Niger has been settled for at least 6,000 years. Early cattle-herding and agricultural economies developed in the Sahara and by the 14th century the Hausa people had established city-states in the south of the region. Meanwhile Berbers dominated trade routes in the north, which came under the control of the Songhai Empire around 1515. After the fall of the Songhai Empire in the late 16th century the Bornu Empire expanded into the centre and east of the region, while the Hausa people retained the south and the Tuareg were prominent in the north. The Djerma people later became established in the southwest.
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