Cotonou is the largest city and economic centre of Benin. Its official population count was 761,137 inhabitants in 2006; the population in 1960 was only 70,000. The urban area continues to expand, notably toward the west; the city lies in the southeast of the country, between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Nokoué. In addition to being Benin's largest city, it is the seat of government, although Porto-Novo is the official capital, it is home to most of the country's government buildings and diplomatic services. The city is a major home to an airport and a railway that links to Parakou. Other features include Cotonou Friendship Stadium, Cotonou Cathedral, Cotonou Central Mosque, the Ancien Pont Bridge and the 20-hectare Dantokpa Market, which has a commercial turnover of over one billion CFA Francs a day; the name "Cotonou" means "by the river of death" in the Fon language. At the beginning of the 19th century, Cotonou was a small fishing village. Though ruled by the Kingdom of Dahomey, in 1851 the French made a treaty with the Dahomean King Ghezo that allowed them to establish a trading post at Cotonou.
During the reign of Glele, his successor, the territory was ceded to France by a treaty signed on May 19, 1868. In 1883, the French navy occupied the city to prevent British conquest of the area. After Glele's death in 1889, his son Béhanzin tried, unsuccessfully. From on, the town developed to become the largest harbour in the region. Cotonou is on the coastal strip between the Atlantic Ocean; the city is cut in two by a canal, the lagoon of Cotonou, dug by the French in 1855. Three bridges are in this area; the Oueme River flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Cotonou. The city has established transportation infrastructure including air, sea and land routes that facilitate trade with its neighbors Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo; the erosion of the coast has noted for several decades. It worsened in 1961 following the major work undertaken in Benin with the construction of the Nangbeto Dam and deep-water port of Cotonou. A pilot project funded by the United Nations Environment Program revealed that in 40 years, the coast to the east of Cotonou had retreated by 400 meters.
This erosion has led many people to leave their homes along the coast. Under Köppen's climate classification, Cotonou features a tropical wet and dry climate, alternating with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons. In December and January, the city is affected by harmattan winds. Temperatures are constant throughout the year, with the average high temperatures hovering around 30 °C, average low temperatures at around 25 °C. 1979: 320,348 1992: 536,827 2002: 665,100 2013: 679,012 Besides French, the main languages spoken in Cotonou include Fon, Mina and Yoruba. The Autonomous Port of Cotonou is one of the largest in West Africa; the city is connected to Parakou in the north by the Benin-Niger railway. Cotonou International Airport provides service to the capitals of the region and to France, as well as the major cities of Benin: Parakou, Natitingou and Savé. There are road connections to neighboring countries: Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Togo. A prevalent mode of transport in the city is Zémidjan.
In 2015 a suburban passenger railway line was being developed between Pahou. Because of its status as a transport hub, Cotonou has become a crossroads of West African commerce, with much trade moving here from Abidjan because of the Ivorian Civil War; the city is a so-called "market town," enabling trade with the countries of the African interior, such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger. In addition to the port, there is a free trade zone in the interior of the city for use by the landlocked Saharan states. However, the city is rife with corruption and illegal trade with neighboring Nigeria, it can be considered the economic capital as it houses two-thirds of Benin's industries and is the headquarters of the nation's major enterprises and banks. Important manufactured goods include palm oil and cake, brewing and cement. Motor vehicles and bicycles are assembled, there are sawmills in the city. Petroleum products and iron are major exports. There are offshore platforms drilling for oil; the city is a center for the automotive trade, with European brands being sold from vast open-air parking lots.
