Who lived in Mali?

Mali was once part of an empire controlled by the trans Saharan slave, gold and salt trades known as the Sahelian Kingdom. The earliest of the empires was the Ghanian Empire who dominated the Soninke, a Mande speaking people. The nation expanded through West Africa from the 8th century until 1078 when it was conquered by the Almoravids. The Mali empire was later formed and reached the height of power by the 14th Century. This empire collapsed after the invasion of the Morrocan's in 1591