Mali was an Islamic Empire in West Africa from the 14th to 17th centuries. (See Map).

The empire was founded by the king, or Mansa, Sundiata Keita.
Sundiata Keita was a semi-historical hero of the Mandinka people. He is said to be a ruler of Mali between 1235 and 1260. He was the granduncle of the famous Mansa Musa who ruled in 1307-32. Under him the fabled city of Timbuktu became an important trading center in North-Africa.

The famous Muslim traveller
ibn Battuta visited the Mali Empire around 1352, and his account is an important first-hand written description of this empire.

www link :
The Mali Empire