How Powerful Was the Malian Empire?

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How powerful was the Malian empire? Was Mali the richest state in the 14th century? Did Malian King Abu Bukhari II sail to the Americas before Christopher Columbus?

No. Not really. Politics weren't nearly as international back then, as t are now. It could be argued with some success that the Mali Empire was a regional power, but to be honest, no-one in Europe gave a fig about sub-Saharan Africans before t started to colonize the continent. And even then it was all about the natural resources. Same thing goes for Asia. It could be argued with merit that China was one of the greatest empires existing at the same time as the Roman Empire. But the Romans didn't give a fig, because t never encountered any Chinese.

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In fact, it didn't invade China, and even if they had, China wasn't on the map. As late as the nineteenth century, the British and their English-speaking partners were pretty much in control.