There is a state system in Africa when the Europeans get that that is pretty strong. There were three major empires in this part of Africa- Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. Ghana was the oldest and the smallest, but it was still huge. It would be mostly subsumed within the empire of Mali, and the by Songhai. The wealth of Ghana depended on the trade of salt an goal. Mali was founded by the famous rule Sundiata. He was an empire rule. He is also celebrated in the epic poem. He also organized the society of Mali by dividing it up by clans. In Mali, the belief is that Sundiata is the reason some families practiced one trade and other families practiced others. Another imported ruler in Mali was Mansa Musa. He was very powerful and very wealthy. He made his pilgrimage to Mecca. The greatest ruler in Songhai was Askia the Great- he was a patron of intellectuals, a patron of writers. The kingdom of the Kongo was a monarchy important to the slave trade. It is a powerful state, but not as wealthy or as cohesive as Ghana, Mali, or Songhai. The Great Zimbabwe was pretty much the capital city. The stretch of land on the east of Africa is sometimes geographically called the Zanj. It is not a single state- it is instead a series of independent city-states.