Uli I of Mali

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Mansa Uli (French: Ouli), also known as Ali or Wali in Arab sources, was the second mansa of the Mali Empire.

Born under the name Yérélinkon, he was the only biological son of the legendary Sundiata Keita. The mansas that followed Uli, Ouati and Khalifa, were the children of Sundiata Keita's brother, adopted by Sundiata to be raised as members of the Keita clan.

According to oral sources Sundiata's brother, Manding Bory Keita (alias Abubakari Keita I), was supposed to ascend to the throne since Uli was too young to ascend the throne the time of his father's death. Instead, the ambitious prince seized the throne for himself in 1255 and began a campaign of territorial expansion into West Africa.

Mansa Uli Keita also significantly increased the empire's agricultural production. On an economic and political level, Uli st a precedent by making the Hajj to Mecca during his reign. Unlike his father, Mansa Wali had no blood heirs leaving the throne to be fought over by his adopted brothers. During the ensuing power struggle, Ouati Keita seized the throne sidelining Manding Bory again.


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Preceded by
Sundiata Keita
Mansa of the Mali Empire
Succeeded by
Ouati Keita