In the past, Citroën assembled cars locally. By 2012, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea had decreased trade at the port of Cotonou. In the Missebo area, Cotonou is a textile market of African print handled by Indian wholesalers and retailers; the city has some buildings of architectural interest, such as the Congress Palace of Cotonou, the Cotonou Cathedral and the Cotonou Lighthouse. The city has a campus of the Benin University of Science and Technology and a campus of the African University of Technology and Management; the Office de Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Bénin — the national television and radio operator — is based in Cotonou. Timeline of Cotonou Cotonou Agreement List of deep water ports Railway stations in Benin Music of Benin Cotonou Internet Portal
Béhanzin is considered the eleventh King of Dahomey, modern-day Benin. Upon taking the throne, he changed his name from Kondo, he succeeded his father and ruled from 1889 to 1894. Béhanzin was Abomey's last independent ruler established through traditional power structures, he led the national resistance during the Dahomey War. His symbols are the shark, the egg, a captive hanging from a flagpole. But, his most famous symbol is the smoking pipe; this is because he claimed that there wasn't a minute in his life when he was a baby, that he was not smoking. Béhanzin was seen by his people as courageous, he saw that the Europeans were encroaching on his kingdom, as a result attempted a foreign policy of isolating the Europeans and rebuffing them. As prince just before Glele's death, Béhanzin declined to meet French envoy Jean Bayol, claiming conflicts in his schedule due to ritual and ceremonial obligations; as a result, Bayol returned to Cotonou to prepare to go to war against Béhanzin, named king upon Glele's death.
Seeing the preparations, the Dahomeans attacked Bayol's forces outside Cotonou in 1890. Béhanzin's forces were forced to withdraw. Béhanzin returned to Bayol to France for a time; the peace lasted two years. Both sides continued to buy arms in preparation for another battle. In 1892, the soldiers of Abomey attacked villages near Grand Popo and Porto-Novo in an effort to reassert the older boundaries of Dahomey; this was seen as an act of war by the French. Bayol, by now named Colonial Governor by the French, declared war on Béhanzin; the French war machine justified the aggression by characterizing the Dahomeans as savages in need of civilizing, pointing to what it called the "human sacrifice" of the annual customs and at a king's death, to the continued practice of slavery, as evidence of this savagery. Some of this propaganda still exists today: in the Musee de l'Homme in the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, there is a large print, again illustrating the alleged savagery of the Dahomeans, of a battle in the war against Dahomey where a Dahomey Amazon killed a French officer by ripping out his throat with her sharpened teeth.
The story is somewhat more complex, since the traditional accounts of the event handed down in Benin have the Amazon as a trusted wife of Béhanzin who had sworn to avenge members of the royal family, executed by Béhanzin for treachery after divulging battle plans in return for bribes from French agents. Further, the French officer at issue was the head of French military intelligence who committed the'savage' act of corrupting family members to betray their own. Through superior intelligence gathering, superior weaponry, subversion by some members of the royal family, corrupted by bribes, a campaign of psychological warfare that included cutting down most of the sacred trees in the Oueme and Zou, an unexpected attack strategy, the French succeeded in defeating Dahomey, one of the last traditional African kingdoms to succumb to European colonization. Instead of attacking Abomey directly by marching straight north from Calavi just north of Cotonou, French General Alfred Dodds attacked from Porto-Novo, moving up the Oueme valley until he was within striking distance of Abomey, via Cove and Bohicon.
The French were victorious, in 1894, Béhanzin surrendered his person to Dodds, without signing any instrument of national surrender or treaty. He lived out the remainder of his life in exile in Algeria. After his death, his remains were returned to Abomey. Béhanzin was succeeded by Agoli-agbo, his distant relative and one-time Army Chief of Staff, the only potential ruler which the French were willing to instate. Scramble for Africa
Abomey is a city in the Zou Department of Benin. Abomey is the former capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey, which would become a French colony the Republic of Dahomey, is the modern-day Republic of Benin. Abomey houses the Royal Palaces of Abomey, a collection of small traditional houses that were inhabited by the Kings of Dahomey from 1600 to 1900, which were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985; the commune of Abomey covers an area of 142 square kilometres and as of 2012 had a population of 90,195 people. The Royal Palaces of Abomey are a group of earthen structures built by the Fon people between the mid-17th and late 19th Centuries. One of the most famous and significant traditional sites in West Africa, the palaces form one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the town was surrounded by a mud wall with a circumference estimated at 10 kilometres, pierced by six gates, protected by a ditch five feet deep, filled with a dense growth of prickly acacia, the usual defence of West African strongholds.
