Hausaland, sometimes referred to as the Hausa Kingdoms, was a group of small independent city-states in northern central Africa between the Niger River and Lake Chad which flourished from the 15th to 18th century CE. The origins of the Hausa are not known, but one hypothesis suggests they were a group of indigenous peoples joined by a common language - Hausa - while another theory explains their presence as a consequence of a migration of peoples from the southern Sahara Desert. The cities prospered thanks to local and interregional trade in such commodities as salt, precious metals, leather goods, and slaves. Islam was adopted by many of the rulers and elite of the city-states in the 14th and 15th century CE but was also one of the reasons for their loss of independence when the Muslim Fulani leader Usman dan Fodio (r. 1803-1815 CE) launched a holy war and conquered the region in the early 19th century CE.

More about: Hausaland


  • c. 1100 - c. 1300
    The Hausa people form settlements in the central Sudan region of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • c. 1400 - c. 1804
    Hausaland flourishes in Africa.
  • c. 1804 - c. 1817
    The Fulani leader Usman dan Fodio conquers the city-states of Hausaland and forms the Sokoto Empire.