The chief trade is in, and the principal exports are, palm oil and kernels, rubber, cotton, maize, groundnuts (Arachis), shea-butter from the Bassia parkii (Sapotaceae), fibres of the Raphia vinifera, and the Sansevieria guineensis, indigo, and kola nuts, ebony and other valuable wood.
The most important palm of the country perhaps is the Raphia vinifera, which produces the piassava fibre of commerce.
Assyria under Sargon defeated the southern confederation at Rapihi (Raphia on the border of Egypt) and captured Hanun; the significance of the victory is evident from the submission of the queen of Aribi (Arabia), the Sabaean Itamara, and Musri.
For tying plants to trellises and stakes soft tarred string or raffia (the fibre from the Raphia palm of Madagascar) is used.
Her presence greatly encouraged the troops at the battle of Raphia (217), in which Antiochus the Great was defeated.