Within the walls were villages separated by fields, several royal palaces, a market-place and a large square containing the barracks. In November 1892, Béhanzin, the last independent reigning king of Dahomey, being defeated by French colonial forces, set fire to Abomey and fled northward; the French colonial administration connected it with the coast by a railroad. When UNESCO designated the royal palaces of Abomey as a World Heritage Site in 1985 it stated From 1625 to 1900 twelve kings succeeded one another at the head of the powerful Kingdom of Abomey. With the exception of King Akaba, who used a separate enclosure, they each had their palaces built within the same cob-wall area, in keeping with previous palaces as regards the use of space and materials; the royal palaces of Abomey are a unique reminder of this vanished kingdom. From 1993, 50 of the 56 bas-reliefs that decorated the walls of King Glèlè have been located and replaced on the rebuilt structure; the bas-reliefs carry an iconographic program expressing the power of the Fon people.
Today, the city is of less importance, but is still popular with tourists and as a centre for crafts. As reported by UNESCO, the Royal Palaces of Abomey suffered from a fire on 21 January 2009 "which destroyed several buildings." The fire was the most recent disaster which has plagued the site, coming after a powerful tornado damaged the site in 1984. The city is twinned with France. UNESCO assessment of threats to the site, after tornado damage in 1984. Historical Museum of Abomey
“Customs” means the Government Service, responsible for the administration of Customs law and the collection of duties and taxes and which has the responsibility for the application of other laws and regulations relating to the importation, movement or storage of goods. Each country has its own laws and regulations for the import and export of goods into and out of a country, which its customs authority enforces; the import or export of some goods may be forbidden. A wide range of penalties are faced by those. A customs duty is a tax on the importation or exportation of goods. Commercial goods not yet cleared through customs are held in a customs area called a bonded store, until processed. All authorized. At airports, customs functions as the point of no return for all passengers. Anyone arriving at an airport must clear customs before they can enter a country; those who breach the law will be detained by customs and returned to their original location. Traditionally customs has been considered as the fiscal subject that charges customs duties and other taxes on import or export.
For the recent decades the views on the functions of customs have expanded and now covers three basic issues: taxation and trade facilitation. The terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, has become the factor that prompted a significant strengthening of the security component in the operations of the modern customs authorities, after which security-oriented control measures for supply chains have been implemented for the aims of preventing risk identification; the most complete guidelines for customs security functions implementation is provided in the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, which have received five editions in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2018. The trade facilitation objectives were introduced into routine of customs authorities in order to reduce trade transaction costs; the contemporary understanding of the “trade facilitation” concept is based on the Recommendation No. 4 of UN / CEFACT “National Trade Facilitation Bodies”.
According to its provisions “facilitation covers formalities, procedures and operations related to international trade transactions. Its goals are simplification and standardization, so that transactions become easier and more economical than before”. In many countries, customs procedures for arriving passengers at many international airports and some road crossings are separated into red and green channels. Passengers with goods to declare go through the red channel. Passengers with nothing to declare go through the green channel. However, entry into a particular channel constitutes a legal declaration, if a passenger going through the green channel is found to be carrying goods above the customs limits or prohibited items, he or she may be prosecuted for making a false declaration to customs, by virtue of having gone through the green channel; each channel is a point of no return, once a passenger has entered a particular channel, they cannot go back. Australia, New Zealand, the United States do not operate a red and green channel system.
Airports in EU countries such as Finland, Ireland or the United Kingdom have a blue channel. As the EU is a customs union, travellers between EU countries do not have to pay customs duties. Value-added tax and excise duties may be applicable if the goods are subsequently sold, but these are collected when the goods are sold, not at the border. Passengers arriving from other EU countries go through the blue channel, where they may still be subject to checks for prohibited or restricted goods. Luggage tickets for checked luggage travelling within the EU are green-edged so they may be identified. In most EU member states, travellers coming from other EU countries can use the green lane. All airports in the United Kingdom operate a channel system, however some don't have a red channel, they instead have a red point phone which serves the same purpose. Customs are a public service provided by the government of the respective country that collects the duties levied on imported goods as well as providing security measures through which people enter and exit the country.
A public good/service is defined by being non-excludable. Once cannot avoid customs when exiting or entering a country thus making it non-excludable. There is some congestion when going through airports, with the average wait time in customs in American Domestic airports being 75.1 minutes, the congestion doesn’t discriminate based on rival-consumption thus making it a public service. Customs is part of one of the three basic functions of a government, namely: administration. However, in a bid to mitigate corruption, many countries have privatised their customs; this has occurred by way of contracting pre-shipment inspection agencies, which examine the cargo and verify the declared value before importation occurs. The country's customs is obliged to accept the agency's report for the purpose of assessing duties and taxes at the port of entry. While engaging a pre-shipment inspection agency may appear justified in a country with an inexperienced or inadequate customs establishment, the measure has not been able to plug the loophole and protect revenue.
