The impact of the slave trade on West African societies was uneven. The societies that traded the slaves flourished during the era of the Atlantic slave trade. By contrast, the societies from which the slaves were taken were badly hurt.
The coastal societies got slaves from farther inland and traded them to the white slavers. By doing so, the coastal societies became rich and powerful. As this was going on, however, the societies farther inland were drasticaly affected. Those who came raiding for slaves tended to take the young and the fit. These were the most profitable people to take. Because of this, the most productive and important members of society (the young, fit workers) were taken away. This, of course, harmed the inland societies.