■ Alot of people think trade in west African coast began with the coming of the Portuguese in late 14th century AD. There was actually a trans-sahara trade which took place inland from prehistoric Era and declined with the coming of the Portuguese.The Portuguese trade route was transatlantic .Igbos were part of trans-sahara trade and most events that took place before the coming of Portuguese were not recorded. Most were buried in archaeology. Example is igbo ukwu and ile ife.Igbo ukwu civilization which saw a continuity of culture from 8th/9th century AD to the coming of British .
■ Recent excavations in the city of Gao in eastern Mali have uncovered a sizable assemblage of imported and locally produced beads which are similar in many ways to the beads excavated at the site of Igbo-Ukwu in Nigeria. The similarities between the two assemblages suggest that they are indicative of interregional trade along the River Niger. As the likely source of many of the beads is Fustat in Egypt, Gao may well have been the middleman between Igbo-Ukwu and Egypt. This route, it is argued, is more satisfactory than a direct east-west trade across the Sudannic zone, which has been argued for previously as a channel of international trade for Igbo-Ukwu.