge.
  • The kingdom had counties called sazas lead by a saza chief.
  • The counties were sub-divided into sub-counties called gombolola.
  • The gombolola were divided into smaller divisions called miluka which were presided over by muluka chief.
  • Kabaka also appointed some leaders to govern the vassal states.
  • The kabaka was hereditary.
  • There were courts to judge and symbols in the kingdom.
  • Kabaka hard superhuman powers.

Social organization.

  • Thos was based on clans which had its own traditions.
  • They were divided into classes (4 classes).
  • They believed in supreme creator, katonda to whom the head of the homestead prayed every morning.
  • They believed in other gods, balubaale.
  • They had prophets who consulted balubaale.
  • They had royal shrines which opposite kabakas palace.

Economic organization.

  • It was based on the agriculture, peasants cultivated millet, sweet potatoes and vegetables.
  • The most important crop was banana.
  • There was also other economic activities like canoe building, bark-cloth manufacture, fishing, salt mining, herding, iron-working and basketry.
  • There was crop rotation system.
  • Trade had become very important economic activities and markets were a regular part of life.
  • There was foreign trade with Swahili and Arab traders.

Factors for the decline.

  • Kabaka mwanga was inconsistent and incompetent in policy making.
  • There were religious conflicts between the Christians, Muslims and traditionalist all who were competing for influence at the kabakas court.
  • The authority of the kabaka was undermined by the Christians court officials.
  • The kingdom came under British control after anglo-buganda agreement.
  • Daudi chwa being an infant could not exert his authority as king hence the kingdom was managed by the court officials collaborating with British.


They are the largest group of akan-speaking who make half of Ghana population. They migrated from the north between 1000AD and 1300AD, by the 16th century the akan had created states like denbyna, akwamu and fante.

The Asante kingdom emerged in the late 17th century occupying the central part of the present day Ghana. It grew so powerful that for the next two centuries it determined the politics and trade of the region.

Factors for growth of the Asante Empire.

  • The golden stool brought unity.
  • The 1st three rulers or asantehene were able, shrewd and courageous politicians. ( obiri yoboa, ose tutu and opuku ware).
  • The growth of the trans-Atlantic slave trade brought a lot of wealth.
  • Several city-states emerged around Kumasi and supported each other.
  • The kingdom also had a strong agricultural base.
  • The centralized political system under asantehene provided stability.
  • The Asante kingdom had a large efficient standing army used gun and gun powder.
  • The odwira festival that was held annually helped to make the state more cohesive.
  • The asante were barve and proud people and the need to free themselves from the oppressive rule of denkyria.

Political organization.

  • The Asante Empire was ruled by the asantehene with the advice of the confederacy or union council. State kings were called the omanhene.
  • The Asante had a centralized political system.
  • They had the nucleus of the Asante Empire was made of five city which were Kumasi, dwaben bekwel, kokofu and nsula.
  • The Asante Empire demonstrated highstandard of political organization.
  • The empire had three parts, Kumasi (metropolitan), amatro and provincial Asante.

Metropolitan Asante.

  • It was ruled directly by the asantehene as suprime authority.
  • The golden stool. It was introduced during the reign of osei tutu provided a solid base for unity among the Asante. A priest called okemfo anokye is credited as having intended the idea of the golden stool which came from the sky in 1695. It made the office of asantehene, which was considered sacred acceptable, it was a source of unity.
  • The government of the metropolitan Asante consisted of the confederacy council made up of kings (omanhene).

Work of omanhene.

  • Give the right of declaring war on other omanhene.
  • Recognize the right of asantehene to impose national levies, especially during wars and national calamities.
  • Attended the annual odwira festival, to pay allegiance to the asantehene, honour the dead and settle disputes.
  • Grand own subjects the right to appeal to the high court set up by the four unions in the capital.
  • Provincial Asante. These comprised of all the state conquered by the Asante in the 18th century.
  • These states pledged loyalty to the asantehene by paying taxes.
  • They also had members in the asantehens army.

Economic factors.