It has been found that evasion of
Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave works without remuneration. Many scholars now use the term chattel slavery to refer to this specific sense of legalised, de jure slavery. In a broader sense, the word slavery may refer to any situation in which an individual is de facto forced to work against their own will. Scholars use the more generic terms such as unfree labour or forced labour to refer to such situations. However, under slavery in broader senses of the word, slaves may have some rights and protections according to laws or customs. Slavery existed in many cultures since the time before written history. A person could capture, or purchase. Slavery was legal in most societies at some time in the past, but is now outlawed in all recognized countries; the last country to abolish slavery was Mauritania in 2007. There are an estimated 40.3 million people worldwide subject to some form of modern slavery.
The most common form of modern slave trade is referred to as human trafficking. In other areas, slavery continues through practices such as debt bondage, the most widespread form of slavery today, domestic servants kept in captivity, certain adoptions in which children are forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, forced marriage; the English word slave comes from Old French sclave, from the Medieval Latin sclavus, from the Byzantine Greek σκλάβος, which, in turn, comes from the ethnonym Slav, because in some early Medieval wars many Slavs were captured and enslaved. An older interpretation connected it to the Greek verb skyleúo'to strip a slain enemy'. There is a dispute among historians about whether terms such as unfree labourer or enslaved person, rather than "slave", should be used when describing the victims of slavery. According to those proposing a change in terminology, including Andi Cumbo-Floyd, slave perpetuates the crime of slavery in language. Other historians prefer slave because the term is familiar and shorter, or because it reflects the inhumanity of slavery, with "person" implying a degree of autonomy that slavery does not allow for.
Indenture, otherwise known as bonded labour or debt bondage, is a form of unfree labour under which a person pledges himself or herself against a loan. The services required to repay the debt, their duration, may be undefined. Debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation, with children required to pay off their progenitors' debt, it is the most widespread form of slavery today. Debt bondage is most prevalent in South Asia. Chattel slavery called traditional slavery, is so named because people are treated as the chattel of the owner and are bought and sold as commodities. Under the chattel slave system, slave status was imposed on children of the enslaved at birth. Although it dominated many different societies throughout human history, this form of slavery has been formally abolished and is rare today; when it can be said to survive, it is not upheld by the legal system of any internationally recognized government. "Slavery" has been used to refer to a legal state of dependency to somebody else.
For example, in Persia, the situations and lives of such slaves could be better than those of common citizens. Forced labour, or unfree labour, is sometimes used to refer to when an individual is forced to work against their own will, under threat of violence or other punishment, but the generic term unfree labour is used to describe chattel slavery, as well as any other situation in which a person is obliged to work against their own will and a person's ability to work productively is under the complete control of another person; this may include institutions not classified as slavery, such as serfdom and penal labour. While some unfree labourers, such as serfs, have substantive, de jure legal or traditional rights, they have no ability to terminate the arrangements under which they work, are subject to forms of coercion and restrictions on their activities and movement outside their place of work. Human trafficking involves women and children forced into prostitution and is the fastest growing form of forced labour, with Thailand, India and Mexico having been identified as leading hotspots of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Examples of sexual slavery in military contexts, include detention in "rape camps" or "comfort stations," "comfort women", forced "marriages" to soldiers and other practices involving the treatment of women or men as chattel and, as such, violations of the peremptory norm prohibiting slavery. In 2007, Human Rights Watch estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 children served as soldiers in current conflicts. More girls under 16 work as domestic workers than any other category of child labor sent to cities by parents living in rural poverty such as in restaveks in Haiti. Forced marriages or early marriages are considered types of slavery. Forced marriage continues to be practiced in parts of the world including some parts of Asia and Africa and in immigrant communities in the West. Sacred prostitution is where girls and women are pledged to priests or those of higher castes, such as the practice of Devadasi in South Asia or fetish slaves in West Africa. Marriage by abduction occurs in many places in the world today, with a national average of 69% of marriages in
Sacrifice is the offering of food, objects or the lives of animals or humans to a higher purpose, in particular divine beings, as an act of propitiation or worship. While sacrifice implies the ritual killing of an animal, the term offering can be used for bloodless sacrifices of food or artifacts. For offerings of liquids by pouring, the term libation is used. Scholars such as René Girard have theorized that scapegoating may account for the origins of sacrifice; the Latin term sacrificium derived from Latin sacrificus, which combined the concepts sacra and facere. The Latin word sacrificium came to apply to the Christian eucharist in particular, sometimes named a "bloodless sacrifice" to distinguish it from blood sacrifices. In individual non-Christian ethnic religions, terms translated as "sacrifice" include the Indic yajna, the Greek thusia, the Germanic blōtan, the Semitic qorban/qurban, Slavic żertwa, etc; the term implies "doing without something" or "giving something up". But the word sacrifice occurs in metaphorical use to describe doing good for others or taking a short-term loss in return for a greater power gain, such as in a game of chess.
