- from African Kingdoms
Mali was the next great power to rise in western Africa.
During the 1200s, the Mali empire of the Mandinka people replaced Ghana as the most powerful state. For 300 years, Mali controlled the gold and salt trade. The 25-year reign of its greatest ruler, Mansa Musa, began in 1312. He pushed the borders of the Mali empire as far west as the Atlantic Ocean. Musa conquered many cities of North Africa. After 300 years, Mali lost its hold on Sahara trade routes. For the next 100 years, Songhai was the richest and most powerful empire in western Africa. In fact, it was the most powerful empire ever in western Africa.