Mansa Musa is known as the wealthiest man of all time and lived in the 14th century in West Africa. The name Mansa translates to Sultan or Emperor and it was the title that was given to the tenth king of the West Africa Islamic Empire, Musa Keita. He was known by many names including Kan Kan Musa Keita. He succeeded Abu Bakr II in 1312 C.E.
He inherited an already wealthy kingdom, the kingdom was purported to have the largest gold produce in the world by this time but his work in expanding trade made Mali the wealthiest kingdom and him the wealthiest man in the world. He was thought as inconceivably rich by his contemporaries.
He was not just known for his riches, he was also known for his charity. In 1324 C.E he went on a pilgrimage to Mecca; he traveled with an entourage of tens of thousands of people and dozens of camels, each carrying 300 pounds of gold. On his way, he gave any poor person he met his gold. It was said he especially gave gold in Cairo, Egypt that the overall value of gold decreased and the city underwent massive inflation. Stories of his spectacular wealth spread even to Europe. Everywhere he went he would build mosques and universities.
He came back after a year to his home country with scholars and architects to build mosques and universities to spread the knowledge of Islam across his kingdom. He urbanized cities like Timbuktu and built a legendary mosque called Djinguereber Mosque which still stands till today.
He ruled for 25 years and died in 1337 C.E leaving behind a legacy that put Mali on the world map.