We view Africa as a place of extreme poverty and less than average educational standards. In the time of Mansa Musa, though, things were much different. It was a land of extreme wealth and important trade routes. The kings of the land were poised to be extremely powerful individuals, but it took Musa becoming emperor after the death of Abu-Bakr II for things to really change.
First, he was only known as Musa. Mansa was given as a title upon taking the crown as it was a name which meant king. The empire he inherited included the modern nations of Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali. It stretched over 2,000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to Lake Chad.