  • It was located in a rich area in terms of land fertility and rainfall.
  • It had Atlantic trade routes converged in this region.
  • It provided gold, slaves and ivory to the trans-Atlantic traders.
  • They also received cotton cloth, guns and gun powder.
  • The Asante also served as middlemen and carried goods from Cape Verde and Benin to the gold coast in exchange for gold and ivory.
  • Slaves became a very important item of trade.
  • Asante also kept livestock such as cattle.
  • Asante grew many crops in their rich agricultural land.
  • They practised iron working and made other crafts such as baskets and pots.

Social organization.

  • They are part of akan-speaking people.
  • They observed a forty-day calendar and had the same marriage and naming rites.
  • They had matrilineal taboo against marrying from within ones maternal or paternal clan.
  • They had odwira festivals.
  • They also had the golden stool ceremony.
  • There were also slaves who provided labour.
  • They also hard polygamous families.

Decline of the asante empire.

Internal factors.

  • Opuku ware, who was succeeded osei tutu in 1720, failed to incorporate the conquered areas in the Asante union as his predecessors had done.
  • After his death in 1750, there was no immediate personality to unify the empire after the death of opuku ware.
  • There followed a long period of rebellions after 1750.

External factors.

  • In 1896, the British occupied Asante and arrested the asantehene.
  • The traditional rivals of the Asante, the fante, enlisted the support of the British in a number of wars in the 19th century.
  • In 1894, the Asante were defeated. The subject states took advantage and broke away.


The shone are a bantu-speaking group that inhabited the high fertile plateau between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. This area is part of modern Zimbabwe.

Factors for the growth of shone kingdom.

  • The kingdom was situated in a region that was well endowed for cattle and crop-growing.
  • There was also development of trade.
  • There was able leadership by powerful kings.
  • The kingdom had a strong standing army which enabled her to conquer her neighbours.
  • There was availability of mineral resources such as gold and copper.
  • Religion brought unity to the kingdom whereby the king acted as the chief religious leader.
  • The shone acquired firearms through trade with the east African coast.

Political organization.

  • By the beginning of the 19th century, the shone did not have a strong centralized state.
  • They formed a confederation known as the Rozwi Empire.
  • The empire was headed by an emperor; the seat was hereditary which created unity in the empire.
  • The following helped the emperor run the state.
  • Queen mother, queen sister, kings nine wives, head door keeper, chief justice, military commander, head drummer and chief cook.
  • The title of the king was mwene mutapa and he was the chief religious authority.
  • Religion and politics were intertwined.
  • The spirits were believed to enhance peace and stability in the empire.
  • There was the royal fire. This was lit at the court of mwene mutapa and would not be allowed to go off or dwindle until the end of the king’s reign.
  • Each vessel chief carried a flame from this fire to his own chiefdom to demonstrate loyalty to mwene mutapa.
  • The empire was divided into provinces which were ruled by lesser chiefs.
  • The chiefs sent their sons yearly to pledge loyalty to the mwene mutapa.
  • The kingdom had a strong standing army.
  • Revenue from trade was used to run the empire and sustain the army.

Social organization.

  • The shone were polygamous and organized into clans.
  • They had a partrilineal inheritance system in their kinship.
  • They were influenced by religion.
  • The king was regarded as a divine king and was venerated.
  • The religion was based on the mwari cult. Who was supreme and creator.
  • Several priests led the people in worship of mwari.
  • They believed in the existence of ancestral spirits who acted as intermediaries between the people and God.
  • Work in shone community was communal and divided according to sex.
  • They lived in stone houses.
  • Their education was informal.

Economic organization.

  • They were mixed farmers.
  • They were hunters and gatherers.
  • They did fishing around river Zambezi.
  • They mined gold and copper.
  • Were iron workers.
  • Practised trade long distance with Arab – Swahili and Portuguese.
  • Made clothes from wild cotton and barks of trees.
  • Practised carving producing variety of items for decoration from ivory and soapstone.

The decline of the shone kingdom

  • The great Zimbabwe declined because of lack of salt and the trade routes that passed in the kingdom had shifted to north towards the Zambezi valley.
  • There was an increase in population which exerted pressure on land for cultivation and pasture.
  • King mutapa who succeeded mutota as king of mwene mutapa was not as powerful as his father.
  • The Portuguese presence in the kingdom resulted in chaos in the kingdom.
  • The Rozwi Empire was conquered by the Ndebele from South Africa who ruled the shone up to the time of the British invasion.
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