It is difficult to generalize “Africa” at the time. You have some enclaves of civilization, such as Ethiopia, Mali, the Atlantic coast and the Indian Ocean Coast around Zanzibar. There was some social hierarchy there that had to have some sort of work ethic to create it. Many areas were totally undeveloped. As a whole, Africa of 1600 was probably comparable to the steppes Central Asia and outer Mongolia of the 8th Century. There were isolated areas of civilization along the spice & silk routes. The rest were nomadic barbarians. Hard to say Attila’s Huns or Genghis Khan’s hordes didn’t have a work ethic.
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