MODERN AFRICAN MANSA MUSAS
Mansa Musa, the richest man that ever walked the Earth may also be the cause of Africa’s present woes. His estimated worth in today’s dollars is 400 billion dollars. Was Mansa Musa a curse or blessing to Africa? While European and Eastern Emperors were conquering and plundering to create wealth for their empires, Mansa Musa was giving his people’s wealth away freely without duress. His name should be changed to Mansa Musa the Stupid, and not Mansa Musa the Great.
Any leader who gives away his nation’s or empire’s wealth without any expectations in return for the gift is inept, stupid, and may be megalomaniac. Mansa Musa, a convert to a foreign religion, decides to give the world a taste of his megalomania.
“The rest of the world caught wind of his great fortune in 1324, when he made the nearly 4,000 mile pilgrimage to Mecca. He didn’t do it on the cheap.”
He loads most of his kingdom’s gold on camels, donkeys, goats, sheep, and slaves and sets off to Saudi Arabia through Egypt. Along the way he gives away so much gold that everyone on his route became a millionaire while his people were still mired in poverty. His largesse disrupts the gold market for years. Gold was the monetary standard in those days.
European Emperors and Kings were so much upset by Mansa Musa’s action that they decided to find the source of the gold. If Mansa Musa can give away so much gold, we have to find the source of his gold and seize it from the fool, who does not know the value of gold, they reasoned.
The conquest of Africa begins because of the stupidity of one man. They sent explorers to Africa and the scramble for Africa begins.
“Their main goals were in Asia, but to reach Asia it was necessary to circumnavigate Africa, in the process of which they hoped, among other things, to make contact with Mali and to divert some of the trans-Saharan gold trade from Muslim North Africa to Christian Europe.”
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to venture into Africa. Others such as the French, British, and Germans followed and eventually pushed the Portuguese off the African map except in Angola, Cabo Verde, Guiné-Bissau, Moçambique, and São Tomé e Principe.
“The surviving records suggest that up to about 1550 the Portuguese were securing from the Gold Coast on average at least 12,400 ounces of gold each year, a sizable proportion of the production then available to Europe.” The British pushed the Portuguese off the coast of Ghana, then known as the Gold Coast.
The Africans had gold but they forgot to buy cannons and rifles to defend themselves from these marauders. Or use their immense wealth to create their own weapons of mass destruction as the British, French, Germans, Russians, Chinese, and Americans. Mansa could have exchanged his gold for gunpowder, guns, and cannons to defend his empire. Spears, swords, bows and arrows are no match for European weapons.
When the avaricious Europeans descended on his empire, he had no defenses for their superior firepower. America spends great amounts of her wealth on the military and is a military superpower. Some countries such as Sweden and Canada spend a lot of their wealth on humans and are human superpowers. America may decide one day to use its military might to overpower Canada and Sweden. All it takes is a crazy US President!
Do you see parallels in today’s African leaders? They steal their country’s resources and give it away to foreign countries, such as Bahamas, “Panama”, “Paradise”, Jersey Islands, Switzerland, France, USA, Britain, and so on. These leaders are the Mansa Musas of our times. What do these countries offer African countries for their largesse? Nothing, not even investment in Africa. Mansa Musa was a curse and not a blessing to Africa.
Africastallestman wants to know when this stupid trend started by Mansa Musa will be reversed?