Animal sacrifice is the ritual killing of an animal as part of a religion. It is practiced by adherents of many religions as a means of appeasing a god or gods or changing the course of nature, it served a social or economic function in those cultures where the edible portions of the animal were distributed among those attending the sacrifice for consumption. Animal sacrifice has turned up in all cultures, from the Hebrews to the Greeks and Romans and from the Aztecs to the Yoruba; the religion of the ancient Egyptians forbid the sacrifice of animals other than sheep, calves, male calves and geese. Animal sacrifice is still practiced today by the followers of Santería and other lineages of Orisa as a means of curing the sick and giving thanks to the Orisa. However, in Santeria, such animal offerings constitute an small portion of what are termed ebos—ritual activities that include offerings and deeds. Christians from some villages in Greece sacrifice animals to Orthodox saints in a practice known as kourbània.
The practice, while publicly condemned, is tolerated. According to Walter Burkert, a scholar of sacrifice, Greek sacrifices derived from hunting practices. Hunters, feeling guilty for having killed another living being so they could eat and survive, tried to repudiate their responsibility in these rituals; the primary evidence used to suggest this theory is the Dipolieia, an Athenian festival, in limited circulation, during which an ox was sacrificed. The protagonist of the ritual was a plough ox, which it had, at one point, been a crime to kill in Athens. According to his theory, the killer of the ox eased his conscience by suggesting that everybody should participate in the killing of the sacrificial victim. In the expansion of the Athenian state, numerous oxen were needed to feed the people at the banquets and were accompanied by state festivals; the hecatomb became the general designation for the great sacrifices offered by the state. These sacrificial processions of hundreds of oxen remove the original ties, which the farmers of an earlier and smaller Athens will have felt with their one ox.
Human sacrifice was practiced by many ancient cultures. People would be ritually killed in a manner, supposed to please or appease a god or spirit; some occasions for human sacrifice found in multiple cultures on multiple continents include: Human sacrifice to accompany the dedication of a new temple or bridge. Sacrifice of people upon the death of a king, high priest or great leader. Human sacrifice in times of natural disaster. Droughts, volcanic eruptions, etc. were seen as a sign of anger or displeasure by deities, sacrifices were supposed to lessen the divine ire. Human sacrifice was practiced by various Pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica; the Aztec in particular are known for the practice of human sacrifice, though most popular estimates are over-estimations, sacrifice was practiced on a far larger scale in ancient China. Current estimates of Aztec sacrifice are between twenty thousand per year; some of these sacrifices were to help the sun rise, some to help the rains come, some to dedicate the expansions of the great temple at Tenochtitlán.
