The Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire, was the largest state in African history and the most powerful of the medieval west African states. It expanded rapidly beginning with King Sonni Ali in the and by it had risen to stretch
The Songhay people dominated the middle reaches of the Niger valley. Songhay became an independent state in the seventh century. By the rulers were Muslims and had a capital at Gao. Songhay won freedom from Mali by the and prospered as a trading state.