image from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
This is the some of the info that I wrote with my nephew to study history and clulture in Africa before the slave trade became dominant. This info is on East Africa. I really enjoyed this study, and thought that you might like to see it!
East Africa has been greatly influenced by trade over the oceans. They have adapted to crops from Malaysia over generations to include bananas, yams, and some types of coconuts. Sadly, slaves were traded with many other nations and communities. Arab traders swarmed to East Africa between 1000 and 1300, setting up business along the ocean shore, and the trade routes of the rivers. The Arabs brought axes, glass, and wheat to trade for ivory, cinnamon, tortoise shells, rhinoceros horns, and palm oil. (The situation today about the slaughter of elephants and rhinoceros shows that this trade was not sustainable, much like the buffalo in the western USA in our history).
See full post here http://www.ibosocial.com/sallykwitt/pressrelease.aspx?prid=422134