The economy would now fall under his feet because of the wealth of this man simply unthinkable.
Musa I, the gold emperor in the Empire of Mali ruled from 1312 to 1337. It is believed that he possessed $ 400 billion. He was so incredibly rich that when he was on a pilgrimage to Mecca, he shared his gold to everyone he encountered along the way and thereby inadvertently destroyed the local economy. There are many legends about “golden cities” and extremely rich civilizations throughout history, but this one is actually true and not a tale. For less than four hundred years, from 1230 until 1600, the empire of Mali in West Africa became the dominant cultural power in every way.
The gold from Mali comes from three large gold mines in Bambuk, Galam and Boure, which were annexed to the empire in the beginning stage in the conquest. With the help of these 3 mines, Mali provided more than half of the gold for whole Africa, Asia and Europe in the fourteenth century. This made Mali the largest African empire in history. The previous emperor disappeared trying to travel the world by a boat, so his crown was given to Musa. He then became known as the most powerful ruler in the history of Mali and represented a golden age of this empire.
A dedicated Muslim, Musa was a leading ruler of the richest nations in the world in 1324, when he finally decided to travel to the holy Mecca. In a period of two years, Musa was on an indescribable “luxury” pilgrimage. It is estimated that he had 500 personal guards, over a hundred gold laden elephants, as well as several hundred camels laden with food supplies. Some say that he was escorted by 12,000 slaves, and that the total number of people amounted to 60,000.
According to the Arab historian named Ibn Khaldun, Musa was generous on his pilgrimage. Khaldun said: “He gave everyone he met charity in the form is a rare food and treats.” Also, he claimed that Musa wore “eighty loads of gold”, which was a total of 12,000 kilograms of gold. With the present calculations this amounted to 566 million dollars, which he took with them on his way. Many historians and writers throughout history recorded stories about Musa’s generosity, and although the real amount of gold is still debatable, it is known that the gold in Arabia and Egypt lost most of the value over the twelve years after the journey.
Stopping by in just one city, the historian Al – Makrizi said that “his entourage continued to buy Ethiopian and Turkish slave girls, singers and clothing, so the rate of golden dinar fell to six dirhams”. So, this meant that Musa was spending so much, that it was only natural that it won’t be worth much. This whole thing about “free money” wasn’t good for the local areas, because the rest of the economy was based on gold. And when the gold ceased to be so valuable, the whole economy has been destroyed. It made Musa the richest man in the way that no one else was. He practically “was so rich that he broke the whole idea of money”.
What Musa subsequently done is still a matter of controversy among the historians. It is believed that on the way back from the pilgrimage through the same areas he saw what he did to the economy and tried to correct it. Apparently, he entrusted the gold back, with a very high interest rate. Musa’s legacy today is huge. His accomplishments include the creation of one of the best libraries and universities in the world in the city of Timbuktu, but only until recently, few people knew the name of this man. Only now, when the world learned the story about him, 700 years after his reign, the richest man ever finally got the attention he deserves.