Pre-colonial Political System Of Candidates’ Respective Countries


The pre-colonial political systems of West Africa were diverse and rich in their structure and governance mechanisms. Before the arrival of European colonial powers, the region was home to a variety of political entities that operated based on traditional institutions, customs, and norms. These systems played a crucial role in shaping the political landscape of the respective countries we will be exploring.

In Nigeria, for instance, the Hausa/Fulani, Igbo, and Yoruba ethnic groups had distinct political systems that governed their societies. The Hausa/Fulani had a system of government known as the Emirates, where power was centralized in the hands of the Emirs. The Yoruba, on the other hand, operated a system of city-states with centralized authority in places like Ife and Oyo. The Igbo had a more decentralized system of governance with autonomous villages and councils.

Moving on to Ghana, we find that the Akan and Talensi societies had unique political structures. The Akan were organized under chieftaincy systems with paramount chiefs ruling over sub-chiefs and clans. The Talensi, on the other hand, had a segmentary lineage system where authority was dispersed among various kin-based units.

In Sierra Leone, the Mende and Temne peoples had their own political institutions. The Mende operated a system of chiefdoms where paramount chiefs held authority over smaller chiefs, while the Temne had a decentralized political system with village headmen playing key roles in decision-making.

The Gambia was home to the Wolof, Mandingo, and Jola ethnic groups, each with its political traditions. The Wolof had a hierarchical system with nobles and commoners, the Mandingo operated under Islamic law with councils of elders, and the Jola had a system of village republics led by councils of elders.

Lastly, in Liberia, the Vai and Kru societies had unique political systems. The Vai had a script and centralized authority under a chief, while the Kru operated a decentralized system with village chiefs and councils.

These pre-colonial political systems played a significant role in shaping the contemporary governance structures of these countries. They influenced the development of modern political ideologies, the role of traditional leadership, and the overall governance framework. Understanding these systems provides insight into the political history and heritage of West Africa and how it continues to impact the region today.


  1. Examine the role of pre-colonial political institutions in shaping modern political ideologies and movements
  2. Evaluate the significance of traditional leadership roles in the political landscape of West Africa
  3. Analyze the impact of pre-colonial political systems on the contemporary governance of respective countries
  4. Understand the political structures and systems in West Africa before colonization
  5. Compare and contrast the pre-colonial political systems of the various ethnic groups in West Africa

Lesson Note

The pre-colonial political systems of West Africa encapsulate an era rich with diverse governance structures, influential leaders, and complex societal organizations. Understanding these historical frameworks is essential for appreciating how they influence contemporary political ideologies and movements. This exploration will delve into the traditional leadership roles, the significance of these roles in the current political landscape, and the impact of pre-colonial systems on modern governance. Let's journey through time to unravel the intricacies of West African political systems before colonization.

Lesson Evaluation

Congratulations on completing the lesson on Pre-colonial Political System Of Candidates’ Respective Countries. Now that youve explored the key concepts and ideas, its time to put your knowledge to the test. This section offers a variety of practice questions designed to reinforce your understanding and help you gauge your grasp of the material.

You will encounter a mix of question types, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and essay questions. Each question is thoughtfully crafted to assess different aspects of your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Use this evaluation section as an opportunity to reinforce your understanding of the topic and to identify any areas where you may need additional study. Don't be discouraged by any challenges you encounter; instead, view them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

  1. The multiple choice questions for the topic "Pre-colonial Political System Of Candidates’ Respective Countries" are as follows: What is a key characteristic of traditional political systems in West Africa before colonization? A. Centralized authority and hierarchical structures B. Shared power and democratic decision-making C. Absence of leadership roles D. Emphasis on individualism and competition Answer: A. Centralized authority and hierarchical structures
  2. Which ethnic group in West Africa is known for its decentralized political system with a council of elders making collective decisions? A. Hausa/Fulani B. Yoruba C. Igbo D. Akan Answer: B. Yoruba
  3. What is the primary role of traditional leaders in pre-colonial West African societies? A. Religious guidance B. Military leadership C. Economic management D. Political administration Answer: A. Religious guidance
  4. In which West African country did the Mende and Temne ethnic groups historically have significant influence in the pre-colonial political system? A. Nigeria B. Ghana C. Sierra Leone D. Liberia Answer: C. Sierra Leone

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Past Questions

Wondering what past questions for this topic looks like? Here are a number of questions about Pre-colonial Political System Of Candidates’ Respective Countries from previous years

Question 1 Report

Indirect rule succeeded in Northern Nigeria because the traditional political system was

Question 1 Report

The Ijaw people of pre-colonial Nigeria were organized into?

Question 1 Report

The Council of Elders in the pre-colonial political institutions of West Africa best served on the Council as

Practice a number of Pre-colonial Political System Of Candidates’ Respective Countries past questions