With the exception of a few minor players in Africa, the slave trade was inherently negative for Africa. Some local rulers benefited from collaboration with slave traders and made a great profit off of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Aside from these few profiteers, the slave trade was excessively negative on the continent of Africa. For this reason, discussion of the advantages of the slave trade should focus on the New World.
Listing the advantages of the slave trade, it should not be interpreted as any sort of endorsement for the slave trade itself. Making humans an economic commodity is reprehensible by any measure. Having said that, the slave trade was very important to the economic development of the colonies in the New World. There was a severe labor shortage in the Americas and slaves from Africa filled this void. Slaves were vital to the colonial economies that were establishing cash crops to acquire capital. The slave trade was extremely important to the acquisition of wealth in the colonies. It can be stated the Transatlantic Slave Trade was the catalyst for capitalism and industrialism in Europe and the Americas. As an example, the steady and cheap supply of cotton from the American South to Britain was an important component in the success of the early textile factories in Great Britain. The profit from the cotton trade was invested in technologies that helped the United States industrialize.