Educator Resources for Mansa Musa

At a time when Europe was consumed by war and poverty, Africa's Empire of Mali enjoyed a golden age of peace and prosperity. Mali had plenty of natural resources for trade, including gold. In fact, it was the main supplier for European coins—but Europe’s monarchs didn’t exactly know where all that glittery stuff was coming from. The Sahara Desert kept Mali hidden from the rest of the world—until Musa I, the emperor (or mansa) of Mali, put it on the map! During a pilgrimage to Islam's holy city of Mecca, Musa’s caravan of servants, camels, and gold was so over the top that the world couldn’t help but take notice. Musa met with important leaders and attracted explorers like Ibn Battuta, who went to Mali to write about the wealthy empire. But after Musa's death, Mali began to crumble. Weak leadership, internal conflict, and attacks from neighbors all played a role. Yet, many of the libraries, universities, and mosques built under Musa still stand today. Press “play” to learn more about the mansa behind it all!