There are accounts of captured Conquistadores being sacrificed during the wars of the Spanish invasion of Mexico. In Scandinavia, the old Scandinavian religion contained human sacrifice, as both the Norse sagas and German historians relate. See, e.g. Temple at Uppsala and Blót. There is evidence to suggest Pre-Hellenic Minoan cultures practiced human sacrifice. Corpses were found at a number of sites in the citadel of Knossos in Crete; the north house at Knossos contained the bones of children. The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur suggests human sacrifice. In the myth, we are told that Athens sent seven young men and seven young women to Crete as human sacrifices to the Minotaur; this ties up with the archaeological evidence that most sacrifices were of young children. The Phoenicians of Carthage were reputed to practise child sacrifice, though the scale of sacrifices may have been exaggerated by ancient authors for political or religious reasons, there is archaeological evidence of large numbers of children's sk
West Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 16 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, as well as the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the population of West Africa is estimated at about 362 million people as of 2016, at 381,981,000 as of 2017, to which 189,672,000 are female, 192,309,000 male. Studies of human mitochondrial DNA suggest that all humans share common ancestors from Africa, originated in the southwestern regions near the coastal border of Namibia and Angola at the approximate coordinates 12.5° E, 17.5°S with a divergence in the migration path around 37.5°E, 22.5°N near the Red Sea. A particular haplogroup of DNA, haplogroup L2, evolved between 87,000 and 107,000 years ago or approx. 90,000 YBP. Its age and widespread distribution and diversity across the continent makes its exact origin point within Africa difficult to trace with any confidence, however an origin for several L2 groups in West or Central Africa seems with the highest diversity in West Africa.
Most of its subclades are confined to West and western-Central Africa. Because of the large numbers of West Africans enslaved in the Atlantic slave trade, most African Americans are to have mixed ancestry from different regions of western Africa; the history of West Africa can be divided into five major periods: first, its prehistory, in which the first human settlers arrived, developed agriculture, made contact with peoples to the north. Early human settlers from northern Holocene societies arrived in West Africa around 12,000 B. C. At Gobero, the Kiffian, who were hunters of tall stature, lived during the green Sahara between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago; the Tenerian, who were a more built people that hunted and herded cattle, lived during the latter part of the green Sahara 7,000 to 4,500 years ago. Sedentary farming began in, or around the fifth millennium B. C, as well as the domestication of cattle. By 1500 B. C, ironworking technology allowed an expansion of agricultural productivity, the first city-states formed.
Northern tribes developed walled settlements and non-walled settlements that numbered at 400. In the forest region, Iron Age cultures began to flourish, an inter-region trade began to appear; the desertification of the Sahara and the climatic change of the coast cause trade with upper Mediterranean peoples to be seen. The domestication of the camel allowed the development of a trans-Saharan trade with cultures across the Sahara, including Carthage and the Berbers. Local leather and gold contributed to the abundance of prosperity for many of the following empires; the development of the region's economy allowed more centralized states and civilizations to form, beginning with Dhar Tichitt that began in 1600 B. C. followed by Djenné-Djenno beginning in 300 B. C; this was succeeded by the Ghana Empire that first flourished between the 9th and 12th centuries, which gave way to the Mali Empire. In current-day Mauritania, there exist archaeological sites in the towns of Tichit and Oualata that were constructed around 2000 B.
C. and were found to have originated from the Soninke branch of the Mandé peoples, according to their tradition, originate from Aswan, Egypt. Based on the archaeology of city of Kumbi Saleh in modern-day Mauritania, the Mali empire came to dominate much of the region until its defeat by Almoravid invaders in 1052. Three great kingdoms were identified in Bilad al-Sudan by the ninth century, they included Ghana and Kanem. The Sosso Empire sought to fill the void, but was defeated by the Mandinka forces of Sundiata Keita, founder of the new Mali Empire; the Mali Empire continued to flourish for several centuries, most under Sundiata's grandnephew Musa I, before a succession of weak rulers led to its collapse under Mossi and Songhai invaders. In the 15th century, the Songhai would form a new dominant state based on Gao, in the Songhai Empire, under the leadership of Sonni Ali and Askia Mohammed. Meanwhile, south of the Sudan, strong city states arose in Igboland, such as the 10th-century Kingdom of Nri, which helped birth the arts and customs of the Igbo people, Bono in the 12th century, which culminated in the formation the all-powerful Akan Empire of Ashanti, while Ife rose to prominence around the 14th century.
Further east, Oyo arose as the dominant Yoruba state and the Aro Confederacy as a dominant Igbo state in modern-day Nigeria. The Kingdom of Nri was a West African medieval state in the present-day southeastern Nigeria and a subgroup of the Igbo people; the Kingdom of Nri was unusual in the history of world government in that its leader exercised no military power over his subjects. The kingdom existed as a sphere of religious and political influence over a third of Igboland and was administered by a priest-king called as an Eze Nri; the Eze Nri managed trade and diplomacy on behalf of the Nri people and possessed divine authority in religious matters. The Oyo Empire was a Yoruba empire of what is today Western and North c