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Mansa Musa was a wealthy West African ruler who ruled a massive portion of the continent in the 14th century. According to researchers, Musa is considered to be the wealthiest person in history.

Estimated to have been born in the year 1280 or so, Musa Keita I rose to lead the Mali Empire after the disappearance of his predecessor, Abubakari Keita II, presumably at sea. In the royalty hierarchy, an heir is typically named as chief regent while the sultan takes pilgrimage to Mecca or other such duties.

Taking the title Mansa, which roughly translates to “King,” Musa began his 25-year rule in the year 1312. The sprawling lands that he controlled also contained portions of modern-day Gambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and other nations.

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