History 108 (paper due tonight)

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What economic basis did the slave trade have on African states. I know that the wealthier inhabitants made a living or at least profit off of slave trade. The slave trade between 1500-1700,was driven by chiefdoms and power and wealth were acknowledged by the number of slaves some one owned due to the law of no land owner ship. I am just really stuck and can't figure out why. I know the wealthy Africans profited from the slave trade but just confused. Please help.

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