Africa Before the Europeans came

Ref: C2419818

See images of societies that existed across Africa before the colonial invasions - from loose trading groups to empires. Discuss the importance of Ancient Egypt and Kush; Carthage's challenge to ancient Rome; The spread of Islam and the travels of Ibn Battutah; Musa, the richest man in history, who ruled Mali when Edward I was on the throne in England; Afonso the Catholic king of Kongo during Henry VIII's reign; the rise and fall of Great Zimbabwe; wars in southern Africa and the rise of Shaka Zulu; and how Abyssinia avoided invasion.

Course aim

Explore the rich history of Africa as an independent continent before colonial occupation. Discuss the importance of civilisations from Ancient Egypt or Ife through to Haile Selassie's Ethiopia.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Know the main African civilisations in the ancient world
  • Understand the different kinds of societies that have developed across Africa
  • Be able to describe how civilisations communicated with and related to other parts of the world
  • See Africa as part of the development of world civilisations, not separate or behind

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Pen and paper for taking notes would be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Africa Before the Europeans came


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  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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