Great timeline! As a resident of an area with bayous and creeks every few miles, I gravitate to areas where de-watering is a constant issue. The West African empires have always been of interest. I'm going to echo Wolttaire on the issue of river/water control. The arid/semiarid context of the area would greatly favor some variant of irrigation/water management. Since Muktar has traveled over much of the Islamic world, he has seen water management systems, from Andalusia, Egypt, Mesopotamia. and others. It would require little more than requesting a water management expert from Andalusia to study the possibility. The increased crop yields and greater harvest stability would repay the investment. I like that you have Muktar 'reminding' Ouali against ostentatious habits. One way to grow loyalty is to spread some wealth around to your followers/supporters. Arabic should be the language of the court. Develop a bureaucracy utilizing Arabic and one or two of the most prominent languages in the kingdom. Encourage great minds from the Islamic World to come to Mande to teach.